Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes

What Once was Vibrant

For the only time I can remember, this morning I pondered about how my emotions may have changed during the course of my sixty-six years. A piece of semi-autobiographical fiction (is that even a realistic category?) I began writing last … Continue reading

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The New Realm

“Lance, would you please get the ax for me? It’s getting close to dinnertime and I need to get Little Johnny ready for the roaster.” Lance looked up from his crossword. “All right, Suzanne, just let me finish this last … Continue reading

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A Nonfictional Account of a Wednesday

Yesterday’s productivity exceeded most days’ output, but only because we forced ourselves to visit Lowe’s with the aim of buying a replacement stovetop-oven combo. We managed to select one to put on order, but first we will have an installer … Continue reading

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Mental Health and Healing

When my creativity wanes, as it has of late, I notice gaping holes in my imagination. I suppose those are synonymous. What I notice more acutely is that there’s a very strong correlation between my creativity and my sense of … Continue reading

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Listen

Listen to the sky. That’s not the sky, it’s an echo of your emptiness. Listen to the horizon. That’s not the horizon, it’s a sigh of hope. Listen to the river. That’s not the river, its a murmur of possibility. … Continue reading

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The Core Within and Other Matters

I wish more people would read and listen to poetry. I wish they wouldn’t dismiss it as linguistic egotism. I wish they would try to listen to it without judgement and disdain. Instead, I wish they would try to hear … Continue reading

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Recalling Darkness

Two years ago today, I wrote a post on Facebook that, in both immediate and distant hindsight, I realize did not belong on Facebook. But at least Facebook reminded me it is still there. It may not have belonged anywhere. … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, Depression | Leave a comment

Entanglements

My thoughts this morning comprise a jumble of unrelated and incomplete ideas that careen through my mind as if they were running from something dangerous. They stumble and fall and bounce off the inside of my head as they flee … Continue reading

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Be Kind

I posted a good bit of this yesterday on Facebook. I’m posting it here because I want to be able to find it again; to use it as a reminder to try to be better.  Yesterday, I expressed anger at … Continue reading

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I Wish I Knew

If the world were meant to be comprehensible, we would be able to climb inside others’ heads to determine what they really think. We would be able to discover, for example, whether people who seem serene and unflappable and genuinely … Continue reading

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Seriously. No, Seriously.

A blank white computer screen often summons me to fill it with what’s on my mind. That is, essentially, it beckons me to transfer what I’m thinking to the screen. That allows my thoughts to be read by others who … Continue reading

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Vulnerability

I am accused, from time to time, of being afraid of being vulnerable. I’m told that I fear exposing my vulnerability would challenge my maleness or my “manhood” or my sense of personal man-centered strength. And I’ve bought into the … Continue reading

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Scale

A July 23, 2003 article in The Telegraph touches on the scope of what we see through telescopes in a clear, dark night sky: There are 10 times more stars in the night sky than grains of sand in the … Continue reading

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Processing Ideas

I wrote a rather long post this morning about distance and intimacy between people and what it might mean and how it might be expressed. Even though the topic is emotional, the post seemed clinical and emotionless, so I’ll let … Continue reading

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Another Try: Wisdom

Wisdom involves knowledge, but knowledge alone does not constitute wisdom. Wisdom is the abstract application of knowledge with discernment. That is, wisdom is not just knowledge, it’s knowing what to do with knowledge. As I am wont to do when … Continue reading

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Converting Mental Energy to Breakfast Mass

This morning, ever since I got up around 5, I have attempted to write posts for my blog. I’ve started at least five but, a few paragraph in, abandoned them; I lost interest in expressing myself before I could even … Continue reading

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Living in a Dead Man’s Journal

He wrote the following in his journal on November 14, 2009: I wish I could bring myself to reveal all the secrets I’ve kept locked away for so very long. One day, perhaps, I’ll write a memoir, though I suspect … Continue reading

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Lock and Key

On occasion, my appetite for interaction with other people shifts quickly and dramatically toward being a recluse. It happens so fast that I do not recognize it is happening until after the fact. Suddenly, I want nothing to do with … Continue reading

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The Effects of Fire on Fuel

A screed. A diatribe. A rant. An inflammatory evangelical oratory capable of inciting fury. An opportunity to express the ferocity of my feelings without having to defend them. That’s what I’m looking for. An occasion to bitterly complain without offering … Continue reading

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People Who Need Help and People Who Give It

We fed 167 people lunch today. Not really; we just loaded the donated food onto plates and into bags and distributed it to 167 people who came to the window of Jackson House. It’s hard for me to believe it; … Continue reading

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Under-the-Knife Anniversary

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the surgery I underwent to remove a cancerous tumor from my lung and, with it, the lower lobe of my right lung. All indications are that the cancer succumbed to the surgery and its … Continue reading

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Last Night and Today

Last night’s Village Writers’ Club read-around and social gathering was, I think, a success. Everyone seemed to enjoy hearing the readings and, judging from the status of left-over food at the end of the evening, they liked the hors d’ouevres … Continue reading

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Honesty

Honesty is dangerous, especially when it reveals flaws once hidden. Honesty is ruinous when it shatters trust and breaks the bonds of love. Honesty is a toxin we best not ingest if we hope to stay alive in a world … Continue reading

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Roller-Coaster

A group of people from the Writers’ Club and a few spouses will come to the house this afternoon for wine and hors d’oeuvres and a read-around. We’re expecting to have around thirteen people, all-inclusive. Early this morning (up again … Continue reading

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Being Better or Dying Trying

This paragraph completes this post; I wrote this paragraph after I wrote the rest of it. I write this to remind myself, and anyone else who stumbles on these words, that I have to write in order to know what … Continue reading

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