Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

Depressed Canadaphile Watching Humanity Wither

For several years now, I’ve been following various Canadian news outlets on Facebook. I regularly read Canadian newspapers online. I explore Canada on maps and read about Canadian villages and Canadian customs. My frame of mind is this: I want … Continue reading

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Wretched Night

The depths of the night—the darkest, loneliest hours—reveal the starkest realities about one’s psyche. During those empty hours, a person can indulge in the luxury of self-recrimination without a safety net. At night, alone with one’s thoughts and memories and … Continue reading

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Sitting in Judgment

I’ve given considerable thought of late to whether the behavior of movie stars, politicians, and other public figures who are accused of—or actually admit to—being sexual predators warrants nullifying the value of any contributions they may have made to society. … Continue reading

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Thinking with my Fingers on a Cold Saturday Morning

The nights suddenly grew colder. Days finally relented, at least for a spell, allowing the temperatures to slip into much more comfortable ranges. The thermometer this morning claims the temperature has just edged down to thirty-five degrees. The weather forecast … Continue reading

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I feel like I’ve abandoned my own commitment to writing. I’ve lost my enthusiasm about committing my thoughts to the page. I don’t know why that is. I hope the diminished devotion to writing what is on my mind is … Continue reading

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Los Perros: My Comments About the Film

To take my mind off the fact that we were leaving Ajijic and Mexico behind us, I decided to watch a movie on the two-and-a-half-hour flight from Guadalajara to Dallas. I selected Los Perros, a Chilean Spanish-language film with English subtitles. … Continue reading

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My sister-in-law treated me to a salon pedicure and she treated my wife to a salon foot massage while we were in Ajijic. I have become a fan of pedicures. My toenails are as short and well-groomed as they’ve ever … Continue reading

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Ajijic, Continued

I already posted about our experience last night at Teocintle Maiz restaurant in Ajijic, but I’ll memorialize it here because previous posts are easier for me to find on my blog. Last night, we had a magnificent dinner. I ordered sauteed … Continue reading

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Ajijic and Last Night’s Dream

We’ve only been in Ajijic since Tuesday afternoon. Yet already I feel more relaxed and distant from the madness of 45 and his demented minions. The village of Ajijic is a mixture of cutting edge modern culture and grim reminders … Continue reading

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Our adventure begins Monday afternoon. We board a flight for Dallas, stay the night at an airport motel, then fly to Guadalajara on Tuesday. From there, we’ll get a taxi to Ajijic. And there we will unwind. The unexpectedly full … Continue reading

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Puerto Rico Needs Help

A member of the Unitarian Universalist Village Church sent a message to some members of the congregation, maybe all, suggesting it might be appropriate to have a conversation about how the church might assist the Unitarian Universalist Puerto Rico (UUPR) … Continue reading

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A good night’s sleep and a nice day following improved my mood considerably. Today was good. Two meals “out” and far too many calories, but worth every bit. I spent part of the day wrestling acorns and leaves off the … Continue reading

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I suppose I should mark the occasion in some fashion. So I will. About eight minutes ago, I turned sixty-four years old. That doesn’t sound like much, I’ll admit, but it is monumental to me. I’ve reached a point in … Continue reading

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I have more things to say than I can put into words. My thoughts are jumbled, random, unconnected. I’m soaked in confusion, amplified by world events and streaked with fear and anger, and muddled by beads of hope so small … Continue reading

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Wine and Cheese

After a long, strange day and evening, tonight just seemed to call for wine and cheese. It would be a relaxer, a way to slip into the evening rather than be thrust into it with no adjusting timeline. So I … Continue reading

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The bob of our pendulum is a razor sharp disk, cutting the air with its long swings before gravity and time curtail its trajectory, when it cuts our ties with time and severs the cables that bind us to this … Continue reading

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Bless Our Souls

David Brooks is a New York Times op-ed columnist and frequent guest on NPR and PBS programs. In my view, he usually holds centrist Republican viewpoints, though he tends to run a little more left of center than what I … Continue reading

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Mom’s Birthday

My mother was forty-five years old when I, the sixth child, was born. I cannot even imagine the stresses she must have endured, rearing six children from birth through young adulthood. Each of us required at least eighteen years of … Continue reading

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Patriotism versus Nationalism

I wrote the following on Facebook on September 25. I’m copying it here just so I can more easily find it; to know where my mind was on that day. Remember. This country was founded on principles of decency and … Continue reading

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I Cry Too Easily

From the very first moment I heard it, Pachebel’s Canon in D reached into me and drew out tears. I cannot for the life of me understand what it is, but that music always reduces me to tears. It’s not … Continue reading

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Slow Return

I’ve been distracted. Mentally, physically, emotionally. My mind has been elsewhere. I suppose part of it has been fear. Fear that the cause of the pain in my arm and shoulder might be worse than a pinched nerve. Or that … Continue reading

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Those of us who own computers—and there are millions of us—are fortunate in the extreme. The mere fact that we are able to play with (or work with) machines that give us capabilities far beyond anything our molasses minds could … Continue reading

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“What in the name of God is that?” Brenda’s voice hissed, jarring Carl’s attention, as the unexpected sound erupted from behind his left shoulder. “Why do you do that? You startled the hell out of me.” “Sorry. Well, what is it?” … Continue reading

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Gingerly Approaching a Moroccan Cooking Binge

Last night, our meal’s main course was Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon, Olives, and Harissa. I made the harissa, which delivers one of my favorite flavors,the day before. I served the chicken over brown rice, alongside a few cucumber spears, … Continue reading

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Here’s to Boston

Thanks to this morning’s newsletter (Fast Forward)  from the Boston Globe, I learned that today is the 120th anniversary of the launch of the first subway in this country. At 6:00 a.m. on September 1, 1897, one hundred people rode … Continue reading

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