Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

64

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nothing

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Jumble

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

Posted in Poetry, Writing | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Pendulum

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

Posted in Poetry, Writing | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Essay, Politics | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Family, Love | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Pregunta

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Serpent

“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

Posted in Fiction, Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Food | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Congressional Hypocrites

I read this morning that some people, especially in Congress, question whether a legitimate role of government is to help people deal with and recover from catastrophe. The argument, as I understand it, is that neighbors, not government, should help … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Harvey

I think it’s impossible to write, with any degree of realism, about living through a flood like that facing the people in and around Houston, Texas today. It’s not just Houston. We ought to remind ourselves that Bay City and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Speechnotes

My post last night, in which I complained about not having speech-to-text software, led me to do a search this morning. Sure enough, I found free speech to text software online at https://speechnotes.co. I am surprised that it is reasonably … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Clenched

Dangling from a mesquite shrub on the edge of a cliff, nothing below me but sharp rocks a thousand feet below, I reach up for that helping hand that’s not there. It’s dark here on the precipice, dark and lonely, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Writing | Leave a comment

Orwell’s Legacy

I remember only vaguely reading George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier and Homage to Catalonia and Down and Out in Paris and London and Keep the Aspidistra Flying and Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.  But I read them all. My … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Price of being Pensive

I read this morning, in the August 3, 2017 online English version of Corriere della Sera about a German man named Roland Siedler, who made a habit of eating and drinking at multiple fine restaurants and bars in Florence, Italy and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nadir is the Cusp of the Fourth House

I thought something had changed in me. I thought I had become someone else. But, no, I’m back to the old normal. Back to the old me. For several weeks now, I’ve been getting up late. For me, late is … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Writing and Thinking and Feeling

We learn about ourselves from our writing. At least some of us do. If we study the words we use in stories and essays we write, we discern patterns that—admittedly beyond the edges of the scientific method—inform us about who … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Impeachara

I do love this “commercial.” Would that it were not fantasy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mourning, Anger, and Bleak Despair

Today, this day after the monstrous attacks in Barcelona and other parts of Spain, I mourn for the dead and injured and their friends and families. And I mourn for civilization, an experiment our species going terribly wrong. We are … Continue reading

Posted in Rant | Leave a comment

Desierto

I watched Desierto tonight. It’s not an uplifting film. It’s an action/horror film whose premise is that a group of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the U.S. are forced to abandon the truck in which they are being transported. Because … Continue reading

Posted in Film | Leave a comment