Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

Brittle Memories

It hasn’t been long since I finished my chemo and radiation treatments, but apparently I’ve tried to erase the experiences from memory. I say that because I returned to my radiologist’s office for a follow-up this afternoon and all the … Continue reading

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Doing Cartwheels in the Sky

Daydreams—call them fantasies if you like—keep a person fresh. Those reveries paint pictures in our minds of an environment in which we exercise control of the world around us. They allow us to be bold, daring, adventuresome; without fear of … Continue reading

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The Child Who Is Not Embraced by the Village…

I have seen this proverb before but, for some reason, the depth of its meaning did not reach me until I saw it yesterday. Yesterday, its truth became so obvious to me that I slapped my forehead with the palm … Continue reading

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Jeremiad

As I skim materials I’ve written in months and years past, I realize my collected works could well be called Jeremiad. That is,  “a prolonged lamentation or mournful complaint.” Also, “a cautionary or angry harangue.” Those definitions come from Merriam-Webster’s … Continue reading

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Repackaged Memories

Once again, I came across an article on Facebook about cannibal sandwiches. But it wasn’t another article. It was the same article, repackaged for distribution by NPR through Facebook on Saturday, June 22, 2019. Facebook claims the link to the … Continue reading

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Compassion for Monsters

Feeling compassion for people whose ill will and animosity shine like beacons of hate is not easy. But it may be necessary. If we are to have any hope of healing the divisions that have brought the world to the … Continue reading

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That Damn Good Deed

I should have known better, but I did it anyway. I came to a stop, put the car in “park,” pressed the emergency flasher button, and got out of the car. I then dragged two large, broken tree limbs blocking … Continue reading

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Today Can Only Get Better

I don’t have it in me today. I do not have the wherewithal to write about last night’s storms or the film we saw yesterday afternoon or the meal we ate last night. And my philosophical side is torn and … Continue reading

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Time is Money

Time is money. That apothegm means, to most of us, that time is a valuable resource and, as such, it is better to do things as quickly as possible. But I also see it from another perspective. That is, one … Continue reading

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Opinions and Facts

I read an interesting but painfully true cartoon caption this morning. You don’t want to hear my opinion. You want to hear your opinion coming out of my mouth. Too often, that’s true. And the thirst for affirmation is the … Continue reading

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The Appeal of Doubt and Uncertainty

Yesterday morning, after the regular church service, I watched and listened to a TED Talk entitled “The Gospel of Doubt,” delivered by Casey Gerald. Hearing Gerald’s words was like listening in on my own thoughts. But I have nothing in … Continue reading

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On the Lake

Yesterday afternoon, our neighbors took us out for a boat ride on Lake Balboa. Their small catamaran party barge accommodates four people quite well and could, I imagine, hold up to eight comfortably. Yesterday, though, it was just the four … Continue reading

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Someone Else

Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be? I came upon this pithy aphorism-in-the-form-of-a-question while I was searching for the words of a common platitude that admonishes us to refrain from comparing ourselves … Continue reading

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Afflictions

Just over nine months ago, I went to my primary care physician to see about a persistent cough. Thus began my experience with lung cancer. At least that’s where my experience with the medical establishment’s engagement with my lung cancer … Continue reading

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Broken Strings of Thought

There’s a chill in the air, if one believes 61 degrees can constitute a chill. And I believe it can, when one finds oneself in mid-June in the Bible belt. It’s not an uncomfortable chill, though. It’s the sort of … Continue reading

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Still Scathing

The handyman texted me this morning. He had “just” been told by my neighbors that he had committed to work on their driveway on Friday. Unfortunately, that meant he could not come to work on my deck as promised. He … Continue reading

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Dammit…Now, Hitting the Road

I spent a large part of the day yesterday deconstructing and then reconstructing the sixteen-foot-long step that leads from the upper level of the back deck to the lower level. I did this because the contractor didn’t pay attention to … Continue reading

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Drenched in Thought

In mid-November 2012 (and many other times, before and after) I wrote a little about why I find Buddhism refreshing. Among my thoughts seven years ago was this one: It (Buddhism) is a refreshing perspective,  far more appealing to me … Continue reading

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Authenticity in Appetite

I find it interesting that definitions of passion conflict with one another. For instance, on one hand passion can mean ardent affection or strong sexual desire but, on the other, it can mean an outbreak of anger, as in a … Continue reading

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In the Absence of Proof

In the absence of proof there is no truth. Lacking incontrovertible evidence, every experience is a lie, every memory is created in a cracked vacuum suddenly filled with biased fiction. Evidence cannot prove an event never occurred, so whether it … Continue reading

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Phrases

Not long ago, I wrote a somewhat depressing philosophical screed that included concepts and phrases I’ve never used before. Phrases like “tetanus fog” and “smothering with a cellophane pillow.” I didn’t post the discourse on my blog, but I kept … Continue reading

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Time and Coffee

My mood this morning is best described as somber. Witnessing mortality express itself will do that to a person. On the other hand, reality with all its messy attributes tends to expose hopes and dreams as artifice. Mortality puts the … Continue reading

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Respite from the Respite

I grossly underestimated the work involved in developing a coherent compilation of my writing. The endeavor is far more time-consuming than I expected; I didn’t realize how long it would take to sort through the 2900+ posts to this blog, … Continue reading

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Respite

I’ve decided I’ll take a break from my blog for a while. That decision comes after another hour or more, this morning, of attempting to write and failing miserably. Over and over, the words that slip from my fingers seem … Continue reading

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Eggcorns and Neologisms and Mondegreens

Eggcorns and neologisms. I think I have heard the term eggcorn before, but its meaning slipped away over time. I know neologism quite well; in fact, it’s one of my favorite words. The terms came to my attention again recently. … Continue reading

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