Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

Two Days In

This morning, we commence our second full day in Ajijic. Staying in an AirBnB is a different experience, in many ways,  from staying at my brother’s house. Though the rental is quite nice, it doesn’t begin to match the feeling … Continue reading

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Distant Presence

I wonder if she hears me rifling about in her dream? Probably not. We’re both fast asleep and many miles apart. But if there’s anything to the occult, she might sense my presence as I pull back the covers and … Continue reading

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On Time

Days race by, behaving as if the clock hurries to complete its tasks quickly, lest time render the hands of the clock unable to accurately measure the duration of the unfolding of experience. There will come a moment, or perhaps it … Continue reading

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Let’s Get Skeptical…Skeptical

Skepticism invades my brain. It’s a unique skepticism that constantly grows, thanks to the kudzu of evidence  of the innate biases present in all news sources. I’m not referring just to American or Western news sources; I assert that bias … Continue reading

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Adequately Altruistic or Acquisitive

Among other difficulties with wealth redistribution programs is the problem that involves reaching agreement on the definitions of two adjectives: “enough” and “too much.” If we could achieve collective accord on what constitutes enough and how much is too much, … Continue reading

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Retrospective Contemplation

Roughly one year has passed since my lung cancer diagnosis. The process of exploring it began on September 7 last year, when I saw my doctor for a persistent cough. Two x-rays and a CT scan later, a preliminary diagnosis … Continue reading

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Attemptation

An article on CNN’s website, explaining why McDonald’s doesn’t sell McRib sandwiches year-round, spurred an idea. (First, I’ve never had a McRib sandwich and have no interest in trying one; but that’s beside the point.) Actually, I’m impressed with McDonald’s … Continue reading

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This, Too

Perhaps we just needed a little urging to embark on a road trip. The road trip I’ve been wanting to take ever since we moved to Arkansas 5+ years ago.  Whether the trip materializes remains to be seen, but at … Continue reading

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The Man Who Loved Poetry

Poetry did not die with him, but it might not have lived without him. Bud Kenny loved poetry almost as much as poetry loved him. Absent Bud’s unapologetic shoulders upon which to sit and proclaim its fierce entanglement with the … Continue reading

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Cars Bite

The Subaru had its 60K maintenance yesterday, along with new brake pads. I feel confident I could have purchased a serviceable used car for what we paid to keep the four-year-old vehicle operating as intended. Except there’s this one thing… … Continue reading

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Failure

Suddenly, nothing matters anymore. Not a damn thing. We tried to make it make a difference, but it didn’t. And so we drift off, knowing we failed. That’s how he left it; a note written in dust on top of … Continue reading

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You Would Look Just Fine if You Were Naked

I chose to ignore the clock’s suggestion after I awoke to pee, opting instead to remain upright and awake. The time, 3:48 a.m., suggested a return to bed and to sleep would have been appropriate. But putting on my morning … Continue reading

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Visionarium

Malcolm Disarray’s eyesight decayed over the course of ten years, beginning when he was thirty-one years old, at the rate of less than six percent per year. By the time he was forty-one, he was nearly blind. What little he … Continue reading

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Another Birthday

I didn’t forget. I just wondered whether my practice of recognizing my mother’s birthday was unnecessary. Or maudlin. Or just odd. Ultimately, I decided it might be all of the above, but I opted to go on record to acknowledge … Continue reading

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Exploring an Empty Barrel

I spent part of the last hour of this morning reading bits and pieces of about six months’ worth of newsletters from the Lake Chapala Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. I’m not sure just why I found my way there. I started … Continue reading

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Confessions and Confetti

During the haze of sickness these last few days, I have taken to diversions that might distract me from the sensations one feels when one isn’t “well.” I find it impossible to adequately describe those sensations. I don’t feel pain, … Continue reading

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The Sickness

I’ve felt a little weak and feverish and achy for several days, as if I were trying to catch a cold or the flu. This morning, after I returned from having a blood draw in connection with my annual physical … Continue reading

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Maladjustments

I’m experiencing a struggle with the adjustment from travel to daily routine. We’ve been home since Sunday afternoon—approaching four days—and I still feel lethargic and distracted. I haven’t been able to focus on much of anything since returning home. Instead … Continue reading

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On Wisdom and Travel and Self-Reflection

I do not know the originator of the following concept, but I applaud his or her wisdom in expressing it: If you can’t intelligently argue for both sides of an issue, you don’t understand the issue well enough to argue … Continue reading

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Home Again

We finally got home from our European vacation late yesterday afternoon, a day later than originally planned and absent our luggage. We hope our luggage eventually finds its way home from Slovenia, by way of Amsterdam and either Atlanta or … Continue reading

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Incomprehensible Adriatic Notes

Finally, a post, but it will make sense only to me. On one of the last days of our trip to the Adriatic region, I am taking a few minutes to jot some notes. One day, I will explain them. … Continue reading

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Ready for a Respite

Last night, an unhinged neighbor wrote an irrational rant on the Nextdoor.com community site, complaining bitterly about Walmart’s decision to stop selling ammunition and claiming the move would cause her to never again shop in Waliberal (to use her term). … Continue reading

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Engaging with the Sun

Imagine my surprise this morning when, at 6:45 a.m., I awoke from a sound sleep. The sun had long since risen. The room was awash in light. I had been in bed for roughly eight and a quarter hours! That’s … Continue reading

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Labor Day

Today is Labor Day, a day of tribute to workers that owes its creation to labor unions. I wonder whether the people who oppose labor unions and consider them anathema to the American spirit of bootstrap independence insist on working … Continue reading

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Implied Promise

What is an implied promise? Is a strong suggestion an implied promise? (You’ll have to assume an implicit action is associated with the strong suggestion.) Is a statement of future fact an implied promise? And what, by the way, is … Continue reading

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