Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

Confronting Two Enemies

In the wake of a growing concern about a mysterious disease, when will a gnawing worry evolve into fear? What incident will cause fear to mushroom into terror, breeding deep suspicion of anyone outside our immediate circle? At what point … Continue reading

Posted in Covid-19, Depression, Health, Hope, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Love is the Richest Emotion

I love you. You know who you are. I could listen to your voice for hours if you’d let me. And I suppose you would. But what reason could I give for wanting to hear it? What excuse could I … Continue reading

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Circles of Light

One of the definitions of corona, courtesy of the Cambridge Dictionary, begins with “a circle of light…” There’s more to it, of course, but I prefer to leave it there for the sake of clarity; clarity that even language is … Continue reading

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Routines that, until recently, guided me through the predawn hours have dissolved into misty memories over the course of the last few months.  I could point to a single change, over which I had no control, that caused the disruption—but … Continue reading

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It’s a pattern. I daydream about hitting the road for an extended period to explore new places, revisit places from my long ago past, or simply to separate myself from the day-to-day routine by which I sometimes feel confined. It’s … Continue reading

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The Rest

I’m writing this on Sunday night as the clock tells me it’s close to 11:00 p.m. I have a good reason for writing it Sunday, instead of early Monday. I will be up early again on Monday; there’s no question. … Continue reading

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Early-Onset Nosophobia and Unrelated Mental Tantrums

I had occasion recently to read a story I wrote almost five years ago. Among the many character names mentioned in the story—most only in passing—were Shady Fulcrum, Gludge Mokrey, Cleatus Pryor, and Barney Clump. There were several others, most … Continue reading

Posted in Covid-19, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Self-Limiting Thoughts

Perhaps this, the third item I’ve written since I got up around 5 this morning, will satisfy my desire to create something I am willing to share. The first two provided me with outlets for thoughts about intellectual and emotional … Continue reading

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Late Lethargy

It’s 7:00 a.m. and I’ve only been up for about fifteen minutes. I’ve wasted a significant portion of the day, sleeping in! Around 5:00 a.m., I awoke and decided to get up “in a minute,” but that didn’t happen. Nor, … Continue reading

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Forgiveness and Food

I spilled red wine on a grey and white carpet last night. I did my best to clean it; my best was inadequate, as ample evidence of the spill remains. My faux pas bothered me, but it didn’t send me … Continue reading

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My Schizophrenic Electoral Attitude

It occurred to me that I posted something a couple of days ago that suggested I voted for Biden. I didn’t. I voted for Warren. But I had concluded by the time I wrote the post that a centrist like … Continue reading

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Yesterday’s Journal: A Dull Tale of a Semi-Typical Day (and a rebirth of my interest in writing)

Yesterday morning, before we left for Little Rock for my wife’s blood draw, frustration was afoot because the medical folks had not confirmed that she had an appointment at 11:15. Because we did not want to miss that appointment, assuming … Continue reading

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Musings on Politics, People, Society, and the Almost Certainly Impossible

I do not worry that electing a left-leaning candidate like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren would lead to economic catastrophe. Nor do I worry that electing a centrist like Biden would embed a Republican-light approach to government for the foreseeable … Continue reading

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Medical Delays

Yesterday, we delayed our planned departure to Little Rock by thirty minutes to accommodate some to-do items; it was a good thing we did. My wife got a call from her doctor’s nurse, saying she wanted my wife to get … Continue reading

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Another Little Trip to the Rock

Here I am on the edge of a dull, dreary, overcast day, readying myself for yet another trip to Little Rock. This trip’s sole purpose is to visit a lab for a blood draw, ordered by my wife’s primary care … Continue reading

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Surprise Memories

Years ago, when I was executive director of an association then called the International Association of Auditorium Managers (now International Association of Venue Managers), I had an awful experience. We were in the midst of our annual conference when an … Continue reading

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Perils of Finding Solace in Food

When my concerns are too personal and too emotional to share with those closest to me—even with myself—I tend to turn my thoughts to food. It’s no mistake that the word “comfort” is so often associated with food. Whether a … Continue reading

Posted in Emotion, Food, Pain, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Here and Now

Time and distance no longer matter when the only moment is now and the only place is here. Memories lose their grip on the soul at that juncture. All existence takes place in the present; neither the past nor the … Continue reading

Posted in Peace, Philosophy, Serenity | Leave a comment

Preppers and COVID-19

Preppers, or survivalists, prepare for a broad spectrum of emergencies: disruptions in the food supply, civil unrest, tainting of the supply of potable water, cataclysmic weather events…and on and on. Lately, talk of the novel (new) coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has … Continue reading

Posted in Covid-19, Health | 3 Comments


I spent the better part of three hours this morning watching short (i.e., under 6 minute) TED Talk videos. The purpose of my viewing-spree was to find videos I can use to support facilitating a conversation about how seemingly mundane … Continue reading

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Not Everything, But Something

Yesterday afternoon, I met with a woman to discuss a church-managed program that provides a technological resource to impoverished kids. The kind of resource isn’t important to this post. What is important is what I learned from the conversation. The … Continue reading

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A Swarm of Misconceptions?

Gazing out across open water to the horizon, where the sun is setting, the idea that there is a place where the Earth touches the sky is easy to accept. It’s right there in plain view. A crisp, clear line … Continue reading

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Hand Injury in a Writing Accident

I am trying my hand at dictating the post this morning because my right hand is in absolute agony when I move it in certain ways. And sometimes when I don’t. My guess is that it is carpal tunnel syndrome, … Continue reading

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A Diverse Dreamworld

Achieving cultural diversity is much deeper and more complex than mixing skin colors, languages, and customs. Real diversity is attained by blending every element of different societies, yet maintaining the uniqueness of each component. It consists of embedding an understanding … Continue reading

Posted in Dreams, Fantasy, Imagination | Leave a comment


Consider how radically different your life would have been if you had been adopted in 1962 by a Chinese peasant couple who traveled to the United States from their rural home outside the tiny village of Zhongxin in Guizhou Province, … Continue reading

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