Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

Badger Food and the Like

It’s possible that I am genetically predisposed to be a Badger. A Cheesehead. That is, a Wisconsinite. That thought found its way back into my brain by way of an article on Wisconsin Public Radio‘s web site. In months and … Continue reading

Posted in Food | Leave a comment

RandomRandomRandom

It’s impossible to say with certainty whether my treatment for lung cancer is responsible, but I’m inclined to lay the blame squarely thereon. Had I not been subjected to 60 sessions during which radiation was directed at the remnants of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Stranger

According to Merriam-Webster, the primary definition of “outsider” is: “a person who does not belong to or is not accepted as part of a particular group or organization.” Another definition suggests an outsider is “a stranger—someone who doesn’t fit in.”  … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Car Coddling and Such

Yesterday’s visit to the radiation oncologist was a bit of a surprise, inasmuch as the doctor I saw was a woman (whose name escapes me) with whom I was unfamiliar. The “regular” doctor was on vacation. I actually prefer the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Teetering

I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for the better part of half an hour, thinking about what to write this morning. Five days have passed since my last post, which suggests I’m running low on mental energy. I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Island Soul

I don’t know who it was. It may have been me, it could have been someone else. Whoever it was, the undertaking was extraordinary: transplanting my soul into a small island in the St. John River between Van Buren, Maine … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Writing | Leave a comment

Screenery and Porchery and Deckery Doings

I spent some time in Lowe’s yesterday afternoon. My primary purpose in going was to buy some hummingbird feeder hangers laced with permethrin; ants seem to adore the sugar-water mixture I prepare for the tiny flying dinosaurs and the little … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Programmed Oblivion

No matter how hard we attempt to position humanity as a special gift to the universe, we’re sometimes forced to remember we’re eventually all forgotten. Regardless how noble or ignoble our acts, no matter what damage we do or what … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | 2 Comments

Joyce

I received some difficult and painful news yesterday morning. A woman who worked for me years ago, and became a good friend in the process, died yesterday. Joyce and I stayed in touch over the years, occasionally getting together for … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Cancer Journal 32, 2019 and Mindless Rage

I’ve still not gotten my bearings with respect to when, after my chemo treatments, I will crash. Perhaps every post-treatment regimen follows the same pattern, but my chemo-brain can’t seem to discern and remember the pattern. This time, it seems … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Triggered

As I read a friend’s blog yesterday afternoon, his words triggered in my mind an epiphany of sorts. Though he wrote about feeling stressed at the unusual degree of obligations he is under at the moment, his words made me … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solitude versus Engagement

Most of the multiple posts I’ve written over the past several days will remain drafts for the foreseeable future. None of them have so far captured what’s been on my mind, at least not in a way that I’m willing … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wishes

To be loved, in spite of legendary flaws To be loved, even though unlovable To be loved, regardless of moral defect To be loved, undeterred by physical blemish All these wishes cannot stand in the face of love’s substance. They … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry, Writing | Leave a comment

Cancer Journal 31, 2019 and Indiscriminate Musings

Barring unforeseen complications down the road, I completed what I expect was the last of my core cancer treatments today. The fourth and final chemotherapy treatment ended without fanfare just before noon today. I expected–based on my experience at the … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Health | 2 Comments

Neanderthal

Somehow, I remained blissfully unaware that misogyny and blatant discrimination against women were routinely and officially practiced long after I assumed “things were changing quickly.” The year I graduated from high school, 1972, was the first year women were permitted, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cancer Journal 30, 2019

Another blood draw today, along with a visit with my oncologist. The same nurse who, invariably, cannot find my vein without prodding my arm with a sharp needle to the point that I inform her that I have nerves in … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Health | 2 Comments

Broken References

Spanso Griffin has forgotten all the easy, commonplace words. In their place, a complex vocabulary—suited only for erudite papers penned by academicians—is taking hold. He speaks a stilted language that paints him as pompous and pretentious and undeservedly boastful. His … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Writing | Leave a comment

Musings on a Late-Week Monday

Lately, I’ve been bitten by new car fever. Not just any new car fever, though. New car fever involving a Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 6-speed manual. I might seriously consider such a beast except for one important factor: the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reason to Believe

Still I look to find a reason to believe. Tim Hardin wrote, composed, and recorded Reason to Believe in 1965. One of the most popular versions of the tune was released by Rod Stewart six years later. No fewer than … Continue reading

Posted in Emotion, Music, Writing | 3 Comments

Weighty Topics that Lead to Linguistic Salvation

To look at me, you’d think I might have reached my peak weight. But you’d be wrong. That unhappy event took place several years ago, when I lived in Dallas. I was still working at my business, traveling more frequently … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Architectural Emotions in a Mid-Century Mind

Yesterday, after an email from Dwell prompted me to view photos of a restored and updated Joseph L. Eichler mid-century modern house in the San Francisco Bay area, I fell in love with the architectural style all over again. That … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Emotion, Intellect, Philosophy, Politics | Leave a comment

Skeptic in a Strange Land

When hope crawls out of the dark woods, stepping across the wet ground to the rural highway on the edge of the woods, a super-duty pick-up truck careens down the quiet country lane and crushes that wish for tomorrow under … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry, Writing | Leave a comment

Cancer Journal 29, 2019

I should have listened to the assertions that I would feel increasingly bad as my chemo treatments went along. Instead, I hoped I would be the exception to the rule. I’m not. Ever since last Monday, a week and four … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Health | 2 Comments

What Will Happen to the United Methodist Church?

When I was a boy, I attended the Methodist Church. Occasionally. I wasn’t a fan and, when at a very early age my parents allowed me to decide whether to continue attending, I opted out. Even then, the theology was … Continue reading

Posted in Religion | 2 Comments

Thinking About Emotions and Things Related to Cancer

Suffering most emotions more deeply than others seem to endure tends to drain one’s energy. I say that without knowing, of course, how deeply others experience emotions. I base my assessment on observations and assumptions. I did say “seem.” But … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Emotion, Health | 3 Comments