Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

2800

Here is blog post 2800. The vast majority of my posts have been, in a sense, invisible. That is, no one but I ever saw them. Or, if they were seen, they were seen by people who were misdirected to … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | 4 Comments

Border Child

As a child, I never really understood how close to the border we lived. But Google Maps put it in perspective. We lived considerably less than a mile from the U.S.-Mexico border, defined by a river, the Rio Grande. Maybe … Continue reading

Posted in Memories, Mexico | 3 Comments

If I Were Younger

If I were younger, I might make a point of learning the Icelandic language. The vast majority of Icelanders speak the language and a tiny fraction speak English. So, to get along comfortably in the country, I would think it … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdist Fantasy | Leave a comment

Condolences to the Parents of Julen Rosello

I remember the saga of Baby Jessica, the child who fell into a well in her aunt’s yard in Midland, Texas in the late 1980s. It seemed like every person in the U.S. and perhaps around the world held our … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Cancer Journal 18, 2019

My radiologist called in two prescriptions for me yesterday in response to my recent issues with burning pain after swallowing. My regular pharmacy told me yesterday there were “issues” regarding the amount of time for which the drugs were prescribed. … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Health | Leave a comment

And the Bible Said

I read a reference yesterday to a bumper sticker. It read as follows: “Pray for Trump—Psalm 109:8.” My biblical illiteracy being what it is, I had to look it up. It reads: 8 Let his days be few; and let … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cancer Journal (more or less) 17 and Other Stuff

The bright sun and cerulean sky belie the frigid temperature this morning. According to my computer’s weather app, it’s 25 degrees outside. Last night’s weather forecast called for clear skies this morning but carried a warning: Though it might appear … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Health, Rant | 2 Comments

Cancer Journal 16, 2019

Part I My wife reminded me to make a note of a new development. This morning, I notice a quite significant pain when I swallow hot coffee and cold water. And pain, though not so significant, accompanies swallowing anything else. … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Health | 1 Comment

Borrowing Money or Time

I’m sure I’ve written about it before, haven’t I? That I am the sixth of six children? That I was an unplanned intrusion into a family that was more than complete at five? That I was a mistake, probably discovered … Continue reading

Posted in Family | 3 Comments

I Want a Dog

I have not had a pet since I was a high school kid. The last dog I had wasn’t really my dog. It was my brother’s dog, I guess. Or maybe it belonged to my parents. The last dog I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Philosophizing in a Cold Room

Recently, I was thinking about good and evil (I use both words advisedly, as I do not attribute to them any religious significance) in humankind. I wondered why, when we as humans generally agree that good is the preferable of … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Leave a comment

Slinking Back

Twice since I deactivated my Facebook account a week ago, I absent-mindedly clicked on the Facebook logo on my desktop, then clicked again when the pre-populated login screen popped up. Instantly, I was on Facebook. When I decided to deactivate, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Real Life Lessons

Let me be unkind for a moment, if you don’t mind. I feel like expressing my perceptions of a guy with whom I’ve shared space in the waiting room while lingering in anticipation of my radiation therapy. Don’t assume I’m … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Civility, Compassion, Empathy, Health | 4 Comments

Cancer Journal 15, 2019

This morning, as I was getting ready to take a shower, I noticed that the red area on the skin on the side of my chest, beneath my right arm, had grown in size. I looked closer and noticed a … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Health | Leave a comment

Thinking It Through

I don’t know precisely when it happened, but sometime within the past several months (or maybe the past few years) I seem to have lost the ability to sit at my computer and produce pleasing, mellifluous language. I think I … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | 4 Comments

Cancer Journal 14, 2019

Thursdays are “talk with the doctor” days after radiation treatment. First, a nurse weighs the patient, then another nurse queries the patient about any problems or questions, then a dietitian asks probing questions about the patient’s appetite and discusses his … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Health | 3 Comments

Still Walking Each Other Home

A quote from Ram Dass is on my mind this morning. “After all, we’re just walking each other home.” Those words often find their way to my consciousness, but I never seem to be able to fathom precisely why they … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | 2 Comments

Cancer Journal 13, 2019

Just twenty more radiation treatments to go. I’ve completed one third of them. The skin on my chest and back can attest to the fact that I’ve had treatments. It’s tender and, in a place or two, slightly inflamed as … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Health | 2 Comments

Thoughts and Emotions and Misplaced Ethnic Pride

Blogs aren’t sacrosanct places, but those created and tended for personal, versus commercial, purposes tend to enjoy at least moderate degrees of privacy and, when comments are made, civility and respect. Maybe readers of personal blogs are conscious of the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Slinking Away

After weighing the matter at some length, I deactivated my Facebook account a while ago. The downside is that some people with whom I’ve developed what I hope has been a mutually beneficial relationship probably will disappear from my daily … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Fanciful Thought and Real Fantasy

The Baby Boom Generation in the U.S. grew up believing that the United States had developed into an irrepressible force in technology, among other things. We were taught (brainwashed might be a better term) that U.S. innovation and commitment were … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cancer Journal 11 and 12 in Two Parts, 2019

January 14, 2019 I didn’t realize until today that I never bothered posting yesterday’s “Cancer Journal.” No matter, it wasn’t particularly insightful. I’ll include it with today’s, just for the record. I woke late again today, thanks in large part … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Health | 2 Comments

Friends versus Acquaintances

Last night, the concepts of “friend” versus “acquaintance” spun through my mind. I won’t try to explain why, because I think the explanation would only serve to erroneously paint me as a depressed skeptic. I’d rather think of myself as … Continue reading

Posted in Friendship, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Cancer Journal 10, 2019 – Lost Day

Today might as well have been a fleeting idea, an ephemeral abstraction that never solidified into reality. Today is now lost to a fog, for me. I hope days like today are few and far between. Not only because they … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Health | 1 Comment

Cancer Journal 9, 2019

There’s evidence that the chemo may be ready to cause nausea. Yesterday, even before the seventh radiation treatment, I felt a tiny hint of nausea, enough that I decided to take the nausea pills with me to the session. I … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Health | Leave a comment