Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

That’s It

I have long been enamored of many of the quotes attributed to Kahlil Gibran. It’s a bit of an embarrassment that I personally have read little of his writings; only quotes attributed to him. That oversight or laziness or inadequacy … Continue reading

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Post Blood-Letting

I got back home around 7:00 a.m., having left a few vials of blood and a teaspoon or so of pee for the lab people to test and assess. The blood-letting specialist, a woman who has extracted my blood on … Continue reading

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Blood-Letting

Another night of insomnia, though not as sleepless as the two previous nights. I was early to bed, but late to sleep. And I woke often. At 4:30, I rose for the day, which involves lab work and an annual … Continue reading

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Legacy

Since before midnight, I’ve been more or less awake. The first time I looked at the clock, the digits read 11:58. Every 35 to 45 minutes or so since then, I peered at the clock again, not sure what I … Continue reading

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Playing the Odds

I am ambivalent about this Christmas Day. While I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, I know cheer and joy are in short supply for many people. One of my brothers remains in the hospital, awaiting decisions as to whether … Continue reading

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On Wisdom and Its Absence

I envy Jason Bateman. Not for having been named Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ Man of the Year for 2022, but for possessing the handsomeness I’ve always wished for but lacked. And for his youth. He’s only 52 years old; … Continue reading

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Throw Open the Windows of Your Soul to the Sun

My brother—of my siblings, the one closest in age to me at five years my senior—is going into hospice care. Despite doctors’ expectations—that a surgical procedure within the last few days would prepare him for another procedure that would dramatically … Continue reading

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Guns at Supper with Facebook

Guns are not intrinsically evil devices. It is what untrained or inept or fundamentally bad people do with them that unleashes guns’ awful potential that makes the need for regulating the use of guns so urgently important. The same is … Continue reading

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Rough

What follows is a very rough first draft of a poem, rife with disconnects and broken parts–or is it hearts?–that cry out for repair. I haven’t written real poetry for a very long time. This effort, conceived and written this … Continue reading

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Love is the Doctrine…

3:42. Once again this morning, my tendency toward rising early went into overdrive. Before the digits on my electronic devices’ clocks read 4:00, I had emptied the dishwasher, put the dishes away, made my first cup of coffee, and situated … Continue reading

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Today is Immeasurably Sad But Beautiful

One year ago today, my wife of almost 41 years died. This awful, painful anniversary is immeasurably sad. Even a year later, I cannot quite believe she is gone. I still have too many things to say to her, too … Continue reading

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Ends and Odds

Just before 4:00 a.m., I woke—alone in bed—to loud cracks of thunder and pounding rain. Moments after I woke, I heard my IC speaking words of comfort to her dog. The beast always cowers, seeking comfort on a lap or … Continue reading

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Things that Matter

Yesterday, we invited a few friends to come take a look at the house my IC and I just bought. We could have waited until we cleaned the place up, paint, put up new light fixtures, blew layers of leaves … Continue reading

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Beautiful Scars

The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer. ~ Mahatma Gandhi ~ I feel almost powerless to help. Money, alone, seems entirely inadequate, but even if I rushed to the scene … Continue reading

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Almost Everything is Worth a Thought or Two

You probably do not want to read this post. Whether you read it or not depends on how you feel about the day. And about me. And it depends on your mood. And what matters to you. Whether you read … Continue reading

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Objective Subjectivity

I once wrote a response to an idiotic post I saw on a public Facebook group. The post, or perhaps it was a response to a post, insisted that homosexuality is a “choice.” My response said something to the effect … Continue reading

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Wear Your Waders

I feel compelled to write something, just to have a record that I was awake and alive just before 6 this morning. Beyond being awake and alive, I can make no claims. Other than feeling dull and spent and disinterested … Continue reading

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Mysteries of the Universe

Nature is an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. ~ Blaise Pascal ~ +++ More Latin phrases, courtesy of one of my brothers: Vocatus at que non vocatus, Deus aderit: Bidden or unbidden, God is … Continue reading

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Semper Cogitare et Interrogare Omnia

“Always think, and question everything.” I admire the elegant beauty of the Latin language. Something about it appeals deeply to my sense of curiosity. And to my appreciation for its ability to express powerful ideas with remarkable brevity. Despite its … Continue reading

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Hunger

Clearly, I am experiencing an empty spot in my thought processes. I cannot think of anything interesting to write about. Nothing seems especially intriguing. No topic, no current event, no idea seems particularly inviting. So, I write blather. But that’s … Continue reading

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Glower Rhymes with Flower

My Christmas spirit seems to have gone right out the window. I was feeling pretty “up” yesterday morning, but my cheerful countenance has been replaced with a sour frown and the attitude to match. Maybe I will be able to … Continue reading

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Compassion Around the Clock and the Calendar

The urge toward generosity and compassion tends to emerge from its hiding places late in the year, bursting into public view around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Public displays of charity abound around the holidays. In my experience, these visible expressions of … Continue reading

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I Wish I Would Always First Choose Reflection

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” ~ Confucius ~ +++ When I woke, over five hours ago, I glanced … Continue reading

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

My family had pets when I was a child, but like many children, I probably was not especially observant, so it is likely I missed some of the creatures’ attributes and characteristics. Even if I observed them, I have long … Continue reading

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I Envy the Sane and the Certain

I sometimes imagine myself spending time alone in desolate places—places essentially inaccessible except to me. The time I spend there is not necessarily lengthy, but is long enough for me to dig out, briefly, from under all the sediment of … Continue reading

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