Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

Where Decency Thrives and Compassion Flourishes

A friend left a comment here recently, suggesting that some countries’ cultures have a gentler view of the world than ours. That is so true. Our culture evolved from hard-nosed individualism, shedding compassion along the way as if the desire … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, Health, Kindness, Philosophy, Selfishness | 1 Comment


I’m tired, so this will be brief. Janine was moved out of ICU this afternoon to a regular room on the floor below. A while after the move, though, her blood pressure dropped precipitously, so the nurse said she may … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Health | 4 Comments


Yesterday was impossibly long, beginning when I went to sleep after midnight, awoke at 3:30, and then played out during a day that stretched out almost to midnight again. My wife’s sister helped me get my wife to the nearby … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Health | 5 Comments

Ill-Equipped to Help

I’m going to reveal something personal that I would rather keep private, but circumstances argue I should not keep the situation to myself. If for no other reason, I need to let some people who might happen upon this post … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

State of Mind

For a brief while this morning, the outdoor temperature will be tolerable. At the moment, according to my computer and according to my thermometer, the air temperature is 72F. I can vouch for that; I went outside earlier, where I … Continue reading

Posted in Just Thinking | 2 Comments

When Life and Death Were Simple

In my mind, I picture an ancient cave-dweller, a man in his early twenties. During the time he lived, the average lifespan of humans was only twenty-six. The rare thirty-year-old or rarer forty-year-old were considered extraordinary. And they were. They … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Writing | Leave a comment

Vibes, Good or Bad

Perhaps I’ve been fooling myself into thinking the isolation and lifestyle changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have had little impact on me. Maybe this intrusion into my day-to-day life has actually had more of an impact on me … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Inside Stories

If I wrote what’s really on my mind this morning, people who read it might feel compelled to alert the authorities that they think I might be suicidal. I am not. If I wrote what’s bothering me, I might be … Continue reading

Posted in Emotion | 4 Comments

Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Back to my old habits. Up before 4:00 a.m., ready to face the day. The tune and lyrics to an old song were among my first thoughts this morning: Well everybody’s heart needs a holiday, some time And everyone of … Continue reading

Posted in Memories, Music, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Message to Myself for the Day (that I share with whoever happens by)

I woke up much later than normal this morning, just shy of 6:00 a.m., leaving me precious little free time to engage in my normal morning routines (at least in their normal order). One of the first orders of business … Continue reading

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Another Visit to My Mental Clothing Store

I sit at my desk in my “morning clothes” (t-shirt, gym shorts, flip-flops), thinking these clothes should be perfectly acceptable any time of the day or night and in any place I find myself. They should be just fine at … Continue reading

Posted in Clothes, Covid-19, Nudity | 2 Comments

Civic Responsibility and Civic Vacations

We should forgive ourselves, and one another, for our occasional retreats from the news of the day. We should not judge ourselves for clinging to the safety of ignorance about current events, nor for tolerating a desire to stay “in … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Feelings, Food, and Film

I watched a brief, animated video produced by BBC this morning. Entitled, “Is a Crisis a Chance to Reset the World?” It parallels what I’ve been thinking and hearing from others who want the COVID-19 pandemic to serve as a … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Food, Television | Leave a comment


I said recently my writing is, for me, escapism. Escape from what, though? Specifically, from what does writing allow me to escape? When I insist on an answer, I feel like I’m taking on the identity of an unwilling patient, … Continue reading

Posted in Patriotism, Philosophy | 2 Comments

Lonely versus Alone

I feel a need to capture discrete moments, incidents and ideas that grab me by the lapels and slap me in the face. In no particular order: One of my brothers was told by his doctor he has bladder cancer; … Continue reading

Posted in Just Thinking | 4 Comments