Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

Revelations of Bias and Its Brethren

Good morning. I’d love to have a conversation with you over coffee this morning, but I guess this blog post will have to do. +++ I was biased in favor of students of the liberal arts as far back as … Continue reading

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Give Peace a Chance

It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~ +++ Just twenty more days until we all should celebrate World … Continue reading

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Delays

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. ~ Pablo Picasso ~ Procrastination claws at progress, ripping productivity into useless ribbons of wasted time that cannot be sewn or glued or nailed together again. … Continue reading

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If You Have the Time

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero ~ Thanks in large part to the generous assistance of my sister-in-law, we moved the majority of the remaining “stuff” from my … Continue reading

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Attempted Survival

A major hurricane, Ida, is poised to slam into the Gulf Coast today, somewhere in the neighborhood of New Orleans. Fierce winds of 145 miles per hour or more and a monstrous storm surge, coupled with power outages and crippled … Continue reading

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Periodic Pleasure

The movers come this morning. They will extract from her house my IC’s remaining household furniture, her refrigerator, a few pieces of outdoor furnishings, and miscellaneous other odds and ends. They will truck the stuff to my house, will unload … Continue reading

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Buddha in the Distance

Refraining from all evil, not clinging to birth and death, working in deep compassion for all sentient beings, respecting those over you and pitying those below you, without any detesting or desiring, worrying or lamentation — this is what is … Continue reading

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Night on the Town

The streets of a small town at a quarter past four in the morning tell stories that cannot adequately be told in the light of day. Those dark, deserted streets reveal the abandoned hopes of people who do not fit … Continue reading

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Twisting a Little

Some days are much harder than others, though I don’t know just why. Some days seem filled with blocks of concrete and lead, piled on my chest so high I cannot hope to breathe. But, then, everything suddenly seems fine. … Continue reading

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Such is Life

My sleep was interrupted by pronouncements, by two alarm clocks, that the time to arise had come. And so I arose, went to the kitchen, started the coffee, and got dressed. By the time I returned to the kitchen, the … Continue reading

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Blind Optimism

  The sun had long since risen and the clock was poised to announce that the time was 7:00 a.m. when I awoke this morning. For a person who is used to getting up very early—usually between 4:30 and 5:30, … Continue reading

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Later

I got an email from a friend from church yesterday, letting me know she and her husband are leaving in their RV today, heading toward Nova Scotia. Suddenly, I wanted to be in that RV, making the long, intriguing trip … Continue reading

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We are at War with Ourselves and Neither Side is Winning

Several months ago, I suggested that the world would be a better place if every culture would embrace the concept of mid-career “mandatory volunteerism.” I argued that the oxymoronic concept be expanded well beyond the idea that conservatives seem to … Continue reading

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All the Secrets of All the Oceans

H2O If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. ~ Loren Eiseley ~ A woman who became friends with my late wife while they both attended graduate school at the University of Texas has long predicted … Continue reading

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Beyond Reach

Namasté I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace. When you are in that place in you and I … Continue reading

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Tempus Nervosa

My friends are getting older, so I guess I must be, too. ~ Greg Brown ~ I think of these lyrics on friends’ birthdays, days like today, when we celebrate the formality of delving deeper into geezerhood. Today, a good … Continue reading

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Truth Abides in Fullness

Last night, just as we sat down to watch Season 3, Episode 1 of How to Get Away with Murder, the power went out. Moments later, it came back on. We settled in again to watch the series. But the … Continue reading

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Unwarranted Ennui

Try to be positive. But beware that positivity may be impossible some days. Some days drip with sarcasm and skepticism. It’s hard to say why. Even after good news, positive experiences, and a good breakfast, the world can slit the … Continue reading

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The Open Mind

Zen in its essence is the art of seeing into the nature of one’s being, and it points the way from bondage to freedom. ~ D. T. Zuzuki ~ +++ Yesterday’s post here weakly advocated for minimalism. The quotation with … Continue reading

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The Problem with Prolificacy

The world is full of good people. If you can’t find one, be one. ~ Anonymous ~ +++ I could find all sorts of faults with the structure of—or even the content delivered by—that anonymous quotation, but I think the … Continue reading

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Scramble

Yesterday was a scramble, beginning in earnest the process of relocating household goods and finding places to put them. But we did not spend the entire day on that undertaking. Instead, around 3:00 p.m., we stopped for a visit with … Continue reading

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The Appeal of Nipples

If our nature is permitted to guide our life, we grow healthy, fruitful, and happy. ~ Araham Maslow ~ I think Maslow was right, though our natures sometimes hide beneath layers of solid granite formed from cooling volcanic magma. We … Continue reading

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My Education as a Human Being Continues

The mind is very difficult to see, Very delicate and subtle; It moves and lands wherever it pleases. The wise one should guard his mind, For a guarded mind brings happiness. ~ Dhammapada ~ +++ When she writes her rare … Continue reading

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Ancestral Roots and Vegetables

I found the following quotation in my little black companion, The Essence of Zen: An Anthology of Quotations, only after I wrote this morning’s post but before I posted it. The quotation seemed so apropos that I could not leave … Continue reading

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Dimming

Generally, when I consider the stresses of everyday life, I think of matters that put a person on edge; things that cause noticeable changes in one’s frame of mind. I think of those changes easily traceable to mental burdens which … Continue reading

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