Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

Riding on the Backs of Dragons

When I woke this morning, I remembered everything—the whole dream. I should have transcribed it then, because now I remember only fleeting scenes. I remember the woman’s friend, Max Sabrrir, finding me after we got separated while he was inquiring … Continue reading

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Clarity

A few days ago, in a conversation with a friend, I revealed that I often had been extremely demanding and hard on my staff during my work life. She said she, too, had high expectations of her employees—when those expectations … Continue reading

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Detained for Questioning

Today’s blog post has been detained for questioning. In the event the answers do not lead to criminal charges, the post will be released on its own recognizance and will be free to muddy the internet with random thoughts and … Continue reading

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Broken Places

How do people become corrupt? How do people fail to embrace ethics and consequently engage in unethical behavior? Or, after accepting and internalizing an ethos of integrity that translates into moral behavior, why do they abandon integrity in favor of … Continue reading

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And Here I Go

Mi novia and I got our second COVID vaccine boosters on Friday. Mine had no effect on how I felt yesterday, but mi novia felt achy and very tired. In fact, she spent much of the day either sleeping or … Continue reading

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No Legitimate Complaints

Yesterday, I painted the laundry room in my current home. Today, I will finish that job with some touch-ups and will tackle the big “bonus area” behind the garage. I should have painted both rooms years ago; I intended to … Continue reading

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Masquerade

Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.    ~ Alan Watts ~ Scraggly. The dictionary definition of the word is: “irregular; uneven; jagged” or “shaggy; ragged; unkempt.” The word and its associated definitions describe my … Continue reading

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Freedom is a Myth

Several months ago, on a whim, I explored housing availability and prices in various places along the Texas coast. Later, I looked into houses on acreage in places as far-flung as Dripping Springs, Oklahoma and El Paso, Texas and Grant … Continue reading

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Care for an Embrace?

Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen. ~ Karl Marx ~ We know the concept, in English, as “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” The concept suggests a philosophy in support of free … Continue reading

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The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken is among that relatively small cluster of narrative poems that deliver a summary of every lifetime ever lived. Robert Frost, in writing that masterpiece, might have felt the overwhelming emotions hidden just beneath the surface of … Continue reading

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Enjoy Life

A certain philosophy admonishes us to, in effect, “live for today, for tomorrow you may die.” Increasingly, I find myself accepting that philosophy’s premise. I do not subscribe to a related philosophy that excuses an utterly careless lifestyle that involves … Continue reading

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All the Pretty Questions

The clothing we wear is dictated, in large part, by our social environments. Our social environments emerge from innumerable factors that combine to create our cultures. According to notes from a University of Michigan “women’s studies” course entitled Gender and … Continue reading

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Kisses

How could I have lived this long without being exposed to the incredible allure of the poetry and prose of Gretel Ehrlich? Reading her words is like absorbing a powerful, painful, yet addictive shock–one that cries out for more of … Continue reading

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Requiem

I thought the problem was my computer. Or my smartphone. But it’s clearly not them. They are not to blame. Google is to blame. Google’s Gmail is refusing to accept some messages sent to me, yet Google notifies no one … Continue reading

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Under My Skin

When I woke from a dream this morning around 3, I made a point of focusing on the dream so I would remember it when I awakened for the day a few hours later. Then, later, when I finally got … Continue reading

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Shared Spaces

How is it, I wonder, that an ongoing, but unspoken, longing transforms from an aspiration to a concrete action? The answer, I think, is hidden beneath the rubble of private thoughts; wishes kept in a locked box, its key concealed … Continue reading

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Broken Things

Fierce rainstorms—replete with high winds, brilliant flashes of lightning, and house-rattling claps of rolling thunder—began yesterday afternoon and grew progressively more powerful during the night. At the moment, the incessant noise and blinding lightning seem to have settled down; I … Continue reading

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Time to Work or to Wonder

We got home last night, a day earlier than we originally had planned, because weather forecasts suggested today would be a miserably wet, unpleasant drive. This morning’s weather forecast presented a somewhat different outlook, calling for light rain in the … Continue reading

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Target

The motel breakfast bar is bustling this morning with several of the same people who started the day yesterday with dark roast coffee and assembly line eggs and sausage. That description of the breakfast service is not meant to be … Continue reading

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Searching for a Soul

Huntsville changed dramatically in the nine or ten years since my last visit. Even then, it had morphed from the sleepy college community of the mid-seventies into a sprawling rural town trying desperately—but failing—to be urban. Now, roughly a decade … Continue reading

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Appreciating Reality

Even in the midst of turbulence and trouble, some days wrap their hours around you in a tender embrace. They remind you that life is, for most of us, tender and gentle. Yesterday was such a day. The few gratifying … Continue reading

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Listen to Your Wisdom

My habit of getting up early and—thirty minutes to an hour after I wake—spending a like amount of time writing for my blog, is firmly entrenched. It is sufficiently habitual that I feel uncomfortable when circumstances prevent me from keeping … Continue reading

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A Moment in Time

The weather forecasters predict today will be another of those late Winter days when Spring attempts to burst through the wreckage of the previous season. They forecast the day will start clear and cool—temperatures in the low 40s—and will finish … Continue reading

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Overcome

A couple of days ago, at my invitation, my sister-in-law came to my house to go through my late wife’s jewelry. Even though my wife died fifteen months ago, I have been unable to force myself to do anything with … Continue reading

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A Treatise on the Passage of Time

We departed Standard Time on March 13 at 2:00 a.m. We will return to Standard Time on November 6 at 2:00 a.m. That change in clock has disturbed my patterns. I was used to getting up no later than 5:00 … Continue reading

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