Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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


I’ve been up for more than an  hour. I spent much of that hour writing something I will never post. In fact, I suspect I will delete the file. It will do no one any good to read what I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Better to Know than Not

I just returned from I expected to be a routine follow-up visit to my oncologist. Instead, I learned that my CT scan from earlier in the week showed some troubling changes. Nothing major, necessarily, but of sufficient concern that my … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Covid-19, Fear | 7 Comments

Life After Life, An Untold Story

An unfortunate fact about life is that it does not go on forever. Rather, life does not go on long enough for some of us to learn the ultimate outcome of intriguing circumstances swirling around us. Take the novel coronavirus, … Continue reading

Posted in Covid-19, Demographics, Economics | Leave a comment

Masked Man at the Market and More

This morning began with a few sips of coffee and a quick view of online news before I jumped in the car and headed to the grocery store for the “senior hour.” But I got my wires crossed. I thought … Continue reading

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Attractive Definitions

A dictionary’s second definition of metaphysics is the one that pleases me most: Philosophy, especially in its more abstruse branches. The corresponding definition of the primary adjectival form, metaphysical, pleases me just as much: Concerned with abstract thought or subjects, as … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, Time | Leave a comment

Musical Provocation

I listened to a mariachi version of Laura’s Theme from Doctor Zhivago yesterday afternoon, thanks to an email message Gustavo Arellano sent to his followers. Arellano is best known for his “Ask a Mexican” syndicated column that originated with the … Continue reading

Posted in Emotion, Music | Leave a comment

Self-Care in Isolation

I had to search a while for the source of the list that prompted the modified version below.  A friend posted it on her Facebook feed; it took me some time even to find that post. Then, it was not … Continue reading

Posted in Covid-19, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Hiding Behind Masks

Who are we, people who leave our homes with naked faces but who, before we interact with others, cover up with masks? Are we hiding our personalities behind those masks? Are we secretly glad to conceal our identities from strangers? … Continue reading

Posted in Covid-19 | Leave a comment

Elvin’s Exorcism

I’ll try something different today. Instead of attempting without success to craft a wannabe witty stream-of-consciousness screed, I’ll explain myself. My name is Elvin and I live inside a body that is not my own. I use it because it … Continue reading

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Trusting Strangers II

I failed to finish my last post. That oversight was caused by a combination of memory lapse and the fact that I had to drive to Little Rock to return a courtesy car and pick up the Outback. Nine-hundred-forty-two dollars … Continue reading

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Trusting Strangers

Hitchhiking had developed an ugly reputation by the time I was in college. Both drivers and prospective hitchhikers were warned, by that time, of the dangers of allowing strangers into one’s car or entering the cars of strangers. Bad things—robbery, … Continue reading

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Fat Chance

I drove our Subaru Outback to Little Rock yesterday. I drove a Subaru Ascent home. The service department told me the work on my car (65K maintenance, exhaust system recall notice work, and four new tires) would take all day, … Continue reading

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Testosterone Poisoning

A friend, when describing the affliction whose symptoms are characterized by machismo, also known as extreme masculine hyper-sensitivity, uses the sobriquet “testosterone poisoning.” I think the term describes the infirmity quite nicely. Until I heard the phrase, I did not … Continue reading

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Exhuming Memories

This morning, my creativity is at a low ebb. Instead of attempting to write something that would surely be hollow and dark, I’ll remember mornings when I felt more energy and more passion than I do at this moment by … Continue reading

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Big Dreams and Facing Facts

Facts often block the way for wishes, desires, and dreams. Facts dig wide trenches between here and there…between now and then…filling the channels with acid and alligators and creatures hungry to tear hopes into lifeless memories. Those damn facts! Why … Continue reading

Posted in Ideas, Justice, Philosophy | Leave a comment