Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes "Intimacy is never wrong. It can be awkward, it can be unsettling, it can feel dangerous, it can seem out of place, but it’s never wrong."― John Swinburn

The Attraction of Seduction

I remember seeing Leon Redbone perform at a little club/venue in Houston, Texas many years ago. Though I’ve not been to a lot of concerts (and this was a very, very small venue, not really a concert hall), this one … Continue reading

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Unbearable Ennui

Perhaps the enormous consequences of the pandemic are only now beginning to sink in. Maybe that is why, this morning, I feel fragile; as if I were a hollow vessel whose skin is a microscopically-thin crystalline membrane left behind when … Continue reading

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Hiding Irrational Pragmatism in Plain View

An odd mixture of resolve and surrender seems to have taken hold of my psyche this morning. This unusual alloy, I suspect, has the potential of lasting for an eternity, acquiescing to the force of every hot wind in its … Continue reading

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That Is All

Today is Saturday, a day promising warmth, extreme humidity, and the likelihood of rain and, quite possibly, thunderstorms. Not a day for sunbathing. This day began, for me, a couple of hours ago while I was in that semi-conscious state … Continue reading

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Yesterday, I read the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the State’s “Safer at Home” order. I read both the majority opinion and the concurring and dissenting opinions made by individual justices. Among the dissenting comments (which, by the way, … Continue reading

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Alphabet in Ruins

The letter Z was removed from the Icelandic alphabet in 1974. What the…?!  No, really, the Icelandic alphabet no longer includes the letter Z. People who learned to read and write before 1974 still use it, according to the Guide … Continue reading

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Mindset: A Partial Circle

There was a time, when asked whether I was religious or believed in God, I would respond that I was not religious, but I was spiritual. That response felt utterly artificial, because the word “spiritual” felt like a fraudulent disguise … Continue reading

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Insufficient Fire

Almost ten years ago, I sent an email to quite a few (roughly 30) friends and acquaintances. Complete with a few glaring typos (corrected here), I think it’s safe to say I composed the invitation—that recipients join me to help … Continue reading

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The Natural Order

Yesterday afternoon, I was standing on the back deck, taking in the spectacular sky, the glorious sounds of song birds, and the sheer magnificence of the afternoon, when I heard a rustling in the leaves behind the house. I walked … Continue reading

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Herman Hesse and Trees

I heard this and read the words this morning. It is incredibly moving. The words were written by Herman Hesse. They are read here by Natascha McElhone. I encountered this when reading a recent post from Brainpickings and I owe … Continue reading

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Throwing Eight-Balls at Apartment Walls

One of the synonyms for ‘dream’ is ‘vision.’ A bad dream is a nightmare. As people get older, they complain of a loss of night vision. But is ‘nightmare’ actually a euphemism for a decline in visual acuity in low … Continue reading

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Acceptable Ambivalence

The first Icelandic Netflix series, Katla (a sci-fi series) will begin shooting soon in Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland. Part of the town has already been covered in volcanic ash in preparation for filming. Þorbjörg Gísladóttir, the director of the local … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Scandinavian, Television, Television series | 2 Comments

Excited Utterances

Twice before 4:30 a.m., screaming alerts from the NOAA weather radio jolted me awake. Though the warnings did not apply specifically to Hot Springs Village, they applied to sections of Garland County. The radio’s settings, I gather, call for the … Continue reading

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Fetching Tomatoes

Slices of green tomatoes dredged in cornmeal and fried in bacon grease. They are slightly tart and incredibly addictive. I believe I could eat two or three pounds by myself; of course, I would later pay the price for such … Continue reading

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Wild Turkey & the Future

A few nights ago, I poured myself an ounce or two of Wild Turkey 101 Kentucky Bourbon, over ice, which might represent an appalling affront to the arrogancenti who claim to be bourbon purists. Screw them. They stumble over simple … Continue reading

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