Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

No.

I go in for another chemotherapy treatment today. Less than four hours from now. Every time I go in, I have new questions—or old questions I forgot to ask. Before I settled in to write this post, I typed eleven … Continue reading

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Competing Ideas

Unlike physical pain, emotional injuries are abstractions. They consist of interpretations of intellectual encounters. They express one’s understanding of experience through a unique filter. They are responses to circumstances—mental acrobatics driven by unseen forces. Though they arise from the imagination, … Continue reading

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Knots

Clearly, all of us have lost our minds. There is no question about it. We go about our days as if there is nothing wrong with electing drunk, rabid alligators to manage our country’s affairs. The solution, of course, is … Continue reading

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Quid Pro Quo

Gmail has about 1.5 billion users worldwide, according to Statistica. If a post on X (Twitter) had been proven to be legitimate (but, fortunately, the post was bogus), those users’ accounts would have disappeared with the closure of Gmail in … Continue reading

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Sleep and Such

My intentions this morning were smothered in sleep. I woke late, giving myself so little time to get ready for church that I opted to stay home and view the service online. But not long after waking and having coffee … Continue reading

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Uncertain

He would have turned 14 next month, but Flaco died before reaching that birthday. His last year of life was the only year he experienced freedom, courtesy of a vandal who shredded the wire mesh of his cage in the … Continue reading

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The Motion of Ideas

The last printed edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica was “the 2010 version of the 15th edition, which spans 32 volumes and 32,640 pages.” Though the resource continues now exclusively online, the cessation of the print version marked a significant acknowledgement … Continue reading

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Indeed Indeed

One’s personal freedoms are hard to measure, yet the scope of those freedoms correlate closely to the number of people in what I’ll call a person’s “sphere of experience.”  The correlation is a negative; the greater the number of people … Continue reading

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Personal Musings

Yesterday, the dermatological nurse I visited prescribed an antibiotic and a topical medication for the rash behind my right knee. Shortly after that visit, my pharmacy called to inform me that the deductible for the topical would be $387 and … Continue reading

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In the End, There’s Always Nudity

In yesterday’s post, I expressed my fiercely negative, deeply judgmental, extremely bigoted feelings about a woman I saw wearing a Trump sweatshirt. A while later, on Facebook, I came across a link to an article from a New York Times … Continue reading

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Half the Day

I watch the woman saunter by, led to an empty restaurant booth by a harried waiter. Three or four men, all wearing baseball caps, follow her. Knowing almost nothing about the woman—nor the men who accompany her—I immediately make a … Continue reading

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Clumsy Thinking

When a person refers to this blog as a diary, I am startled at the characterization, but I should not be surprised by it. It has become precisely that. This diary, though, is not a private record of my thoughts … Continue reading

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Song of Saturday

I read a New York Times online piece this morning. Entitled Jimmy Carter’s Long Goodbye, the article was classified as a piece on politics, but the writer’s focus was not on politics. Rather, it expressed what I sense is the … Continue reading

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Lessons

Rest last night has not diminished my fatigue this morning. I should be showering now, but my energy is at one of its low ebbs. If not for my appointment to have “labs” taken by the oncologist’s staff this morning, … Continue reading

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Pink Sky Streaks Send Positive Signals

It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. ~ Frederick Douglass ~ I hear the sounds of a distant helicopter. Of course … Continue reading

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Nothing of Consequence

If my accumulated sleep during the past several weeks could be applied for later use, I might be able to get by without any sleep at all until sometime in late March or early April. Alas, I doubt that is … Continue reading

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Upright in My Chair

Exhaustion seemed to emerge from nowhere, after a day during which I felt moderately awake and alert. I went to bed very early last night, but awoke regularly; almost on the hour. Phaedra’s yowls woke me from a light sleep … Continue reading

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Easy to Dismiss

White chalk, highlighted with charcoal, rusty orange, and dark green spikes. In between, lively grey stretches—almost barren and empty—attempt to represent the sky. The broken colors in my line of vision could be streaks of an incomplete painting, but they … Continue reading

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Scattered

Sleep remained elusive last night, despite the fact I felt tired—not exhausted, but sufficiently fatigued that I thought sleep would come easily. It did not. I slept a little, I’m sure, but not nearly enough. I’ll see what the day … Continue reading

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Think of Feathers

Yesterday, I replaced my cell phone with a much, much newer model of the same brand and same series (my old phone’s battery lasted only a few hours on full charge). Though most of the data were transferred from my … Continue reading

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My Desire Clashes with my Political Reasoning

Yesterday’s chemo treatment went well until the infusion of carboplatin. Not long after the infusion started, I began to have difficulty breathing—not terrible, but noticeable. But with each passing minute, it seemed to get more difficult. I started coughing occasionally; … Continue reading

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Unnecessary

This post will be brief. I do not feel well, but then again I do not feel especially ill; just a little bit on the uncomfortable side of “blah.” Perhaps I ate something that doesn’t agree with me; but if … Continue reading

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It Ain’t Fiction, Calypso

One of the first things I do most mornings—after eating pills and recording my body’s behavior—is to skim various places on the internet. This morning, my skimming took me to a piece on the NPR website. Reading Linda Wertheimer’s goodbye … Continue reading

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Woke

Fuzzy scenes from a dream last night: I was conversing with Leonard Cohen and a woman I did not know while we walked toward what appeared to be a blighted neighborhood. Cohen handed me a saddle-stitched and folded sheath of … Continue reading

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We Are the World

Two days ago, mi novia bought a new cat tree house—an artificial, carpet-covered structure designed for a cat to play, exercise, relax, and sleep on—for my study. It replaces a small painter’s ladder Phaedra (the cat) often uses to peer … Continue reading

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