Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

The Happy, Healing Touch

I will have the house to myself today while mi novia trots off to a day-long reiki course. My deep skepticism about the legitimacy of such approaches to healing has been tempered. In particular, this approach, which is based on … Continue reading

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Shedding Skills

I wonder how many skills, recipes, and processes common in the 1600s have long since been lost to modern society? The same question applies to more recent timelines: the 1700s and 1800s and early, mid, and late 1900s; even since … Continue reading

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Life Goes On

Until it doesn’t, life goes on. That is the message I get as a “watcher.” By the way, I had planned on using another word for “watcher” but, fortunately, I learned early enough the error of my belief that the … Continue reading

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Confusing, Competing Ideas

Our way of life is threated both by mass shootings and by clandestine efforts by foreign governments to accelerate the collapse of western coalition governments and/or  our civil cohesion. I used the word “accelerate” instead of “cause” for a reason. … Continue reading

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Searching for Profundity

Certain circumstances exist in which, given a choice between the two, a person might opt to experience physical pain rather than emotional pain. It depends, of course, on the causes of the pain. Like chronic physical pain, chronic emotional pain … Continue reading

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Wonder

We sometimes assume we know ourselves, but in fact we know only how we appear from a limited perspective. One cannot know oneself until he looks at himself through both a prism and a magnifying glass. Even then, we cannot … Continue reading

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Curiositas

In a few weeks, if anyone signs up for the program, I will facilitate a five-session “course” about Articulating Your Unitarian Universalist Faith. Faith. The definition that applies to the word in the context of the course is “belief in … Continue reading

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Hold

A couple of days ago, I wrote about the ways in which secretaries free their colleagues to be more productive. I lamented not having a secretary at the moment I wrote those words because of my study’s disorder. This morning, … Continue reading

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Sour

Even on days like today, when my calendar is empty and I generally am free of obligations, I can feel trapped; cornered, as if my choices are limited and none of them are good. I suspect this troublesome attitude can … Continue reading

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Adaptation

Many years ago, I had secretaries. I relied on them to perform functions that I could have done myself, but that I would not have done as well. Their contributions enabled me to be far more productive than I would … Continue reading

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Cleansing

Something is afoot. Pardon the pun, but…atmospheric changes are in the air. Meteorological precipitation maps show the onslaught. At this moment, if one believes those illustrations, Fayetteville is experiencing torrential rain. The direction of motion of rainstorms to the north … Continue reading

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Understanding and Kindness

There is a significant difference in value between doing and watching—between actively participating and observing.  Involvement sometimes occurs at the expense of awareness. That is because, in the midst of taking part in an activity, one can overlook elements that … Continue reading

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Deeper

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. ~ Each time I read those words, or hear them spoken, they resonate with me. They capture, as well as any words can, the truth about the … Continue reading

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This Is More Like It

Kolbjørn Landvik and Calypso Kneeblood and Lineoleum Price have suddenly come back into my life, returning after a years-long absence. They appeared at my figurative mental doorstep, looking thin, dirty, and bedraggled, their pleading eyes enough to make me open … Continue reading

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Later Than Normal

All that is really worth the doing is what we do for others. ~ Lewis Carroll ~ Today began when I was awakened by the obnoxious sound of my smart phone’s alarm, which I set last night before going to … Continue reading

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The Clock Strikes Six

The time is closing in on five o’clock as I begin writing. I have been up since just before four. My mind has been struggling, without success, to remember a perplexing dream. I recall only that the dream was intense … Continue reading

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The Natural World

The grey sky, pale and cloudless, is visible behind swaying trees. Waves of sound—mimicking the cacophony of the ocean shore—keep time with the trees’ movement. In one instant, the entire forest seems to bend back and forth in response to … Continue reading

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Pausing

Today, after a phone visit with a fellow church member to discuss a “workshop” I have agreed to facilitate, I will stop by another church member’s house to copy a video onto a flash drive. That is in preparation for … Continue reading

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Tight

Muscles in the back of the neck become tight. The shoulders and upper back stiffen, as well. The tension causes knots to form within long strips of rigid, contracted muscle. Ribbons of tendons, stretched almost to the point of snapping, … Continue reading

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High School Memories and More

A chance event can behave like a stick of dynamite that, when detonated, breaches the mental dam that holds back a flood of memories. After more than fifty years, long lost recollections can rush in, hydrating layer upon layer of … Continue reading

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Dangers

Question everything. Believe nothing, least of all the stories you tell yourself. Your certainty scorches the thin layer of ice under your feet…your only protection from the boiling cauldron of misjudgment beneath you. ~ John Swinburn ~ Roughly three and … Continue reading

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Mirrors

The morning, thus far, has seemed almost a frenzy of activity, said activities infringing on achievement of my desired serenity. I suppose I will have to get used to the dislocation of my treasured quiet solitude; the directions given to … Continue reading

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Surrender

Once again, my love affair with the solitude of early morning darkness promises to be all too brief. Though I awoke at a reasonable hour, showering and shaving interfered with the commencement of the day. The time is now 6:30; … Continue reading

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The New Natural

Noise. Perpetual noise. Like the constant humming or grinding or scraping of crickets. If what I “hear” is simply evidence of tinnitus—or even if it is not—I want it to stop. Now. Some days, I suppose I’m just used to … Continue reading

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Expectations

My very long-time habit of waking extremely early seems, unfortunately, to be dissolving. This morning, I woke just after 6:30, a full hour later than my normal “latest” time to wake. The loss of an hour or more of my … Continue reading

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