Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

Sake and Such

We have family visiting for a week, so our often dull routines have been replaced to a great extent with more interesting activities. Even sitting around the dining table with additional people, just talking, is a welcome change. A visit … Continue reading

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Tolerance

Fear and rage are emotions of the young. Understanding, which arrives slowly with age, begins to alleviate fear. Wisdom, a nutrient grown from the soil of experience, eventually cures rage. These are not hard and fast certainties, of course, but … Continue reading

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Another Routine

A difference exists between laziness and apathy, though often they manifest in similar ways. Laziness is characterized by an unwillingness to invest energy to accomplish what may be an intriguing objective. Apathy would treat the same objective with passionless disinterest. … Continue reading

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The Politics of Fear

Consorting with heretics and treasonous enemies of the State.  That was the charge levied against members of the Democratic Party of Harris County, collectively, despite the fact that the statute was obviously unconstitutional.  The Texas legislature, vocal in its claims … Continue reading

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Moderation in Memories

Certain memories—like long-dormant volcanoes—occasionally erupt unexpectedly. Their sudden and explosive power takes over all five senses, focusing one’s consciousness on a single experience in the past, to the complete exclusion of the present. When those all-consuming memories take hold, one’s … Continue reading

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Soon

Local newspaper editors and their television-station-news-anchor counterparts do their part. They inform their respective publics about knifings, robberies, gang violence, murders by firearms, and other such information crucial to well-informed citizenry. News media with broader reaches—television networks and newspapers with … Continue reading

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Darkwater

This morning, I depart from my usual “diary” style post, wandering into fiction. I doubt I’ll continue working on this. But maybe… ================================== Glisten Pace loved to write. She was not a bad writer, but needed a lot of improvement … Continue reading

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Converse

Practice makes impatient. I want to know without having to learn. The time spent in medical school is time withheld from treating patients who are in dire need of medical attention. Prospective dentists could save many more teeth if not … Continue reading

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Conflicting Self-Interests

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. ~ Epictetus ~ Those words may raise a question for people who identify as writers. What would Epictetus say to them? Perhaps: … Continue reading

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Speed of Thought

Openness to new ideas or different perspectives is incompatible with fear. Fear tends to malignantly transform belief into certainty and opinion into fact. Though fear can provide a protective warning against danger, left unchecked, that protection can morph into paranoia. … Continue reading

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Scrambled Age and Ability

You’re too old. Those words sting, at first. But as their meaning sinks in, they take away strength in the legs and empty the lungs of air. Suddenly, breathing is not only impossible, it is undesirable. The only desire remaining … Continue reading

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Taste Test

Another day, the same images. Grey skies, green trees, cat sitting on her perch looking out the windows—an endless, repetitive loop. Thin fog, high in the trees, causes the tops of forest green pines to appear sage. On my drive … Continue reading

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Rusty

WordStar. Wordstar 2000. WordPerfect. Word. Lotus 1-2-3. Quattro Pro. Excel. Those are just a few of the PC productivity applications (word processing and spreadsheets) I have used over the years. There were, no doubt, many others. And, I am sure, … Continue reading

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Change of Scenery Across Time

Three windows. Each of the two smaller windows—one on the left and one on the right—are separated by mullions into eighteen panes, nine in the upper section and nine in the lower. Mullions split the wider, stationary window in the … Continue reading

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Force

Two days ago, on Memorial Day, I expressed some thoughts about how this country might express appreciation to people who made the ultimate sacrifice by fighting—and dying—in unjust wars. This morning, I read an essay, written by a Marine veteran, … Continue reading

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Preference

Theoretical possibilities inhabit one part of the brain; emotional responses to reality occupy another. Dealing rationally with theoretical possibilities tends to impose less stress on a person than does coping with emotions, which can overwhelm logic. But when theory and … Continue reading

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Mixed Feelings

Sunlight brilliantly illuminates a branch here and there, drawing my gaze to them. Behind those highlighted branches, the leaves and needles are deep green. Compared to the leaves bathed in sunlight, the forest background is dark and foreboding. The ways … Continue reading

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Inexplicable

Today is one of those Saturdays the universe calls upon to mete out punishment for an unknown—to me, anyway—infraction. The day is not appreciably different from most others, but something about it expresses a need to inflict revenge on me. … Continue reading

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La Chandelle

Paraffin. Paraffin wax was first created in 1830 by German chemist Karl von Reichenbach. Among its many uses, it first offered an especially valuable use in candle-making because it burned very cleanly and was cheaper to make than other candle materials … Continue reading

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Echoes

A brilliant blue bolt of lightning preceded the explosive crack of thunder by a fraction of a second. Then, nothing. No deep, guttural sounds rolling across the landscape. No additional flashes of light. For a moment, I thought the sight … Continue reading

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Unplanned Appreciation

Had traffic have been considerably lighter, I might have pulled to the side of the road to stare at the sky. But I was driving on a relatively busy four-lane divided highway, so I could not safely pull over. I … Continue reading

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Driftless Mind Wandering

Five hours of cardiac testing this morning. A nuclear medicine Myocardial Perfusion (MIBI) exam and other stress echo test(s) will assess the state of my heart. I have undergone such a series of tests in the past; many, many years … Continue reading

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Stake

Killing time is no less a crime than murder; and its punishment equally severe, yet just as pointless. +++ We speak of time, using terms like hours and weeks and years and centuries and eons; as if time existed in … Continue reading

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Prisoner of the Mind

I was the sole male in the presence of four females at last night’s dinner. Though it is impossible for me to accurately describe the dynamics of discussions in which I constitute a twenty-percent minority, suffice it to say they … Continue reading

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Desperately Seeking Satisfaction

Do some people enjoy their lives of crime because they get to choose their victims? I wonder whether they would find as much fulfillment if they had no choice in picking their victims? And how many people would choose a … Continue reading

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