Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

Amo a casi todos…

Perhaps my viewpoint is colored by romantic notions of the way things once were. Or, maybe my perspective is influenced by a combination of respect and guilt. Guilt that the privileged among us are allowing a way of life for … Continue reading

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It’s Easy if You Try…

Finns are at the polls as I write this, casting their ballots to replace President Sauli Niinistö, who will finish his second six-year term in March and who is not eligible for reelection. Finland is one of several Scandinavian countries … Continue reading

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Committed

I was confident I had bounced back—almost completely. But that was before I decided to take a “nap” after dinner, sometime before 6. I woke briefly at around 10 and periodically during the night, but aside from those moments, I … Continue reading

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Verbose and Grateful

I came across a Lebanese Arabic word yesterday that felt almost as though it had been coined just for me. Soubhiyé. One definition I encountered—a definition that feels luxurious and comfortable and beautiful—was this: “the whisper of dawn, when the … Continue reading

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An Acceptable Stabbing

Another grey day, but the temperature promises to remain reasonably comfortable, with a high of roughly 60°F. Yesterday, while I was sleeping (when was I not?), a new supply of propane was delivered, so we can again use our gas … Continue reading

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Insufficient

Another grey, coolish day. I would like to slip back into bed and sleep for the next umpteen hours. Whether it was the very rare prime rib dinner I prepared last night or Monday’s injection I received at the cancer center, … Continue reading

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Think Some More

Injections that protect against infection but that cause bone pain. Pills that calm bone pain. More injections that address blood deficiencies that probably were caused by chemicals intended to kill cancer cells. It’s not overwhelming, by any means, but the … Continue reading

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Through the Trees

Yesterday, a friend braved the cold and ice to visit us for the afternoon. During our conversations, she told us about hearing of a practice, taken near the beginning of each year, of selecting a single word to help guide … Continue reading

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Transformations in Body and Spirit

Competitive mind-manipulation is the process to which I am subjecting myself this morning. On one face of the process, I am shocking myself more thoroughly awake by drinking an intense demitasse of expresso. The other face attempts to sooth me … Continue reading

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A Career of Reflective Thought

Twenty-five hours after completing yesterday’s blog post, I started this one. Oh, I’ve interrupted myself a few times, but here it is. The cat’s been fed, I’ve weighed myself, taken a mouthful of medications, washed some dishes, measured my blood … Continue reading

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Oncological Musings

I was reminded yesterday that black ice can challenge even big, heavy, four-wheel-drive vehicles. The truck in which I was riding lost traction (at very slow speed) and slid off the road onto a slope that led to an ice-filled … Continue reading

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A Brief Thought or Two

Bizarre, unpleasant dreams filled part of my night, attempting to ruin what could have been some relaxing moments of sleep. That odd space between wakefulness and sleep can be brutal; on one hand, one is aware that a dream is, … Continue reading

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A Welcome Experience

Yesterday was a sleep day. I slept, or tried to sleep, for most of the day. The ache that has been hounding me, off and on, for weeks decided to take up semi-permanent residence in my head. Sleeping was the … Continue reading

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Brittle Tensions

The sky is blue, the air is “brisk” (5°F, feels like -9°F), and my head is pounding. My broken blog has been fixed…to some extent…but the individual posts are not viewable. The “fixes” cost me several hundred dollars, which I … Continue reading

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Engagement and Chill

A friend who—rather unexpectedly—visited me in the hospital last week happened to be at church yesterday morning. We conversed briefly but did not have the chance to spend much time visiting before the service began. Because by the time the … Continue reading

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Temporarily Feeble

An absence from my blog feels odd to me, as if I have been incarcerated for several days as punishment for an inexcusable infringement of rules I had not realized I had so badly broken. Returning to write, even a … Continue reading

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Scary Thought

Just minutes after confirming an appointment with a chiropractor’s office this morning (to have some work done on tight muscles in my neck and shoulders that I think may be responsible for my headaches), my oncologist’s office called to reschedule … Continue reading

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Again Tomorrow

As if cancer isn’t enough, some sort of virus (or whatever) has either returned or has come out of hibernation. The symptoms: headache, chills, fever, fatigue…and perhaps a few others that do not come immediately to mind. I have been … Continue reading

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Random Acts of Throwing Words onto the Screen

I was up early enough to spill my early morning thoughts onto the screen. Thanks to feeling unwell, though (and an obnoxiously loud, yowling cat), I was slow to follow my routine. The predictable headache is now accompanied by an … Continue reading

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Early is Better

Thick, grey skies. Snow showers. Rain. Slick roads. Cold winds that blow through even the heaviest coats. Tree branches draped with melting snow. Promises of icy conditions as temperatures fall later today and tonight. I believe the words drab, dingy, … Continue reading

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Getting to It

This published post will be number 4,560 in this blog; another 550 drafts await either my decision to revise or to delete them. Having written more than 5,000 posts for this blog, alone, I have to believe there must be … Continue reading

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Not Today

My fingers continue to rest on the keyboard, awaiting instructions from my brain. They—my fingers—have waited for at least half an hour, expecting signals to flood the nerves in my hand any second. But nothing happens; as if my brain … Continue reading

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Obligation

A tangled swirl of unwelcome thoughts ruins any hope for sleep and serenity. Last night, the idea of a warm flannel cocoon was appealing. This morning, resting in a tub of very hot water—which conforms to the shape of my … Continue reading

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In the Context of a New Year

The first day of the New Year provides a convenient milestone, a moment ideal for declaring a fresh start. Then, again, the first Thursday of every month offers the same opportunity, as does the first day of each week. When … Continue reading

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Rest and Relax

The fact that I have a fascination with Time has been privately called to my attention. I do not disagree; in fact, I would go almost as far as agreeing that my interest in Time is a shallow obsession (shallow … Continue reading

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