We had dinner with friends last night. They made New Orleans style barbecue shrimp (with fresh Gulf shrimp), bread, and dessert. We provided a salad. Oh, and they even provided a stand-in shirt for me, knowing (as they did) of my propensity for splashing my meals all over the front of my shirt. The stand-in t-shirt could tolerate a bit of barbecue shrimp splash. My newish, unacceptably over-priced button-down could not. At least not without considerable whining and expressions of regret over my willingness to eat barbecue shrimp unless I was wearing a plastic poncho. I appreciated the stand-in shirt. It saved me from having to listen to complaints from that whiney button-down.

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

~ Robert Frost ~


We keep waffling. First, we were going to drive to New York and beyond. Then, we were going to Wisconsin and beyond. Then, to the far reaches of the Pacific Northwest. Then, briefly, to Florida’s Gulf coast. Or was that a dream? At any rate, I know only that we may be leaving sometime in September for destinations unknown. I actually like the spontaneity of waiting until the day of departure—or even a day or two later—to make the decision about one’s destination.


On occasion, someone will say to me some version of the following: “Do you ever regret posting some things? Do you ever wish you could turn back time and snatch the post back before it goes ‘live’ online?”

The moving finger writes, and having written moves on. Nor all thy piety nor all thy wit, can cancel half a line of it.

~ Omar Khayyam ~

“Of course not,” I answer. Being a nonbeliever, I have never feared being struck by retaliatory lightning bolts. Perhaps that’s the difference between a believer and a nonbeliever. The believer tries to moderate his behavior just enough to avoid lightning bolts; the nonbeliever may or may not try to moderate his behavior; it’s a matter of mood.


In just a few hours, I will attempt to engage in a conversation of sorts with a small sample of members and friends from my church. I will talk about my “faith journey,” and they will either engage in question & answer with and without me or not. I expect a small turnout and an even smaller post-presentation gathering. That suits me, as I am more comfortable in an intimate setting than on a massive, circular stage that rotates in front of a stadium-sized studio audience. The smaller the audience, the easier it will be for me to dismiss the hecklers.


Daylight has begun to creep around outside my window. I think I should go explore it a bit.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Explore

  1. David, I hope your wife’s illness responds positively, quickly, and completely to treatments. I like your version of Frost’s position: “We heal, and it goes on.” That statement is full of confidence and hope. I hope, too, that you get access to massive quantities of lobster.

  2. davidlegan says:

    For months now, I have received your daily blog before going to bed. IT is somehow a “wry grin” moment to see it pop up on my computer as I wrestle with the daily journal I keep about my wife’s illness – knowing that your new day has begun long before my yesterday has ended.

    We too are taking a long September trip. I DO know that the first stop is Virginia Beach, where I will play guitar with my best friend Charlie until my fingers can stand no more. And after that I know that New England is in the cards. Not sure how far…far enough to get all of the lobster I can eat; I do know that.

    I too am a Frost fan. (“One could do worse than to be a swinger of birches.”) But I can add to “it goes on.” Just three words: “We heal, and it goes on.” If we don’t, it does not.

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