For breakfast this morning, I ate a pomelo and a grapefruit mi novia bought a a few days ago. The pomelo, with its thick rind and its rather bland flavor was not especially good. But the small grapefruit (much smaller than those I recall from my childhood) was incredibly tasty! Its ruby red flesh combined tartness and sweetness into a joyous flavor I would like to have every morning for breakfast. The taste and coloring reminded me of my youth, when my father brought home big bags of Ruby Red Grapefruit from his travels around the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas. Ah, those were the days! Dad also brought home enormous papayas, bags of limes, oranges…and on and on. I rarely remember much 0f anything from my childhood, but this morning’s grapefruit breakfast triggered some wonderful memories. I remember Dad used to get up early and fry lots of bacon. And I remember hearing about his work history, before he settled on lumber wholesaling (buying lumber from mills and selling it to lumberyards). If memory serves me correctly, Dad worked in the Brownsville shipyard during World War II. And I have vague recollections of hearing, before that, that he was involved in importing South American fruits and vegetables—and that he made occasional trips to South America. If my siblings read this, I hope they might be able to verify or correct my recollection. I find it interesting that I have so few memories of my childhood. But I remember some specifics, like joining Dad on some of his multi-day trips to the Rio Grande Valley. During one of those trips, one of his customers, a lumberyard owner, joined Dad and me at a little diner in Woodsboro, Texas, where we had pie. The diner is probably long gone, but I may take a long, meandering drive to south Texas sometime before long, including a detour through Woodsboro to see whether I remember anything about the little town.


Groups of people usually are willing, albeit often begrudgingly, to acknowledge leaders. There is evidence of that fact in all sorts of political divisions—from neighborhoods to villages to towns to cities to states nations, and even the entire world. But the degree to which people support (or do not support) leaders of various social and political subdivisions varies to such an extent that “leadership” is often targeted for forced change. Leadership in such circumstances is equivalent to chaos. The reason, as I see it, can be traced to the fact that, within groups, the beliefs and interests of individuals and sub-groups are at odds with those of leaders and leaders’ acolytes. Even situations in which little or no discord exists “in the ranks,” unity eventually seems to eventually break down. Peoples’ interests and beliefs and desires change; the direction and rate of change varies within groups, leading to fractures in the bonds that once might have held the group unified tightly together. No matter the size or geographic scope or other attribute, groups of people always split at some point. Even globally “unified” groups do not stay serenely connected forever. Consider, for example, religions that one might think would reflect unity among their adherents. The Pope is not universally recognized by all Catholics as the leader of the Catholic religion. Protestants, it seems to me, are only vaguely unified; that unity is in name only. Efforts to establish global unity of sorts among nations, vis-a-vis the United Nations, have been only marginally—very marginally—successful. I wonder, in the face of all the evidence that suggests unity is a hopeless goal, why human beings keep trying to achieve the impossible? I guess we’re all romantics, deep down; we refuse to acknowledge that failure is guaranteed, so we try against insurmountable odds to achieve the impossible dream.


True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories.

~ Florence King ~


Somewhere, deep inside me, a seed sprouted long ago but still has never fully matured. If ever my body is autopsied, the coroner (or whoever) will find the sprout; it will be Don Quixote, clawing fiercely, trying to get out.


I know, it’s very late in the morning for me to be blogging. It may be a sign that I am transforming myself into the person I will become next.


Below is a video that expresses how to how to wish someone Ramadan Mubarak in various languages around the world. The video is from the Aljazeera website. I post it here in case you have an interest. It interests me, for reasons unknown.

About John Swinburn

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

  1. Trish, I hope I can make grapefruit a more frequent breakfast companion, at least!

  2. Trisha says:

    John, it’s wonderful that your memory was jogged by the pure and delicious taste of that grapefruit, to your father in a happy recollection … and then opened your thoughts to more memories of him. Good stuff, and good for you! Maybe grapefruit should become a breakfast ritual …

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