it’s a wonderful life …

December 20, 2013

… and suicide. On watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” last night, I was struck by many things. But maybe most of all by the accuracy of its portrayal of the suicide. As Paul McHugh says in The Mind Has Mountains … “Most suicidally depressed patients are not rational individuals who have weighed the balance sheet […]

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the death of ivan ilyich …

December 10, 2013

… a new translation, done as the translator himself was dying.

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what are you going through?

October 7, 2013

The capacity to give one’s attention to a sufferer is a very rare and difficult thing; it is almost a miracle; it is a miracle. Nearly all those who think they have this capacity do not possess it. Warmth of heart, impulsiveness, pity are not enough. In the first legend of the Grail, it is […]

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the loneliness of the old …

October 1, 2013

“The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don’t even look for them any more. They have been […]

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2013 medconference … october 18-20

September 12, 2013

Following the Patient: The Key to Medical Care

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the gift of a mother’s face …

September 9, 2013

One day, Mary, a friend of mine, interviewed a woman who had survived a prolonged, traumatic ordeal.  After listening to her terrible story, she asked the woman what she desired.  “Nothing,” came the response.  But Mary could not believe it, and insisted:  “What is your greatest desire?”  And the woman answered, “Just to die.”  Mary […]

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we shall not cease from exploration …

August 19, 2013

And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. A masterpiece can be said to be a work with the capacity to outlast its time and speak to cultures vastly different from its own; to transcend its time and place and inspire […]

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Mystery … defined …

July 8, 2013

“Mystery is not the absence of meaning. It’s the presence of more meaning than we can comprehend.” Dennis Covington – Image Journal 77

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a modern day Polyneices …

May 15, 2013

“ … the point that obsessed Sophocles’ Antigone: that to not bury her brother, to not treat the war criminal like a human being, would ultimately have been to forfeit her own humanity.” Daniel Mendelsohn in The New Yorker “Unburied: Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the lessons of  Greed tragedy”

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moved for the destiny of the other …

May 2, 2013

I am a nurse, and this week I met a fifty year-old lady, who was admitted to my ward because she had muscular dystrophy which had caused her to become paralyzed and unable to breathe. Already the day she was admitted, she had grabbed my arm and had told me: “Let me die!”. The other […]

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