Category: Mortality

Robert Rosenblum

On December 6 of last year, the art historian and educator Robert Rosenblum died of cancer in New York City, where he worked and taught. He was 79.  Since our tabloid culture finds no prurient interest in the partners Rosenblum was or was not “hooking up” with, most people outside the art ghetto won’t grasp...

Sandrine Pecher: 1970-2006

My great friend, traveling partner, and constant source of encouragement, Sandrine Pecher, died Tuesday morning after a nine-month battle with lung cancer. Sandrine had valiantly accepted whatever treatments the medical community could offer, including several different chemotherapies and radiation. Just last week, she told me that new lesions had been detected on her liver, but...

Our Unusual Species

Thanks to sciences like biology and books like the Bible, we humans see ourselves at the apex of nature’s dominion, and not just because we’re at the top of the food chain. We’re special. We’re chosen. We’re God’s favorite of all the creatures. We have feelings, and languages, and the ability to make things that...

End Times

Despite God’s omniscience, He, apparently, can always use some help in orchestrating His master plan for His earthly kingdom and the wretched sinners that inhabit it. This is why more than a few — tens of thousands — fervent souls are working to bring about the apocalypse sooner than later. As with almost every page...

South American Travel Notes, Part Two

The butterfly lives on average for three weeks. Although it enjoys many months as a larva and caterpillar, its winged existence is intensely beautiful and unimaginably brief. In the few days it has before it expires, the butterfly must find a mate and leave behind the next generation. Its brilliantly gaudy wings help attract a...

Poem: What’s Left Unsaid

I don’t think I’m good enough. I do think you’ll leave me. You’re not what I fantasized about when I pleasured myself all those lonely years. You’re the best I can do. We won’t ever be on the cover of a glossy magazine dedicated to the beautiful (and interesting). We will learn to be content...

Poem: Go On

The night sky, tinged with neon blue around the edges. The day sky, diffusing into whiteness past the clouds. The farmers plot, unbound by hedges. The sacred Mecca, bewitched by shrouds.   Infinity is what we make it, the way we gauge this endless space Immune to ploys — one cannot fake it — suffused...

On the Death of a Young Woman

Yesterday news came that a young woman we had known briefly, call her Miss C, had died after several years of intermittently successful treatments for various cancers. She was 30. For as long as we were acquainted with her — only the last two years of her life — she was either suffering from her illness...

Poem: A Comforting Notion

The multitudes of now-anonymous soldiers on the fields Of Agincourt And at Hastings And everyplace else Where unimportant men took the sword in their guts So that their betters, the royal ones, Might have more land to control and glory to drink, As though the applause of history were nectar that could be stored For...

Never Let it End

If it’s true that time flies when you’re having fun, then I’m frightened that my life will be over before I’m ready. Lately my days have been full — overflowing even — with challenging fun, with creativity, with laughter and beauty. I catch myself thinking, “I wish this would never end,” and I feel a...