Category: Mortality

Human Animals

Despite our opposable thumbs, superior intelligence, and special relationship with God, we are animals. Lucky for us, we’re at the top of the food chain. But we’re still animals.  Should you require a bracing reminder, go to an airport, or visit an overpopulated city. Look at your brothers and sisters at work, scurrying to wherever,...

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: To Breathe

Only when the thoughtless labor of taking and letting out becomes something Thought about Do we understand — appreciate being too profound for our speed-addled minds — the essential vitality of Drawing breath.   Filling ourselves with life. Expelling that which only trees and plants find useful. When breathing quickens we know the chase is...

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: A Fresh Coat

When spring arrives, bearing birds and buds upon its shoulders, The chips and cracks of winter announce themselves Starkly Bluntly almost. With no consideration for propriety. The porch cries out for a fresh coat of paint, a new veneer to camouflage the imperfections Lurking beneath. The dog loses his hair, dropping shiny threads where he...

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...