Philosophy is an Ambulance

Grief can arrive on a gust of wind, a glimpse at a calendar, or a half-heard snippet of conversation on the street.

Guilt and Grace

On January 5 I walked along the sea in Crete and remembered my father who died on this day last year. The things I should have done, the desire to rewrite the past. But why punish myself with guilt? A line from Bergman’s The Seventh Seal nattered at my thoughts: “I often wonder why people […]

The Shock of Nevermore

Each time I pick up a pen these days, I am reminded of Ingmar Bergman’s admonition that “the only worthwhile subject is man’s relationship with god.”

The Last Year of My Father

After receiving a lung and transforming himself into a grand old man, my father slipped suddenly from this world.

The Prevention of Dying

I’d like to be a little beacon of joy for my father, chipper and zen and awake at six in the morning eating a piece of fruit. Instead, I stay up late reading Schopenhauer.

Pneumonia Notes

When the body rebels, the mind realizes it’s been preoccupied with the wrong things. A Greek word for the inflammation of the lung, Hippocrates described it as “the illness named by the ancients.”

My Grandfather’s Lamp

One of the finest things I own is a lamp with a stern brass pirate posing at the base, one hand on his hip and the other gripping a long sword.