“There’s a difference between solitude and loneliness.” ~ Maggie Smith. My father was an eclectic music lover.  Brought up in a Welsh chapel, he had an abiding love of hymns, especially as he grew up to be a minister of religion.  In his collection of LPs (long-playing records, from the olden days!), and then later […]

“Not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. My father and my father-in-law were two very different men.  My father descended from the mountain people of Wales, my father-in-law from the tribes of Africa.  My father, although the son of a truck-driver was […]

“A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.” ~ Albert Camus. This week I saw a headline that said that New York women were going to have to give birth alone.  It was not as stark as it sounded.  It wasn’t that the poor women were going to have to squat […]

“I often think the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh. One of the amazing things about the human body (and there are many) is its ability to develop immunity, over time.  We have these cells who, pacman-like, chomp up invaders and then display pieces of them […]

“Vows made in storms are forgotten in calm.” ~ Thomas Fuller.  I have one very clear memory of nursing during the early days of the AIDS epidemic.  A young man had developed a collapsed lung, which required the insertion of a tube into his chest wall to suck the air out of the pleural space […]

“Being an old farm boy myself, chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad; they’ve always made me glad.” ~ Malcolm X.  My first memory of realizing the awesomeness of nature, the truly astonishing wonder of it all was a view of the night sky from the deck of an ocean liner.  I […]

“To him who is in fear everything rustles.” ~ Sophocles. I have always been fascinated by my dreams.  I still have a clear memory of a dream I had as a child.  I was in a forest where all of the trees were ghostly white.  There may have been animals like statues, also white. The […]