Hospice 4

Hospice 4

More than half a century ago, when I first read George Eliot’s novel Middlemarch, I came upon a passage which I committed immediately to memory. It runs: That element of tragedy that lies in the very fact of its frequency has not yet wrought itself into the coarser fabric of mankind.For had we a keen(…)

Noah’s Arks

Noah’s Arks

In the l960’s we were asked to think about the unthinkable. In those days it was mutual nuclear destruction. People built bomb shelters. There were debates about the morality of defending your family and your survival against those less well prepared. Then came the dawning of the “age of Aquarius,” a period of expansion, relief.(…)

Hospice 3

Hospice 3

Today for the first time, sitting across the table from W., I felt an upsurge of emotion it took me some effort to master, and i thought to myself that perhaps I needed to consider just what this work will cost me. W. attends to her dying husband. No children, no relatives, no visitors, no(…)

Hospice 2

Hospice 2

I sat for about 20 minutes with A. while she “slept.” I put that word in quotation marks to signify the sense I have that we do not have good words to describe the various states of (apparent) unconsciousness in which a patient may be dwelling. (The eskimos with their 10 words for snow.) My(…)

Hospice 1

Hospice 1

Finally I begin. I walk onto the unit and into the voluble wisdom of Dr. N, my personal physician and the MD for the organization which trains and administers hospice volunteers. We sit with D. “the least of these,” who cleans and mops the floors and rooms and who, Dr N. says, is one of(…)

Honey is My First Hospice Patient

Honey is My First Hospice Patient

Honey my dog is aging fast. Though she has spurts of youthful frisk down at the water’s edge and can still charge a squirrel in the backyard with a bark and lunge, her game left leg is weaker and just last week she seemed to have a kind of mini seizure where she stumbled blindly(…)

Joyce goes to MOMA

Joyce goes to MOMA

 excerpt from The de Kooning Apocryphah by S.D. Joyce goes to MOMA  riverrun past Adam’s fall and off I went into the scherzo of my scherhazade. Now waking quaking, revenant I gamboled the gamble of the little dutch boy who made the grade. Master of high and low jinx as ever I was, as much(…)

Susan Bird: traveling the in-between

Susan Bird: traveling the in-between

        Peter Pitzele   The very discerning Elaine de Kooning coined the term Abstract Impressionism to describe artists of the New York school in the 50ʼs and 60ʼs whose style drew upon and referred to the natural world. Unlike the more action-oriented artists of the period, these painters—Sam Francis, Philip Guston to(…)

Looking at Contemporaries

Looking at Contemporaries

Approching Janice Sztabnik    A conversation about some paintings by Janice Sztabnik at the Firehouse Gallery Bay Shore, NY September, 2011   Pamela and Avery are old friends who meet monthly at a Museum or Gallery to talk together about works of art. Until now, their explorations have been New York City bound, but Avery,(…)

Looking at de Kooning: 10/17/2011

Looking at de Kooning: 10/17/2011

Sharing a new love can make a man a bore. Or a guide. Or often a bit of both. I am a man with a new love and I want to tug at your sleeve. His name is de Kooning. Unquestionably what I want from “art talk’ is first of all a guide to fresh(…)