Death and Denial: The Ravages of Covid-19

Back in early April, when Covid-19 deaths were occurring with overwhelming frequency in nursing homes, the well known journalist Bill O’Reilly remarked to an interviewer that many of the dead were “on their last legs anyway.” While he disclaimed any desire to be “callous,” it was clear enough that that in his view those elderlyContinue reading “Death and Denial: The Ravages of Covid-19”

June 16th: My Mother’s Birthday

Those of you who follow this blog may have noticed that it has been well over a month since I last appeared here. The reason was that back then a young scholar who had written a book about Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a 19th century poet and philosopher about whom I too had written a bookContinue reading “June 16th: My Mother’s Birthday”

Bully in the Playground

In a recent post I argued that the current divisiveness in American life has robbed many of us of the meaning and community we used to find in parts of our world not in themselves political. Everything is now political. I have a relative with whom I have long been on excellent terms, even thoughContinue reading “Bully in the Playground”

Great Again?

America has grown “great again” in some respects: the economy is strong, employment high, and the stock market keeps surmounting threatening bumps. Inevitably though, doubts about our supposed greatness do arise. How evenly have these developments spread geographically throughout our country. And have they benefited the poorer ranks of the population along with the richer?Continue reading “Great Again?”

Greetings Where no Kindness is

The death of my sister less than four months ago keeps reminding me of a poem by William Wordsworth written toward the end of the 18th century and entitled “Tintern Abbey.” Speaking of the joys he shared with his own younger sister, Wordsworth also reflects on the experiences in all our lives that sometimes shatterContinue reading “Greetings Where no Kindness is”

Getting Through to a Parent with Dementia: Talking and Touching

My mother, who died at 83, suffered from dementia in her last year or two. Only forty-seven when my father died of cancer, and still full of vitality, she finally met a fellow named Ted. Ted gave her many years of companionship until an illness forced me to move mom from Buffalo, our hometown, toContinue reading “Getting Through to a Parent with Dementia: Talking and Touching”

Boat Tour of the Bosporus, a Fish Dinner, and the end of these Istanbul Posts

Our week in Istanbul ended with a boat tour of the Bosporus. The second photo is of a smaller mosque on shore, smaller because lacking the many minarets of the larger mosques. The third photo is of a suspension bridge across the Bosporus and the fourth of some lovely people on board from the RepublicContinue reading “Boat Tour of the Bosporus, a Fish Dinner, and the end of these Istanbul Posts”

The Spice Market in Istanbul

This is a not-to-miss site. Constructed in and around 1660, it is also named the Egyptian eyalet, “eyalet” referring to a province or district within the Ottoman Empire that was a source of building funds. The Misir Carsisi, or Spice Bazaar, is a huge covered shopping complex of some 85 stores featuring spices to beContinue reading “The Spice Market in Istanbul”

Christmas in Istanbul, 2012: Turkish Carpets

Turkish carpets have been famous for their quality for centuries. So it was a pleasure to have our tour bus stop to examine some, especially since a few on our tour looked interested in buying one and having it waiting for them at their door when they arrived home. Needless to say, we were notContinue reading “Christmas in Istanbul, 2012: Turkish Carpets”

More photos from inside Hagia Sophia: The Church of the Holy Word (now a Museum), Istanbul, Christmas 2012

The first photo is of a ceiling mosaic depicting in the center the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child: on the left side as you look at it is a model of Constantine with his new city of Constantinople and on the right Constantine with a model of his new Church. The above photo andContinue reading “More photos from inside Hagia Sophia: The Church of the Holy Word (now a Museum), Istanbul, Christmas 2012”

The Hagia Sophia: Christmas in Istanbul, 2012

The Hagia Sophia (Church of the Holy Wisdom of God, or the Logos, or the Second Person of the Holy Trinity) stands close to the Blue Mosque and together the two represent the two great religions of Istanbul: Christianity and Islam. The Hagia Sophia dates from the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (360 AD),Continue reading “The Hagia Sophia: Christmas in Istanbul, 2012”