Talking to Heraclitus

“Life has the name of life but in reality it is death,” writes Heraclitus. No Bronx boy, even one who has celebrated his eighty-fourth birthday, has enough chutzpah to argue with that. Yet having survived to so ripe an age, I find that when it comes to death, I prefer a more American voice, . . . . Continue Reading »

Healing the Dying

At our annual reunions, my brother and sisters and I often joked that we flew home every year because “this might be Grandpa’s last.” We wanted to be sure to say one final goodbye. The odd thing was, we had been saying this for twenty years. Grandpa just didn’t seem to die. And as the clock . . . . Continue Reading »

Whistling Past the Grave

When we talk about the key shifts of the twentieth century—those involving politics, trade, consumption, art—we leave out what is surely the most astonishing physical change in all of human history, one that has happened mostly during the last century: the doubling of the human life span in much . . . . Continue Reading »