"If any person in any place were to teach even four lines...
...Like a tiny drop of dew, or a bubble floating in a stream
Like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud
Or a flickering lamp, an illusion, a phantom, or a dream
So is all conditioned existence to be seen" [from the Diamond Sutra]

Sweet Practiser, Thy Physic I Will Try

subtitle   when ‘physician heal thyself’ doesn’t work So, this is the Emergency Department, and I’m the King of the Castle and you’re looming booming too close, what are you saying, OK I’ll stop now. Who is this girl, touches and whispers, and I’m awake. Sort of. You’re the dirty rascal but it’s looming touch, […]

Ginsberg Will Howl The Recipe For Heaven

“But in the Wine-presses the human grapes sing not nor dance: They howl and writhe in shoals of torment, in fierce flames consuming, In chains of iron and in dungeons circled with ceaseless fires, In pits and dens and shades of death, in shapes of torment and woe” William Blake wrote as though he experienced […]

If It Were Not For Reality

When Gary Larson retired in 1995, the world became a poorer place. Everyone has their favourite cartoon. Mine is the look-alike Freudian psychiatrist carefully writing in his imposing notebook while a clearly disturbed patient on the couch talks and talks and talks. If you look carefully at the psychiatrist’s notebook, he has written “Just Plain […]

A Friend Who Would Understand Me

Anton Chekhov was 38 years old when he wrote “A Case History”. He was already an experienced doctor and evocative writer, and some of his best short stories, including this one, effortlessly combined elements of both medicine and human nature. The dismal grey factory town in “A Case History”,  to which a doctor is summoned, […]

I’d Rather Play At Hug O’War

We all love children’s books. Why? They remind us of the best parts of childhood. The stories are often simple and funny and have a happy end. They allow us to escape from hurly-burly to magic adventure. But mainly because, buried in the phantasmogorical story detail, is a message. It might be Love. Friendship. Family. […]

I Went To The Museum

The irony wasn’t obvious at first. But by the time I’d read to the end of the Denisovan piece, and checked a thing or two, it was clear. DNA analysis from a 50,000-year-old finger found in a Siberian cave confirms it belonged to human ancestors called the Denisovans. Denisovans? An ancient civilisation? Visitors from an alien […]

If You Are Everywhere, You Are Nowhere

It was a surprise. A political story by The Australian’s Tom Dusevic @davrosz , drilling away at Labor’s thinning crust of respectability, sparing no punches, and starting with a quote. And, refreshingly, not by some old hoary ex-Prime Minister, but by Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, a polymath who lived smack bang in the middle of […]