Light in December

Christmas present:  In Pleasantville nearly every house along Washington Avenue, which connects with Chappaqua, is filigreed with colored lights.  It is as if those old, gingerbread domiciles were themselves objects of December reverence, signaling  light and hope during our passage through the coldest and darkest time of the year.  The snow has come and not […]

Great Ones Must Not Unwatched Go

Why do we seek fame? John Milton had a famously simple answer in Lycidas.  It was an “infirmity,” some kind of flaw, possibly verging on the pathological; a human condition.  It “spurs” us on to noble deeds, though inevitably this “fair guerdon” is trumped by death.  And so fame is, or attempts to be, the […]


Last week the silent service got an unexpected fifteen minutes of fame without doing a thing. The thing was of course the Sarah Palin memoir, Going Rogue, published without an index by HarperCollins.  For this lapse the publisher was awarded a “Golden Turkey” by the American Society of Indexers.  Soon after announcing the Award, ASI […]