I wanted the past to go away, I wanted
to leave it, like another country; I wanted
my life to close, and open
like a hinge, like a wing, like the part of the song
where it falls
down over the rocks: an explosion, a discovery;
I wanted
to hurry into the work of my life; I wanted to know,

whoever I was, I was

for a little while.

Mary Oliver,

Dream Work






“When the Beloved leaves, not even the sea can fill the absence.”






In keeping with the theme of “Goodness”–our Winter issue–here is a classic passage and illustration from Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol,”–the beloved 19th century Christmas ghost story on redemption and transformation:

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year long. I will live in the Past, Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three will dwell within me. I will not ignore the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I might erase the writing on this stone!”

–Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, 1843.

Illustration: The Last of the Spirits, from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. (Chapman & Hall, London) 1843. First edition.

To hear the celebrated author Neil Gaiman read A Christmas Carol–just as Dicken’s read it, click here.


Americans are so wealthy, or maybe so lazy, they all too often overpay for prescription medicines, by law.“


"We pay prices that are three times higher than they are in the U.K., six times more than they cost in Brazil and 16 times more than they cost in India. Why are we subsidizing drug prices for the world?