Month: September 2018

The Photo Gallery

By the time I met Leslie, Huntington’s Disease had wreaked its havoc: every part of her body jerked and twisted uncontrollably, robbing her of the ability to walk or speak. But that didn’t stop her from communicating, and she came as close to talking as she was able when she saw me, along with my dog Kobe. Following some very animated but indecipherable sounds, she used sign language to make herself understood. Her rocking motion let me know that she wanted to cradle Kobe in her lap.

Wounded Healer

Jamie Sweigart ~

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon on my urban college campus. I’d been sitting on the grass outside a lecture hall where my premed classmates and I would study together on weekends. This particular weekend, I was alone. Campus was empty, except for a man with a backpack who occasionally passed by.

Finished with studying, I started walking down a deserted sidewalk back to my apartment, a few blocks away. On the way, I dialed my best friend from home, Laura, and we began chatting.

“Hang up the phone,” said a man’s voice behind me. I felt the cold blade of a knife against the side of my neck.

Yin and Yang Levenberg 1

Quantum Tunneling

Kate Levenberg

About the artist:

Kate Levenberg is a second-year medical student at Penn State University.

About the artwork:

“This painting speaks to that mysterious understanding that there’s energy around us that we can’t quite perceive. The energy that we just know we will never be smart enough to accurately describe. That faint idea that time might not be linear, that our perception is imperfect, and that the earth will keep revolving long after my energy has dissipated.“

Visuals editor:

Sara Kohrt


I used to always walk in the woods

      before I became crippled.

            — from a dying woman 

I respond to a ranch house at twilight. An old woman is dying from metastatic lung cancer, vomiting blood. In between episodes of dry heaving and spitting dark clots, she reaches her hand out, sometimes grabbing my arm, other times involuntarily seeking the sky. We both know what her family refuses to see: she will be dead in a few hours. 

Destiny and the Socks

“Destiny, look!” I threw a ball of black socks in our orange tabby cat’s direction. He examined the socks quizzically for a moment, until their scent hit his nostrils. Then the corners of his mouth turned upward and his expression revealed great happiness. He buried his nose in the socks before batting them around and around the kitchen.

Canine Comfort

According to family legend, my mother took me for a walk in my stroller on one of those dog days of summer–high humidity, flopping flowers, lackadaisical leaves. I was happily singing along with the birds when a neighbor’s demonic dog rushed my stroller and tried to Eskimo-kiss me with its snout. I screamed, the dog howled, and thus began my lifelong fear of all furry, four-legged Fidos.

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