Pulse newmasthead 10th anniv 2252x376px

About More Voices

Every month More Voices invites readers to contribute short nonfiction prose pieces of 40 to 400 words on a healthcare theme.



new subscription

Join the 11,000+ who receive Pulse weekly

energize subscription 
Energize your subscription
with a contribution and
Pulse vibrant

The red or the pen?

She wasn’t just sad. She was depressed. So, so depressed. None of the usual treatments I had to offer had worked. The drugs made her feel worse. She found the talking therapy boring. The psychiatrist wanted to give her more drugs. 

But there was me. Just me. And her. And the black dog binding us. Her depression. My worrying. 


I look at the red wine on my table. My default option for easing pain. I realize that there is not enough wine in the world to quell my desperation. My impotence. My urge to help. 

I see the pen. I see the scrap of paper. I make the choice. 

I write. 


To be with you, or to do to you? That is the question. To do no harm by just being with, by not doing to.  

But what to do when being with is not enough? When just being with does harm? When there is a need to do to?  

To do to, and not do harm? Now there is a question to vex the mind of this simple physician.  

Where is the wisdom? Where is the wisdom I need? To whom can I turn when my body-spirit-flesh-blood is not enough? When my inner well is dry. 

I must turn to the work of others. Past and present. Who have trodden similar paths before me. Or for me 

So that I can both be and do for you.

Hilton Koppe
Lennox Head, New South Wales, Australia