(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, June 27, 2015)
My youngest daughter, Hannah, is a cool girl who loves water, makes friends easily and puts lots of maple syrup on her pancakes. She laughs more than I do, often from a deep and hearty place.
She likes the fact that her name – which in the original Hebrew means “gracious” or “God’s gift to the world” – is spelled the same forwards and back.
Canada is cool too. It makes fine maple syrup and, as far as countries go, laughs more than many. Of course, Canada would never consider itself anything like God’s gift to the world even if the evidence suggests it actually might be. Continue reading →
KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ It was an unremarkable day, birds and the African sunshine, the sound of a distant lawnmower, the dog laying quiet in back, shoes nearby, tea, a half-eaten yogurt, when fear washed over me like a river. Nightmares, yes, can come anytime. Continue reading →
DACHAU, GERMANY ✦ I may be a ghost you don’t even believe exists, but before I get there let me tell you about this scene in the Arthur Miller play “Incident at Vichy,” where there’s a well-to-do professional, (like I was when I lived), standing before the Nazi authority now in town.
The man, dignified with degrees and references and these sorts of things, presents what he has to the Nazi who then asks, “Is this all you have?” The man nods. “Good,” says the Nazi, throwing it all into the garbage. “Now you have nothing.” Continue reading →
MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ As a boy I hoped for, and believed in, small and foolish things that at the time seemed big and sensible enough. Now I hope for things that are big and sensible enough to my children, even if I think they’re small and foolish to me. Continue reading →
(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, February 21, 2015)
KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ He was Swiss and we were talking over coffee and he said he’d just read my story about Canada’s new look at assisted suicide. He spoke as if I’d written on this, which I had not, or maybe he called it my story simply because I’m Canadian.
He said he didn’t know what all the fuss was about. Europe, after all, liberated itself from any shameful baggage on assisted suicide long ago. If you want to die, he explained, you can easily go to places and doctors for help. Continue reading →