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Home2017-04-17T07:03:24+00:00

The fragrance of (my) life

By |February 14th, 2019|

So I'm in the middle of Africa dining with a colleague and he declares, "That's great news about Jean. Congratulations!" Out comes his phone and all the details and I'm in the dark and feeling rather sheepish about it. My bride, the children's mother, in her natural humility, hadn't told me of her recent recognition as a Canadian

Learning at the school of life

By |February 2nd, 2019|

Andrew Thomas is the little boy who smiled and played with my hands the first time I met him outside the university guesthouse where, these days, I have my meals. There, from your side of the ocean, my own children, along with their mother, watched and said hello to Andrew through a video screen.

Seeing some things half clearly

By |January 18th, 2019|

"I see you're aging gracefully." This is what he, an old Canadian friend, now overseas, said after seeing my photo complete with beard and glasses. Oh, come on. Already? Now? So soon? Aging gracefully? Really? In truth, the beard comes and goes like pages of a calendar. I shave. I don't shave. My bride, that is my young looking wife, comments on this.

A story about a king. (And you.)

By |December 23rd, 2018|

Love, if it’s the real deal, can be an uneasy affair. Even for a king in a story like this one. It’s a story about his kingdom, and choice, and existentialism, even as it’s a story about these days. Yes, once there was this king who was in love: madly and deeply and hopelessly. His power was unrivaled, but his heart melted for a simple maiden in a poor village.

Yemen can’t wait (and other thoughts on peace)

By |December 8th, 2018|

Once I stopped riding my bike to work because I feared I’d be shot dead. It was an old blue Norco. I’d pedal it to the newsroom of the Yemen Times, in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital. This wasn’t long after the Twin Towers fell on 9/11. More so, it was just after three American medical missionaries, friends, were murdered in a hospital by

Coming and going and growing up

By |November 24th, 2018|

Today let’s talk about selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door. This was me sometime between boyhood and manhood, a time when the gray matter and the white matter in my brain was still developing, still coming together. I was leaving one place to arrive in another, me and my suitcase and my first car. I’d just left home for the

On the road in Canada’s open arms

By |November 17th, 2018|

He’s my brother and he’s beside me and in this moment nothing else matters. Except, of course, Hannah, my daughter. She’s 12 and in the back seat. And the nearby bus. The bus matters. The three of us are on Highway 1, the Trans-Canada, in Alberta. Earlier I’d driven with Hannah from Saskatoon

Once there was a border …

By |October 20th, 2018|

Once there was a border that had an anniversary. Today is it. Before I share more about it all, let me say, though, that you have to be careful what you think about borders. Because in a way there’s no such thing. Of course, I recently crossed the American border to get to this city, Boston, a diverse place with many people who’ve arrived

The sacredness of the moment

By |October 6th, 2018|

She was a friend and it was her funeral and we were reminded how life is little more than a fleeting mist. Moments of her life were shown. Photos. There she is — her name is Wendy — as a young girl. Later, a graduate. Then Wendy the writer and editor, the years I knew her. I found her to be a thinking person who laughed easily

On dreams, flying and Aslan’s country

By |September 15th, 2018|

I had a dream the other night, an outrageous foray into the sublimely bizarre. I was fighting a gorilla. He wore glasses, which, funny enough, looked like mine. I stood in the cleft of a rockface, and had a motorcycle in my shoulder bag. I was going to ride away, fly, somehow. Crazy for sure. Our dreams are such a mystery.

I am Dards, the lost rock star

By |September 1st, 2018|

So I was recently getting my passport renewed when I was mistaken for a lost rock star.  “Are you the long lost Beatle?” I was asked by a passport attendant who noticed my Beatles T-shirt. “No,” I said. “But I can see why you’d think so, because even when I appear lost I still carry myself like a cool and laid-back rocker.

Bread and wine with the neighbours

By |August 11th, 2018|

It was a long time ago and a ridiculous day. I went for a sleepover. “Chris has invited you,” I was told by the grownups around me. So with my pyjamas and such, I walked some distance to my friend’s house. Chris wasn’t home, so I sat and waited. His sister looked at me like I was from Mars. I waited.

The summer my family made the news

By |July 14th, 2018|

So, it's my 50th, that time to remember. And celebrate. No, not that 50th. Not my 50th birthday. That day came and went three years ago today. It was something else. On that day, the children – God bless them – decided to crack open their savings, walk to a local party store

Take your shoes off. Read a book.

By |June 23rd, 2018|

My children get a kick out of it, my barefooted ways. I just don’t like to wear shoes. Even when I drive. Too many years in Africa, I suppose. Now that it’s summer, all the more. It reminds me of our relationship with books. There’s a holiness there. Or there should be. But are we losing the sense of it? I think we are.

The fragrance of (my) life

By |February 14th, 2019|

So I'm in the middle of Africa dining with a colleague and he declares, "That's great news about Jean. Congratulations!" Out comes his phone and all the details and I'm in the dark and feeling rather sheepish about it. My bride, the children's mother, in her natural humility, hadn't told me of her recent recognition as a Canadian

Learning at the school of life

By |February 2nd, 2019|

Andrew Thomas is the little boy who smiled and played with my hands the first time I met him outside the university guesthouse where, these days, I have my meals. There, from your side of the ocean, my own children, along with their mother, watched and said hello to Andrew through a video screen.

Seeing some things half clearly

By |January 18th, 2019|

"I see you're aging gracefully." This is what he, an old Canadian friend, now overseas, said after seeing my photo complete with beard and glasses. Oh, come on. Already? Now? So soon? Aging gracefully? Really? In truth, the beard comes and goes like pages of a calendar. I shave. I don't shave. My bride, that is my young looking wife, comments on this.

A story about a king. (And you.)

By |December 23rd, 2018|

Love, if it’s the real deal, can be an uneasy affair. Even for a king in a story like this one. It’s a story about his kingdom, and choice, and existentialism, even as it’s a story about these days. Yes, once there was this king who was in love: madly and deeply and hopelessly. His power was unrivaled, but his heart melted for a simple maiden in a poor village.