(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, December 24, 2016) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It was just past sunrise in Congo at a mission refugee camp. This is when I walked into it. It was a certain and gentle light. It was in a church. I was alone. It wasn't much of a church, just plain with a dirt floor and simple benches and open ceiling. The space was empty. Still. Voiceless.
(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, December 9, 2016) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ The story of 2016 is the story of surprise. Surprise isn’t always the worst thing in the world. When all goes as expected, day after ordinary day, it’s hard to remember what matters in life.
Healing can come in any number of ways, of course, even through a dog. Our dog, Zak – he’s laying a few feet from me right now – has been this for me. If you’ve never met Zak, you can do so here, through these simple pleasures. Yes, Zak has been many things: guard dog, [...]
(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, November 12, 2016) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ It started with a skipping rope, a plain green skipping rope, the kind you’d find at any dollar store. It was a simple investment. You’d be forgiven for opting to instead spend the money on your morning double-double.
Today’s offering is about Donald Trump. If you have limited time, please instead read this piece on the same subject matter by Michael Coren, in today’s Toronto Star. As I have just told Michael, what he has written is powerful, thoughtful and poignant. It deserves our attention. Thank you, again, Michael. + The New York [...]
(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, October 22, 2016) KAMPALA, UGANDA – It's hard to know what to make of it somedays, what to make of these remarkable matters like belief and truth and monsters. I mean, when I was a young reporter I wrote about a monster that nobody believed in, and even that caused a stir. It was the so-called Lake Erie Monster, affectionately known as LEM.
(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, October 8, 2016) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ Someone (a writer, naturally) once said that writing is like prayer. Prayer, it seems to me, is like gardening. I’ve struggled with all three. The small garden behind our African home is testament to this. Many seasons it’s been a disappointing annoyance. Nearby trees steal valuable sunlight and nutrients. I suppose the space should never have been chosen to start.
It’s the other day and, unbeknownst to me, an old friend of mine, a Canadian we knew from Yemen way back in the day, is about to become a father. His name is Gabriel and, funny thing, I recently mentioned him in a column about my mother. (More on that in a minute.) Gabe’s wife [...]