Yearly Archives: 2017

2017 December

Christmas is a time to look at the light in the darkness

2017-12-26T08:22:34+00:00 December 22nd, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , |6 Comments

It’s only December but my thin bones already long for summer. For light. For warmth. Where’s Africa? It’s over the ocean. And I’m on this side, often chilled when I stand at the large window behind my bedroom desk. I look into the darkness, so deep and wide and without form.

2017 December

The power and the truth in literary fiction

2018-01-06T01:36:18+00:00 December 13th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

My own view is that winter fathers and their kids should get free movie tickets on weekends. For Sunday matinees, free popcorn should be added. Yes, free movies for the winter fathers of the world. Someone should start a petition. Winter fathers are fathers who are separated or divorced

2017 December

For the love of a handwritten letter

2017-12-18T22:22:04+00:00 December 2nd, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Today’s rumination is about the art of writing. Cursive. For the children out there, you’ll want to ask your parents or grandparents what this is, and how it all works, and why on God’s good earth anyone would involve themselves in it. I feel like a Neanderthal for even mentioning it, but since I’m older than I look I’ll tell you that when I

2017 November

Unanswered prayers and the unexpected things in life

2017-11-13T12:20:46+00:00 November 11th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |5 Comments

The young lady was my heart’s desire. She was my long-time prayer. This, when I was a much younger version of myself. It was on the 11th day of the 11th month when her letter arrived. She wrote briefly and dispassionately. Her words drained the room of colour.

2017 October

Happy Death Day: here’s to getting clarity in life

2017-10-31T21:28:41+00:00 October 31st, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

I walked through the cemetery today. I often do. It was me and the cold and the wet and my old umbrella. The umbrella is covered in deco of old newspaper headlines: the Jays won the World Series; Gorbachev was dismantling the USSR. My umbrella and I blew around like the news

2017 October

Is God simply a figment of our imagination?

2017-10-31T13:21:25+00:00 October 7th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

It was a recent evening at the University of Toronto when I was reminded of it all, that hope is better than skepticism, that faith is better than doubt, that love (in the abiding sense of charitable love) is better than fear. I was reminded, too, how I’ve always felt more kinship

2017 September

Facing death and seeing the heroic nature of life

2017-10-30T10:42:03+00:00 September 23rd, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

I don’t believe in war. In name and in family heritage, I’m Mennonite. In spirit, I’m pacifist. But children, it seems to me, should have a working knowledge of war. Because in war there’s not only darkness and fear, there’s light and courage. There’s humanity. There’s humility.

2017 September

End of summer, back to school, time for JFKs

2017-09-04T22:28:06+00:00 September 2nd, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |7 Comments

So, my children, like children everywhere, are about to return to school. This brings some uncertainties. It’s my children’s first-ever September back-to-school in Canada. More so, I’ll need to work at having more JFKs again. Before I explain what a JFK is, let me say that in