Yearly Archives: 2019

2019 June

On funny ideas, stewardship, and the bambino’s Sweet 16th

2019-06-08T16:34:09-04:00June 8th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

It was a gift from Oma and Opa, an outfit for the little bambino, the newborn, and this is what it said: “Property of Mommy and Daddy.” The photo landed in this space. Sixteen years ago. It’s like clothing announcing that you’re “Property of the Toronto Raptors.” Everyone knows you’re not, just like everyone knows that parents don’t own their children. Not really. I mean, we do know this, right? In either case, the bambino is Child #1.

2019 May

Musing (and moodling) from the world of words

2019-06-08T11:19:20-04:00May 25th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Today let’s talk about the liberal arts, and, in particular, words. This, because the Conference Board of Canada recently affirmed that the liberal arts are vital when it comes to preparing for the work world, if not life itself. Universities tracking these things are saying the same. It’s refreshing news because to have a degree in say, literature, has often been lamented to be as helpful as having a hole in your head ...

2019 May

The holiness of motherhood

2019-05-12T00:18:23-04:00May 11th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , , , |10 Comments

There’s something holy about motherhood. My father’s tears remind me. My wife’s steadiness reminds me. Even my mother, in her long absence, reminds me.There we are sitting in a meadow in Berlin. A large book is on my lap. My mother is teaching me to read. We’re enjoying each other. She tickles me.

2019 April

Life’s rich comedy and God in unexpected places

2019-04-20T16:00:20-04:00April 20th, 2019|Categories: Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The comedy of life, the absolute comedy, is that the God of this weekend, the one who walked and slept and bled and cried and, sure, laughed among us, is still found in the most unexpected places. This comedy is different than the comedy of, say, Saturday Night Live.

2019 April

If you die in space, are you alone?

2019-04-09T10:00:47-04:00April 6th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , |8 Comments

It was a question after dinner. The kids asked me. “So, Dards, if it were possible, would you rather know exactly how you’ll die, or when you’ll die?”“Hmm,” I said. (Always a good response for such questions.) “I don’t know.” (Even better.) What I know is that, like many others, I’d rather not die alone. Imagine dying alone

2019 March

Hey, let’s talk about sex!

2019-04-08T21:23:51-04:00March 23rd, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |6 Comments

In a few days the children’s mother and I are at a marriage retreat. It’s our first since I can’t remember when. The invitation, by fluke, came a day after I was propositioned to have an affair. Now, in this space, I don’t talk much about it, sex and all. This is because Mennonites didn’t even know what sex was until 1985,

2019 March

Now I lay me down to sleep …

2019-03-27T11:02:57-04:00March 9th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , |0 Comments

The beauty of sleep is that you don’t need to think about it. Thinking just gummies it all up. No, you simply relax. You let go. You lay it down, all the cares of the day and all the cares of the world.You lay yourself down and surrender to what’s larger than yourself: the night. Even a child can do it.

2019 March

The strange charm of Captain Amon and Hockey Uganda

2019-03-27T10:22:33-04:00March 2nd, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , |7 Comments

The charm, the absolute charm, of Captain Amon is that he’ll appear at your doorstep in East Africa at the most inopportune times.You’ll be having a bite to eat, or a nap, or a shower, and there it is, the knock on your guesthouse door. “Mr. Thom? Hello, Mr. Thom? Mr. Thom. Are you there?