Hamilton Spectator

2019 February

Learning at the school of life

2019-02-01T17:15:56-04:00February 2nd, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

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.

2019 January

Seeing some things half clearly

2019-06-08T17:22:49-04:00January 19th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , , |10 Comments

"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.

2018 December

A story about a king. (And you.)

2019-03-04T22:12:37-04:00December 22nd, 2018|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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.

2018 December

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

2018-12-23T00:30:21-04:00December 8th, 2018|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , |4 Comments

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

2018 November

Coming and going and growing up

2018-12-23T00:31:50-04:00November 24th, 2018|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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

2018 November

On the road in Canada’s open arms

2018-12-17T12:21:50-04:00November 17th, 2018|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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

2018 October

The sacredness of the moment

2018-11-25T00:32:18-04:00October 6th, 2018|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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

2018 September

On dreams, flying and Aslan’s country

2018-10-07T11:13:06-04:00September 15th, 2018|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

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.