Hamilton Spectator

2018 June

Take your shoes off. Read a book.

2018-07-15T16:57:08+00:00June 23rd, 2018|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , |4 Comments

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.

2018 June

Democracy? Meh.

2018-07-15T16:58:31+00:00June 2nd, 2018|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |14 Comments

It was the other day, an ordinary day, a Saturday, when I voted. It was something. Really something. From my front door I walked to my advance polling station. Nobody harassed me on the way. I was met with kind greetings and smiles. Nobody had a gun. I didn’t even have my voter’s card, but a single piece of ID showed

2018 May

What if I had married the Queen?

2018-05-21T17:15:13+00:00May 19th, 2018|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Long before the children’s mother came along, I wanted to marry Queen Elizabeth. Or Mrs. Clark. Or Dianne Blouin. Dianne was an angelic presence and the sister of my classmate Michael. She was 12, older by two full years and clearly out of reach. The best I could do was get a photo of Dianne.

2018 May

What if pain and suffering are also nourishment?

2018-07-15T17:00:09+00:00May 5th, 2018|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

A bus hits a semi on a highway. A van drives along a busy walkway. Death arrives as casually as one day following another. And all the pain with it. Humboldt. Toronto. And the next one? Healing will come. But much of it will come later. First it’s been time to cry with those who cry.

2018 April

Honouring Bryan Wylie: A life of teaching and giving

2018-10-07T11:21:20+00:00April 21st, 2018|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

It’s the painters and the writers, the sculptors and the musicians, who tell us, the rest of us, to stop and look and listen. To pay attention. To see the holiness in the ordinary. This is the heart of the matter, the nub of it, the core of life. The times when we manage to get ourselves off of

2018 April

Letting go of fear, finding life’s sweet symmetry

2018-09-30T20:03:11+00:00April 7th, 2018|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Today’s rumination is about the flags of the world and the hope of the world and the fears of the world, (or at least some fears in Canada), even as it’s about how the children’s mother helped me get over some of my own fears. We live in a world that’s somehow naturally saddled with fear

2018 March

From an instrument of pain to a symbol of healing power

2018-07-15T17:04:53+00:00March 29th, 2018|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |14 Comments

It was a Friday some 2,000 years ago and he was a hardened criminal with a sorry life. For what it was worth, that life must have played before his mind’s eye like a regrettable movie. He was dying by asphyxiation, lack of oxygen. This is how criminals, would-be revolutionaries

2018 March

A stitch in time

2018-10-05T20:12:40+00:00March 10th, 2018|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

I don’t know about this business tonight of moving to Daylight Saving Time. It doesn’t feel entirely right. Not complete. Not really. I’m with the Walrus from Alice in Wonderland. “If you knew time as well as I do, you wouldn’t be talking about wasting it,” is what the Walrus said.  And if you can't waste time, it seems