I’m not one to see a miracle around every corner. If things worked that way, the real deal would get awfully cheap. But I got a haircut the other day. The gentleman cutting my hair – he informed me his name was Maxwell – said it was a miracle. Not my haircut. My question.
The short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” is a story taught in my literature class at UCU. It’s written by esteemed American writer Flannery O’Connor. At its end, the grandmother, a character in a lady-like flowery dress, is shot three times in the chest. It’s a horrible and violent death. The rest of her family had already been killed.
There was a time when I’d walk down the street and look at people’s faces. Any city would do as long as it had a downtown drag of even modest substance. The first was Kitchener-Waterloo where I was a student living away from home for the first time.
It’s been the never ending birthday for our youngest, Hannah, who needs little introduction. She’s the girl who gets in the papers when she becomes a Canadian citizen, the girl who honestly give thanks for [...]
I don’t know how we get on these things. We were talking about the dog. Next thing we’re talking about my manhood. I don’t know how we get on these things. We were talking about the dog. Next thing we’re talking about my manhood. Did we get the dog fixed? Nobody remembers. The boy thinks yes. The girls say no.
(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 [...]
(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 [...]
(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, [...]
The Children’s Mother has returned from Tanzania which means, besides the addition of some fresh flowers in the house, I can focus anew on what it is that I do. When you discover what this [...]
I’m a white Canadian. But I easily imagine myself as a dark Arabian. A Muslim. There, on the streets with a kufiya on my head. Or there, I’m a Muslim woman with a beautiful, but hidden, face, walking along the beach. I’m just telling you. I mean, what if I was born in, say, Yemen.
She's the Ugandan girl who we left behind in a part of the world where, this weekend, there is no Father's Day. And even if there was, this girl, our friend, has no father to honour on it. So while it's only suitable that so many fathers and children be given one day a year to consider how ...
He’s a friend. A doctor. His name is Stuart. I stood at the front door of his home, my son beside me. Stuart is the keeper of the children’s bicycles while we’re abroad. We swung by to make arrangements to get them. That’s all it was, an ordinary May evening. But the world was somehow different. Its axis had shifted. At least for Stuart. He’d just returned from Queen’s Park, he informed me, with other doctors lobbying for a
In sub-Saharan Africa they call childbirth “war.” If you’re a woman about to deliver a child in that part of the world, this is your fate. Imagine it. You’re young. (Younger than most Canadians can imagine.) You're poor. You're alone.