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Home2017-04-17T07:03:24+00:00

Democracy? Meh.

By |June 2nd, 2018|

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

What if I had married the Queen?

By |May 19th, 2018|

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.

What if pain and suffering are also nourishment?

By |May 5th, 2018|

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.

Honouring Bryan Wylie: A life of teaching and giving

By |April 21st, 2018|

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

Letting go of fear, finding life’s sweet symmetry

By |April 7th, 2018|

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

A stitch in time

By |March 10th, 2018|

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

The demonization of touching in our times

By |February 10th, 2018|

Today we’ll talk about touch. And the California girl. The California girl was a beautiful girl – you can imagine her California hair and skin and eyes and all that – but she might as well have been a dog. She’d be better off as a dog. This is what she said. Then she’d get affection and

Breathing clean air in a pit-latrine nation

By |February 3rd, 2018|

It’s Saturday morning and we’re in the newsroom of The Standard, talking – well, laughing – about Donald Trump’s most recent step into a cow patty. African nations, home to more than one billion of the world’s people, are in Trump’s alleged words, “shithole countries.” The president

In celebration of Flying Dad Dudes

By |January 13th, 2018|

I love my work. In fact, at the airport this morning a stranger approached me and said, “Excuse me. Are you the guy who writes about fatherhood stuff? I appreciate that so much. But really, how do you do it? Your kids, so well adjusted. Your wife, so remarkably hot. You, always on the mark. You’re one lucky dude!”

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

By |December 22nd, 2017|

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.

The power and the truth in literary fiction

By |December 13th, 2017|

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

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

By |December 8th, 2018|

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

Coming and going and growing up

By |November 24th, 2018|

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

On the road in Canada’s open arms

By |November 17th, 2018|

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

Once there was a border …

By |October 20th, 2018|

Once there was a border that had an anniversary. Today is it. Before I share more about it all, let me say, though, that you have to be careful what you think about borders. Because in a way there’s no such thing. Of course, I recently crossed the American border to get to this city, Boston, a diverse place with many people who’ve arrived