Loading...
Home2017-04-17T07:03:24-04:00

The place of Easter in our modern world

By |April 3rd, 2021|

Rabbits are wonderful animals to bring a smile to any child, especially chocolate rabbits, but you’d never place much hope for peace on the Easter Bunny. Not that a rabbit can’t speak to Easter. It can. Once my little girl’s rabbit went into eternity, so to speak, in Uganda, after the neighbour boy experimented with how many times it might spin in midair.

There’s a certain grace in loving Grace

By |March 20th, 2021|

Today in this space we continue to explore the most pressing issues of our time, now with the difficult question that’s on everyone’s mind: should we let dogs teach in our universities? My own view is that if my dog, Grace, taught, say, my literature class, she’d do fine. “Today,” she’d say, sitting in front of her class, crossing one furry leg over the other, “we’ll look at grace.”

Yemen needs food and medicine, not guns

By |March 6th, 2021|

If you want to see the children of Yemen, you don’t need to go far. Pull up a chair. Here they are, children of war and disease and famine. There’s one, skin wrapped tight over bone, bloodied under bandages covering her wounds. There’s another, looking up at us, a boy with no leg.  And another girl, alive, apparently, on a bed of sorts.

Even the Son of God had family complications

By |February 20th, 2021|

It’s the other day and I’m on the phone with a friend in the Cayman Islands. The conversation turns to family. Family, what we celebrated earlier this week. Of course, some of us might as well celebrate the finer points of being an executed outlaw. Sort of like in Manitoba, where, in place of February’s Family Day, they celebrate Louis

Holding travel, and life, with loose hands

By |February 6th, 2021|

Now we’re going to look at some important new developments in the world of travel, namely that if you have plans, well, good luck. Even if you fly off to nowhere, you might not get back home easily. This is the latest from the Ministry of Miserable Pandemic Affairs. Don’t make travel

On 2020, the God of Christmas, and paying attention

By |December 19th, 2020|

It’s been a year of sadness. Not to bum you out. I’m just saying. And a year of vulnerability. Vulnerable. This was the man outside my house. His name is Victor. He’d walked across the city for some hours, pushing a cart of bottles collected along the way for money.

And what about the vulnerable among us?

By |December 5th, 2020|

Today is a good day to talk about the vulnerable among us – the mentally ill and the disabled – and doctor-assisted death. Worldwide, only about five per cent of 195 nations allow what’s known in Canada as MAiD, or Medical Assistance in Dying. The World Medical Association also

If women ruled the world

By |November 21st, 2020|

You have to wonder what life would be like if women ruled the world. Or at least America. Consider the planet and all of its shades. Would it be a kinder, gentler place? One with more peace? A world with easier, more gracious, transitions of power? You have to wonder, too, how little Ruby Bridges felt on that November

America votes. Again. What would Lincoln say?

By |October 31st, 2020|

Of course, the party would not be complete without Abraham Lincoln. And it’s a good day to ask America’s 16th president what he thinks of it all, Tuesday’s big vote. As I write, on a window sill behind my desk sits a bust of Lincoln, otherwise known as Honest Abe.

A letter to Thomas Edison

By |October 17th, 2020|

So, Mr. Edison, (can I call you Thomas?), it was at the Westdale Theatre, and I was washing my hands, and this gentleman in the men’s room declared, “That’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen.” I actually thought it was a good show. Character driven. A bit dark, yes, but don’t we all, from the very womb, know darkness?

Running for Rachael

By |September 26th, 2020|

My friend Sid is a runner. Not that kind of runner, although he’s that kind of runner too. He’s run a half dozen marathons. So it’s not surprising that we’re talking about running, even as we’re talking of other things. Healing. Faith. Death. The face of mental illness. We’re in a graveyard at an ordinary

Finding Grace (and grace) in our lives

By |September 5th, 2020|

Grace, the Sheepadoodle, is a small dog with big feet who’s happiest when she’s running full-throttle, wild and wide-eyed, tripping over herself down some hill. She’s a dog who knows that life, even in dog years, is so short that there’s no time to waste, even if there’s no place to go

“Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child.”

By |September 25th, 2021|

Once again parents are celebrating September and their kids’ return to school, and I, for one, am enjoying the new freedom to reflect more on how to be the world’s worst dad. First, this. The exasperated school principal. I recently watched the poor guy – it’s a thankless job – with his tie and blazer and jowls and arms all flailing and

It’s Sept. 11. And what have we learned?

By |September 11th, 2021|

It was a recent summer evening and she sat me at the bar because there was space. Before ordering a salad and drink, I lifted my rucksack and a couple of books spilled out. “What are you reading?” I then told her, the waitress, about Philip Roth’s novella “Goodbye Columbus,” about a summer romance that ended in

The bicycle is the great leveller

By |August 14th, 2021|

My relationship with the bicycle began as a love affair in my backyard on a small, grassy incline that might as well have been the Rockies. I was a boy, the bike was my blue bomber, and you can imagine the rest. Now, starting in Alberta and the Rockies, I’ve been showing Western Canada to my daughter, my eldest. The two of us are covering several provinces, including biking in

Tante Eva honours the generations

By |July 25th, 2021|

I’ve always seen the face of my Tante Eva as a face of summer. There she is in this photo from some years ago, standing behind my bride and our three Chumbuckets, along with Eva’s friend, Ingrid, who’s holding photos from Eva’s birth in July, 1931. Eva, the newborn, would eventually know war and other sorrow before she’d grow fully into that woman with a kind face.