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

Seeing some things half clearly

By |January 19th, 2019|

"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

A story about a king. (And you.)

By |December 22nd, 2018|

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.

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

The sacredness of the moment

By |October 6th, 2018|

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

On dreams, flying and Aslan’s country

By |September 15th, 2018|

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.

I am Dards, the lost rock star

By |September 1st, 2018|

So I was recently getting my passport renewed when I was mistaken for a lost rock star.  “Are you the long lost Beatle?” I was asked by a passport attendant who noticed my Beatles T-shirt. “No,” I said. “But I can see why you’d think so, because even when I appear lost I still carry myself like a cool and laid-back rocker.

Bread and wine with the neighbours

By |August 11th, 2018|

It was a long time ago and a ridiculous day. I went for a sleepover. “Chris has invited you,” I was told by the grownups around me. So with my pyjamas and such, I walked some distance to my friend’s house. Chris wasn’t home, so I sat and waited. His sister looked at me like I was from Mars. I waited.

The summer my family made the news

By |July 14th, 2018|

So, it's my 50th, that time to remember. And celebrate. No, not that 50th. Not my 50th birthday. That day came and went three years ago today. It was something else. On that day, the children – God bless them – decided to crack open their savings, walk to a local party store

Take your shoes off. Read a book.

By |June 23rd, 2018|

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.

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.

Musing (and moodling) from the world of words

By |May 25th, 2019|

Today let’s talk about the liberal arts, and, in particular, words. This, because the Conference Board of Canada recently affirmed that the liberal arts are vital when it comes to preparing for the work world, if not life itself. Universities tracking these things are saying the same. It’s refreshing news because to have a degree in say, literature

The holiness of motherhood

By |May 11th, 2019|

There’s something holy about motherhood. My father’s tears remind me. My wife’s steadiness reminds me. Even my mother, in her long absence, reminds me.There we are sitting in a meadow in Berlin. A large book is on my lap. My mother is teaching me to read. We’re enjoying each other. She tickles me.My pant suspenders – I always laugh when

Life’s rich comedy and God in unexpected places

By |April 20th, 2019|

The comedy of life, the absolute comedy, is that the God of this weekend, the one who walked and slept and bled and cried and, sure, laughed among us, is still found in the most unexpected places. This comedy is different than the comedy of, say, Saturday Night Live.

If you die in space, are you alone?

By |April 6th, 2019|

It was a question after dinner. The kids asked me. “So, Dards, if it were possible, would you rather know exactly how you’ll die, or when you’ll die?”“Hmm,” I said. (Always a good response for such questions.) “I don’t know.” (Even better.) What I know is that, like many others, I’d rather not die alone. Imagine dying alone