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.
It was Shabbat, the Sabbath, Friday evening, and after a mad frenzy to close the markets and clean the strewn and tossed streets by 6 pm, everything got quiet.
This is when I saw them, an Orthodox Jewish father and his boy walking ...
I will miss the light of Africa as much as I will miss anything. I will miss the water too.
This, even as I’ll miss Africa itself, the birthplace of our youngest daughter, the place where the light shines so beautifully on her skin.
One day Adam woke up and looked around and the place was his.
He saw the animals. “Lion,” he said, in a manner of speaking. Then “lamb.” And so forth. They all had good relationships. They were at peace, lying around together. It was Eden.
The original meaning “God be with ye” disappeared into the phrase “good-bye” long ago. But this is what I’m now left with, this long good-bye.
It’s a prayer as much as anything, this good-bye to Africa. These days I’m swimming in it ...
So I was recently sitting around doing nothing, an activity I’ve always found deeply satisfying, when I realized, “Hey, man, you’ve just written your 300th newspaper column.”
Next thing, my wife and kids were serving me cake ...
Sixteen years ago today, The Children’s Mother and I got engaged. Of course, at the time she was not The Children’s Mother. She was My Babe.
I thought the world should know of the good news, so I blasted it all on the front page ...
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 [...]
(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.
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
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
The shower is as good as any place, I suppose, to think about the end of the world. Or maybe the horsemen of the apocalypse will ride into town while we’re all somehow gathered at the world’s oceans, dying of thirst, with (apologies to
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