brevity of life

2019 July

Waking up to the shortness of life

2019-07-15T14:25:28-04:00July 13th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |16 Comments

I’m gardening with my son, the cool, wet dirt between our fingers. I think of John, my friend, a fellow traveller, recently dead of cancer. He’s still somehow, seen. Still felt. Funny how that goes, how you often miss what’s right in front of you. Then, when you take the time to pause, the smelling salts of life get you to sit up and do what your mother always told you: pay attention!

2014 July

Being open to life’s surprises

2014-07-26T13:52:26-04:00July 19th, 2014|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, July 19, 2014) HAMILTON, CANADA ✦ It was in the whirlpool at the Les Chater Y when I was congratulated for My Bride’s recent naming into the Order of Canada. The woman, another early-morning swimmer, had read the news in this publication. “Let’s face it,” she said. “You’ve had a role to play in this all. Any woman who wins something like this has to be married to a certain sort of man. If Madame Curie hadn’t been married to Pierre, she’d have been forced to be home barefoot, baking bread.”

2014 June

Jim Morrison’s grave and the cold, muddy earth

2017-07-19T01:11:51-04:00June 3rd, 2014|Categories: Daily Dad|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

(Photo by Thomas Froese Something from the other side of this blog, from www.thomasfroese.com, this commentary here, or below, originally published in Christian Week, some thoughts from Paris, from the Père Lachaise Cemetery. It's one of the world’s most remarkable graveyards, a solemn place that we as a family recently took some time for on our way home [...]

2014 May

Known by our love ( … or the things we’re against?)

2015-01-13T10:31:30-04:00May 23rd, 2014|Categories: Christian Week, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

(Christian Week – Friday, May 23, 2014) PARIS ✦ Dead rock stars aren’t the only idols to worship out there. Houses and cars, retirement portfolios, relationships and sex—or, well, religion—can be equally distracting in a fallen world looking for things as nebulous as truth and meaning. But come to the Père Lachaise Cemetery and see for yourself the cult of rock-star celebrity. In this gothic and tumbledown resting place of some of the world’s best-known artists—Chopin, Bizet, Proust, Oscar Wilde to name a few—Jim Morrison’s grave is by far the most visited.

2014 May

The joke’s on us. We’re all living to die. In the meantime … the miracles

2017-07-19T01:18:28-04:00May 21st, 2014|Categories: Daily Dad|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

We had to pee in the bottle the other day, all of us for our annual check-up and vaccinations against death in Africa. I mean we did this one at a time, in privacy in different bottles, of course, and it wouldn’t even matter that much except for the fact that the doctor soon after [...]

2014 April

Dear Mr. Millard – Letter 3 – If you ever want forgiveness, everything you have isn’t enough

2017-07-19T01:23:48-04:00April 21st, 2014|Categories: Daily Dad|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Even on this side of Easter, forgiveness is no easy thing. Christ said so much during a beachside breakfast with his friends on a lake not long after the remarkable events of Easter weekend. He did this during that rather poignant exchange with Peter, that friend of urgency and largeness who, just days earlier, while [...]