He's a friend. A doctor. His name is Stuart. I stood at the front door of his home, my son beside me. Stuart is the keeper of the children's bicycles while we're abroad. We swung by to make arrangements to get them. That's all it was, an ordinary May evening. But the world was somehow different. Its axis had shifted. At least for Stuart. He’d just returned from Queen’s Park, he informed me, with other doctors lobbying ...
ATHENS ✦ I'll never forget the unknown boy and his horrible end, not any more than I'll forget Arash and his eyes on the day we met when the waters of the Mediterranean were cold.
It’s bedtime. Liz needs to get to the kitchen to make her snack for the next day. “Dad!” she says. “I’m afraid to go out there. Something’s there. I can feel it in my bones!” “That’s arthritis.” + But, really, it’s the kids who often come up with the most though-provoking comments. Sometimes they’re funny. [...]
(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday March 19, 2016) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It was getting late and she, my 12-year-old, sat on the couch and looked into the nothingness and pulled from the air a comment as plain and profound as any. "You know," she said, "People don't know how good they have it." This is what happens when you live in Africa. You see things. Life. People. Suffering. Death sometimes. You get perspective. "They don't know," Liz said. "People don't know." Canadians don't know. This is what she said.
You never know what might happen when you pick up a book, even a book that has sat on your bookshelf for years like an old bottle of wine aged good and long for just the right moment. Such a book might even wake somebody up. That is the beauty of books, of course, their [...]
(The Hamilton Spectator - Monday, February 1, 2016) It's 2049 and I'm an old man. I've made my decision. (At least I thought I made it.) It's for release. I've been given a choice in a pleasant manner for an injection or capsules. Soon this will all be over, another release into elsewhere, into eternity. They're out there, opinion polls on this procedure, on "release," what in your day was called "doctor-assisted suicide." Apparently most people are in favour. You have to wonder, though, about the questions.
The last note in this space was that life is a gift and life is a mystery, both clichés and both true. The other truth, as true as the sun rising every morning, is that we're not made to live forever. The children’s Papa, their grandfather on their mother’s side, said this to me right around [...]
It’s morning and the sun is up, shining on the mud, and Zak, the dog, has left his bright orange ball to chase Tiblets. Tibs, as Liz is fond of calling him, is the poor cat who just took off into the bush. There is another way, though, and one of our cats, Mister Bubbles, [...]