(Christian Week - February 2014) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ If you’re too busy to read this, just ignore it. I mean, really, I understand. We’re well into 2014 and there’s some serious new clinking and clanking that likely needs your attention. Yes, in our brave new distracted world, the one that never really turns off anymore, (I was recently in a funeral in Uganda where the cell phones rang and rang and rang), it’s a fresh year to slip further into it, this new place where it’s hard to know what – and who -- is real.
(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, February 1, 2014) It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. — From the poem Invictus KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ Much has been made about the tremendous story from Africa that ended 2013, that of Nelson Mandela and the worldwide send-off he was given, and rightly so. Mandela will be remembered as the embodiment of William Ernest Henley’s poem, Invictus, that 19th-century verse describing a man who, as Henley put it, fell in the clutch of circumstance, who knew the bludgeonings of chance and bloody head, who found wrath and tears and horror, but through it all was unafraid and, in the end, “captain of his soul.” Well over a month after Mandela’s death, his name is still easily spoken across Africa.