The thing about those wild once-upon-a-time stories is that the good ones are always more true than we imagine. They can touch us profoundly. So here’s one: Once upon a time there was a little girl. A lost girl. Before I share more, though, let me say, as if it needs saying,
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!
I’m a white Canadian. But I easily imagine myself as a dark Arabian. A Muslim. There, on the streets with a kufiya on my head. Or there, I’m a Muslim woman with a beautiful, but hidden, face, walking along the beach. I’m just telling you. I mean, what if I was born in, say, Yemen.
(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, September 17, 2016) ABOARD KLM FLIGHT 535 TO UGANDA ✦ I’ve always envied people who could watch their mothers grow old. My mother, I’ve shared previously, passed on when I was in kindergarten. I hadn’t seen her for two years prior to that. Funny to think of it here, half asleep at 40,000 feet.
So, I just filled out Canada’s most recent census, barely beating the May 31 deadline and thus staying out of jail and fulfilling this duty of those of us living in this great country. Before letting me go, the questionnaire asked if I or anyone in the family would mind if all the sordid details [...]
(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, May 20, 2016) HAMILTON, CANADA ✦ So it's the middle of the night and my wife walks into the bedroom and says: "There's a mouse in the dishwasher." This is strange even for our household, the sort of announcement that suggests my wife is hallucinating from working way too late, again, or that I'm having one of those dreams.
Past, Present, and Future walk into a bar. It was tense. + There’s no such thing as a self-made man (or woman), no, not even those of us who have a net worth of $10 billion (Mr. Trump) have made it without some help on the way. It’s easy to think otherwise but travel is [...]
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.