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.
So, it’s Day 5 of our official return to our own home, Day 4 of the kids’ return to school, that is their Canadian school, this, their annual routine here in Hamilton for the next couple of months. Of course, this is long enough to get new clothes (thank God for mothers willing to do [...]
It was the other day, since my family’s recent return to Canada, and I was on the massage table (I’ve had a bad back for 30 years), and we were talking about her husband. He has MS and it isn’t getting any better and soon, with the help of some friends, she and he and [...]
(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, April 22, 2016) BRUSSELS-ZAVENTUM AIRPORT ✦ Once upon a time (otherwise known as "the old days,") people would watch news on their old televisions, or listen on their old radios, or pick up old newspapers that even landed on their front porches (remember front porches?) with a thud.
(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, February 13, 2016) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It was over lunch in Dundas with my sister, somewhere between the spring rolls and the coconut shrimp, when the question came without any hint to suggest this would be one of those ‘aha’ moments that can be unpacked and looked at and handled for a lifetime. “So of all the places you’ve been,” she asked, “what’s your favourite?” I might have said Paris or Berlin or Seoul, or maybe Amsterdam or London or Istanbul, or maybe somewhere in the Mid-East or Africa ...
It’s Monday morning coffee at the kids’ school, a privileged school if for no other reason than it sits in the middle of Africa’s sunshine and offers parents morning coffee. I wonder aloud about sending the kids to Washington. Snow, you know, is healthy for kids, and so is the bitter cold, and the snowier [...]
(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, November 7, 2015) ISTANBUL, Turkey ✦ This starts in Hamilton where I was driving to my local polling station amidst dead leaves blowing everywhere, as hard as the winds of political change. It was the first time in 14 years I was around in the fall to see the trees lose their lifeblood, a moment in time, even as we all, after our simple X on a paper put in a cardboard box, watched change blow into Ottawa.
I’m back in Africa. But let’s go back just a few days. Hey, there’s a guy balancing four wine glasses, full, on top of each other, on his head. Everyone laughs. And cheers. That is one enormous and flat head. This, on an old cobblestone road in front of the Hotel Sultana, an otherwise non-descript [...]