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For well over a century the Middle East has been full of foreign meddling, political intrigue, treachery and shifting allegiances. One year into my time with the Canadian diplomatic service, I would become a shocked witness to the latest chapter in this never ending drama.
I thought I might be a poet
to capture beauty in words
but soon the task defeated me
an old man late to the game
then today I watched a woman smile
freeing others to speak
and on the beach two poodles romped
as light as tumbling clouds
I came straight home
picked up my pen and
wrote a few things down
Today I took the all-important first step. I did it slowly, one room at a time, quietly letting my thoughts take form.
My eyes go first to walls and from one picture frame to another. I gaze at wisps of blowing snow, at exquisitely paired trees denuded of leaves, at tender shoots of new life, at skyscapes that meld clouds and water and land in diaphanous light. They are all abstractions, the refined imaginings of Japanese print artists. Around the corner from them hangs a line drawing of a bird pecking the ground for food, a playful Brazilian reminder that life’s joys are found in simple things. Brazilian or Japanese, every one of them is a gift from people I wish I had known. They came to stay.
I remember reading a bumper sticker once that said, “ Hire a teenager while he still knows everything “ . Well, I was a bit like that once and never more so than in Dr. Scammell’s English class. I was reminded of this during the recent 50th anniversary reunion of my Montreal high school graduating class when I walked right into Dr. Scammell’s old classroom.
Let’s get this out of the way up front. Donald Trump is a sexist, a race baiter, a vile, repugnant, vulgar and mean-spirited man who demeans and attacks or sues all who disagree with him. He is a narcissist who thinks that only he has the answers to the nation’s ills some of which he has invented out of whole cloth. Yet.
This is written the day after the Governor General granted Mr. Harper permission to prorogue Parliament, thereby blessedly ending one of the most tawdry parliaments in memory. ? The unthinking political partisanship of all our political parties has been truly shocking. Canada is the loser and certainly more divided by the overly heated rhetoric of the last few days. Where are our political leaders when we need them ?