Into the rain …

I will always be waiting, And I’ll always be watching.

Amy Lee, from Speak To Me


This is one of those days; I am sure you have had them as well; you wake up and just know from the depth of your soul that this day will be different. I felt raw, alive, energized, vital – and I felt powerful despite not everything being as I would choose. I heard a pelting sound behind me by the window of my home office as it began to pour while I was composing this piece. I stopped and ran outside – unprotected, feeling the rush of life, arms raised in the air and I remembered the last time I was out in the rain – and I smiled. I returned inside.


Speak To Me

At the same time I had discovered a new song written and performed by Amy Lee of Evanescence – Speak To Me.

It is beautiful and breathtaking and Lee is spectacular. And it did speak to me – powerfully. It was the perfect storm so-to-speak. I have written in this space once before about a song that absorbed me so, but unlike the band Disturbed who were foreign to me at the time, I have always been a big fan of Lee’s, and again today I have been bowled over by the unmistakable sound of her magnificent and reverberating voice.


Speak To Me

There is so much going on for me today. As some of you know, I have written a book and it will be published this October and today I have numerous deadlines to meet that have nothing to do with the writing of it as that task is I can joyfully declare – complete. I do feel the weightiness of all that publishing my story entails; the excitement, the fear, the anticipation, the unknown but more to come on that in the coming weeks.


Speak To Me

Today is also Father’s Day.

I lost my father over two years ago but gained exponentially more than I lost by our brief time together at the end of his life. I am also a father to four beautiful, talented and distinctive children, each of them are finding their own way in the world as I had to. I understand that. Life can be complicated but only by so much as we allow it to be. Yet I will always be waiting and I’ll always be watching.


Speak To Me

I witnessed incredible joy in the world this week. I attended a wedding that meant a lot to me. A special family, a remarkable extended family too, and I got lost in it all. I realized at that celebration that we come to a point in our life when things have changed; People, relationships, friends, sometimes family. It is the journey of life that stagnation is never an option. We may subconsciously change or change with full awareness, but unmistakably we are constantly changing. And there are always more weddings to come.


Speak To Me

We are now today who we are because of all of these experiences. It is about our growth. We needn’t be sad. We learned. We hurt. We were hurt. We loved. We made choices. Some worked out as planned. Some not. Was it all fate? Was it meant to be? These are concepts that preoccupy me at times. I am however forever grateful for all the experiences. It’s time to move forward – back into the rain …





My hometown was bombed – I still cannot hate

It was just shy of 7pm in Toronto; I pulled into my driveway and was about to turn off the ignition when I heard that startling interruption on the radio “late breaking news – an explosion has been reported at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester England – there are casualties.” MANCHESTER? While my parents and I left Manchester to become new immigrants to Canada as I was but an infant, my frequent visits and strong family bonds make that northern city of Britain forever a second home. I franticly began texting and reaching out to family and friends seeking assurances of their safety. “Everyone okay???? I just heard the news.” A cousin responded back several minutes later, “What news?” Such is the reality of today’s world of instant information – I was aware of the bombing 5700 kilometres away before my Manchester cousin who is living there. As the tragic and horrific magnitude of the cowardly suicide attack unfolded I was sickened by this latest act of nonsensical violence. I have daughters the age of many of the concertgoers. I intensely watched news of the bombing over the next several days and most chilling to me was listening to that all too familiar and distinctive Mancunian dialect uttered by grief-stricken eyewitnesses and the parents and relatives of the missing and killed. A dear Manchester friend posted the following on Facebook days after the attack:

“We’ve had 2 teenage girls, separately, with their mums come in to the shop this afternoon … both were at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. One was too scared [to have] me closing the curtain to the fitting room to try a top on and the other wouldn’t talk at all – it’s so scary and when they left, I burst into tears.”

In addition to the shock and horror, not surprisingly the chorus of hate and venom appeared from the usual quarters both here in my community, abroad and from the White House. The edicts of anti-immigration, “send them back” and impose the Muslim travel ban rang loud and clear once again. One of my ongoing struggles is to try and comprehend what the haters hope to achieve in a practical sense by indirectly slinging their invectives at a broad group of Muslims or any identifiable group for that matter. I say indirectly because they habitually preach such nonsense and vitriol to their own choir of haters – their base! Former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore said on TV in the wake of yet another UK terror attack and other disconcerting news (attack in London and the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change):

“We have a saying in Tennessee, if you find a turtle on top of a post you know he didn’t get up there by himself.”

Such is the underlying message of our own individual responsibility and ability to confront the hate we see in our daily lives. We, I am entitled to express sadness and outrage at the senseless loss of life and innocents maimed for life, but it ought to stop there. I am neither a politician nor a member of our police or armed services. Neither are most of you. All we can do is to either show love or hate. That is a choice. Therein lies our genuine power and ultimately the ability to make a difference.

In the wake of what are likely to be more terrorist attacks to come, I hope we can stand up to intolerance, to polarization, to incitement and see the good that is inherent in most living all around us.