• humility with grace

    While I would describe myself more spiritual than religious, The Donkey poem below has always seemed so simply elegant, so elegantly simple. I first encountered it in grade 12, reading it in my copy of New Horizons: An Anthology of Short Poems, a book passed to me from my older sister complete with our scribbled notes in the margins of poems we studied 5 years apart in our educational process – I still have the book, tattered and treasured. The poem celebrates the beginning of the Christian Holy week, the Sunday before Easter and the last week of Lent – the day Christ rode peacefully, regally, and triumphantly into Jerusalem…

  • Tramps

    Montreal Snowshoe Club on Mount Royal, Montreal, QC, Notman composite, 1872, reprinted with permission Softly, silently, like the snow flakes upon which they trod, with the peculiar roll of the shoulders and jogging of the hips went the band of athletes, the livid torches illuminating their picturesque costumes, their bright turbans, their fleecy bashilisks [coats], and their cerulean tuques. Tramp, tramp like the stroke of fate went their webbed foot-falls. ~ Montreal Gazette, 16 January 1873. The idyllic, nocturnal snowshoeing picture above was duplicated and posted recently on Facebook as an indicator of a university professor’s notation to have his class study and discuss an article I wrote more than…

  • Zen…in cc’s

    I want to be fully transparent concerning the subject matter and inspiration for this blog. The title above comes from this precious work of fiction: Pirsig’s book was published in 1974 and I read it – digested it – the following year. A concise description of the book’s content and focus of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance can be found at the online encyclopedia of information, Wikipedia at this link. The lure to me at the time stemmed from my penchant for motorcycle riding combined with a passion for reading and deep curiosity regarding such an intriguing title. In 1966, at 16 years of age, I purchased my…

  • Jack

    Throughout my life, I have been so fortunate to have so many mentors, people who taught me, guided me, supported me, constructively (mostly) criticized me, and greatest of all, inspired me. One of my earliest preceptors had a profound impact on my academic motivation, my career, and my burgeoning squash skills – John Russell Fairs, Jack, as we all know him. So much has been written about him in terms of his immense contributions to many sports, especially to the game of squash. Perhaps the best overall introduction to Jack is this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlqB6_Q0zjk So very apropos of the mastery aspect of Jack’s impeccable skill as a true student and…

  • The Naked Truth

    At best, the legend revealed beneath this image is apocryphal; I prefer allegorical. Over the years, I have read and digested a lot of books on mythology and symbolism. Indeed, Joseph Campbell and I were on a first name basis, so familiar was I with his many books especially those on myth, mythology, and the hero with “a thousand faces.” At times, I have been drawn to works of art, toured museums, and have been privileged to have stared in awe at the magnificence of a Rembrandt or sculptures like The David, the latter’s majesty and beauty drawing tears from me each of the 3 times I have seen it…