prostitution – yes? no?

April 2nd, 2014

The Culture Clash this week brought Charles and I together on a topic that is likely as divisive today as it has been for a thousands of years. Oh, except whenever religion used it as part of their ritual – prostitution.

Charles’ position is a widely lauded one: prostitution is exclusively about forcing unwilling women into the sex trade. Mine was a bit more nuanced, finding ways to regulate and improve protections for women (and children!) and to remove the stigma… Continue Reading…

creating the space between us

March 30th, 2014

Jim Sanborn, Lux, Fort Myers

Without language, we would have a very hard time understanding our world. Some theories about the development of language assume that the development of rational thought is dependent upon language. Others believe it is the reverse of that. Whichever, the reality is that having learned language within contexts that ever vary from person to person, our ability to explain ourselves is limited if we explore anything beyond the most simple of things. Describing ideas or… Continue Reading…

time doesn’t move so smoothly

March 15th, 2014

earth lanterns from awaken light, 2014

How quickly we have changed.
From gathering roots and berries,
and dancing stories to hold back the night,
to cashless shopping
and instant global communications,
our advances have been blindingly fast
over the past ten thousand years
on our evolutionary timeline.

Still, time doesn’t move so smoothly,
when you’re sitting in the doctor’s waiting room
or standing on the roadside
with the school bus twenty minutes late.
And it certainly doesn’t… Continue Reading…

intentionally focused contemplation: prayer beyond belief

March 14th, 2014

Doesn’t it seem like the plethora of interactive electronic means for communication available to us has made it harder and harder for us to make time in our daily schedule to be truly attentive to those things that matter most in our lives: our relationships; the issues that are important to us; the values we seek to live by? We run, almost incessantly – at least I do – from one thing to another all day long, plagued by AADD… Continue Reading…

hard choices

March 1st, 2014

This Focused Moment was written to accompany a service at West Hill during which we were exploring the themes in Martin Scorcese’s Film The Wolf of Wall Street. The movie was disturbing and novelist H. M. Forester’s quote seems an apt introduction.  The poem is below.

There is this thing called choice
that we value so highly.
Free will, some call it,
all our decisions
left to ourselves.
There is this thing called freedom
that… Continue Reading…

a world away from here

February 23rd, 2014

A Focused Moment written after watching the movie Captain Phillips and before reading anything more about it. The consideration of helplessness emerged as I wrote.

A world away
from wherever you are right now.
A world away
from confidence,
the right to say what you think,
or choose not to.
A world away
from enjoying the moment
and welcoming others into it.
A world away
from here, now,
you and me
and who we think we are.

We… Continue Reading…

snippets and scraps

February 16th, 2014

The following was inspired by the movie Saving Mr. Banks in which the author of Mary Poppins reveals that the story is not about saving the children, but about saving their father. The film takes us back and forth between the challenges she faced as the daughter of an alcoholic father and the opposition with which she approaches the creation of the Disney blockbuster adaptation of her book.
Perhaps, though, it is more inspired by the conversations I’ve recently… Continue Reading…

on birth certificates and birth control – the culture clash

February 12th, 2014

So, I am called a bully by Charles McVety for suggesting Rob Ford, as mayor of the city hosting World Pride, should attend the festivities but Charles believes he is within the bounds of human sanity for demanding that it is appropriate to deny a woman access to birth control and then force her to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term!

You will hear me say that it is okay for a doctor to deny birth control if his or her… Continue Reading…


February 12th, 2014

Without a doubt
there were things amiss.
The perfect world
wasn’t the way I’d imagined.
I doubt it was the way anyone had imagined.
But it had unfolded in this pristine way,
with such perfection in it,
that it shone
like a luminous
and perfectly formed pearl.
But I couldn’t find a place to be me,
with my faults,
my weaknesses,
the arrogant and dissonant ideas
that refused to be quieted.
There was, in fact,
no space for… Continue Reading…

change room etiquette and board room equity

February 5th, 2014

The Culture Clash on the John Oakley Show this week raised the spectre Charles McVety has long been warning of: a sexual predator identifying as a trans woman using protocols in place to support trans people to access the women’s change  room of a public swimming pool and make inappropriate advances on a woman undressing after her swim. Ken Gallinger responded to her letter to the Star.  I thought his response was measured and insightful, but that didn’t stop Charles… Continue Reading…