Welcoming Syrian refugees: with or without the niqab

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Our Syrian friends will soon be with us.  Groups all over the country are working hard to sponsor a refugee family and I am part of one.

I am looking forward to meeting “our” family and helping them to settle in Canada. But that means that I must, and all Canadians must, put aside whatever concerns they may have about the newest members of our family and welcome them with open arms.

In Canada, we recently had a debate about wearing the niqab in citizenship courts and no doubt some of the refugees coming to Canada will be wearing one.  Eighty two percent of Canadians disagree with allowing the niqab to be worn while taking the citizenship oath.

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Come home to mama now!

Martha Wainwright

Martha Wainwright

I just heard, for the first time, Canadian-American singer songwriter Martha Wainwright’s beautiful and haunting rendition of her mother Kate McGarrigle’s song “Proserpina” and was knocked off my feet.

Martha Wainwright’s soaring voice expresses the pain, desperation and yearning of parents whose adult child has disappeared from their lives. The song could be about a homeless child, a drug-addled child out on a binge, an estranged child or simply a child who has chosen to live in another country.

The chorus of the song goes like this:

Proserpina! Proserpina!
Come home to mama, come home to mama
Proserpina! Proserpina!
Come home to mother, come home to mama now.

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The legacy of Christmas dinner 2014

In anticipation of December 1, 2015.

After all attempts to pass the torch have failed miserably

While taking the pulse of the nation, I discovered a strain of subversive thought circulating amongst the granny set, including a few grandpas.  They are already planning a demonstration on Parliament Hill for December 1, 2015 and their main chant goes like this:

What do we want?

Someone else to make Christmas dinner!

When do we want it?

Now!

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Keeping Marriages Intact

Child psychology experts say one of the most important things we can do for our children is to nourish our marriage and to keep it intact. Even adult children suffer from the late life divorce of their parents.

For people who want to improve their marriage or simply understand it, Dr. Sue Johnson’s new book “Love Sense” offers a fascinating look at what makes a love relationship work and what we can do to repair it when it falls off the rails.

She bases her theories on psychology, biology, and 30 years of clinical practice.

Dr. Johnson uses John Bowlby’s attachment theory to explain that adults bond to one another in the same way babies bond to their mothers. Bowlby claimed that the love bond is a safety and survival mechanism and one of its main roles is to make life less terrifying.

Dr. Johnson says adults, like babies, bond for life. That’s monogamy, my friends!

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