LONDON, ONTARIO – Hermaneutics is still on holidays this week but here is a piece from two summers ago about our discovery of the glories of Catholic tourism . . . .
IN THE LAST DAYS of July my wife and I elected to take our place among 49 other pilgrims on a chartered bus of the incongruously named Badder line out of St. Thomas that took us to St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal (stomping ground of the newly canonized Brother Andre); Our Lady of the Cape in Cap-de-la-Madelaine near Trois-Rivieres (the most thoroughly Catholic town I’ve ever visited on this continent); the Basilica of Ste. Anne de Beaupre (a magnificent cathedral dedicated to Our Lady’s mother and the oldest pilgrimage site in North America); Notre Dame Basilica-Cathedral in old Quebec City (our first visit to that exquisite burg since our honeymoon in 1977) and the touchingly modest Shrine to the even more recently canonized Kateri Tekakwitha in Kahnawake.
SALT SPRING ISLAND, BRITISH COLUMBIA – You were promised a field report this week from our continent’s west coast, otherwise known as the zone of the woke, where I suppose the politically correct might say we’re having ourselves an endangered whale of a time. I’ve had my very own I Ching hexagram thrown on Hornby Island with a change line in the fifth place which means that I am proudly transitioning from ‘#33 Retreat’ to ‘#56 The Wanderer’. I’ve wolfed down a gluten-free muffin on Salt Spring Island while standing outside a public washroom designated “Universal” and have charted the transit of Venus (she was perched right on the lower tip of a waxing crescent moon) from an observation tower in the northern Washington seaport of Westport while chugging a can of sugar-free Fanta Orange.
LONDON, ONTARIO - Hermaneutics is on the road this week, sampling the progressive fleshpots and political flashpoints of our continent’s west coast. In place of the customary up-to-the-minute commentary which has made this blog such an internet phenomenon, I offer you this essay from precisely one year ago in which I announced my reckless decision to get married for the second time:
LONDON, ONTARIO – The single book with which George Orwell (1903-50) is most identified – Nineteen Eighty-Four - was published 69 years ago this fall. An oppressively dark vision of social manipulation and political tyranny in late 20th century Britain, few books have so completely worked their way into the popular imagination and vocabulary. Borrowing from Orwell’s dystopian novel, we call euphemistic or neutered language ‘newspeak’. Politically incorrect ideas are ‘thought crimes’. An epidemic of surveillance cameras monitoring public and private spheres makes us no strangers to the concept of an all-seeing ‘Big Brother’.
LONDON, ONTARIO –
Here’s an essay I wrote 29 summers ago:
I stepped out our front door at one p.m. to sample the humours of the new day I’d risen to, when my five-year-old son came running up to me with an amazing bit of news. “Did you know old people bleed?” he asked. He’d been riding his bike on the sidewalk with his friend when they saw an old lady keel over and smash her face against some concrete steps across the road. “That’s her over there?”
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