In 2015, is there a welcome for a L’Arche community within Simcoe County?

December 19, 2015

Is hope nurtured when we invite the other to our table?

20151219 Vanier

Jean Vanier visits the residents in one of the L’Arche homes in Trosly, France.

Today’s Globe and Mail and Ian Brown bring to light, Jean Vanier’s comfort and joy: ‘What we have to do is find the places of hope’:

There’s a beautiful text of Jesus, where he says, when you give a meal, don’t invite the members of your family, don’t invite your rich neighbours. When you give a really good meal, invite the poor, the lame, the disabled and the blind. And you will be blessed.

Building a community…

At L’Arche [started in 1964], by fairly stunning contrast, people with intellectual disabilities (the residents) live and work side by side with the nondisabled (their assistants) as peers, in what L’Arche likes to call “mutually transformative relationships.” Because the disabled have an equal hand in setting the tone (often hilarious) and pace (unpredictable) of the homes they live in, they can fairly call these communities their own. They’re the residents, the co-bosses, not the guests. We, the able-bodied, are the ones who have to be integrated into their world, not the other way around. They are honoured as people in their own right, with a contribution to make, no matter how subtle that contribution may be.

“Vanier discovered,” the Templeton Prize citation declares, “that those people who society typically considers the weakest enable the strong to recognize and welcome their own vulnerability.”

L’Arche Canada locations

Simcoe Sojourners

Why is Lick’s Homeburgers & Ice Cream being killed off by its franchisor?

June 29, 2013

What franchisor sends this message to the retail market?

Licks valued customer

Is it in acting in bad faith by destroying all existing Lick’s franchisees’ equity?

  • Who would buy any of these outlets?


Media coverage:

The franchise bar, with perfect foreknowledge, will take what is left of their money in what will be (in the end) a hopelessly futile attempt at legal justice in Ontario. Talk to your premier and your small business loan provider not your a franchise lawyer.

Every day you do nothing about your own entrapment, adds 1.5 days of despair for your children.

July 20, 2012

You’re teaching them that their father’s human rights are bought-and-paid-for by others.

The only worthwhile effort is one without any hope of immediate success.

Every child, instinctively,  understands and is energized by this truth. By choosing life rather than death (Eros and Thanatos).

Authority grinds that truth out of you as you were socialized.

Mr. Fish on Truthdig

Sometimes there isn’t a later for franchisees

January 12, 2011

Windows of opportunity open after years of patient, almost-invisible work.

And then they close.

Despair is always willing to go where your willingness to trust others is not.

You will never be more alone.

I’ve seen it…what happens to people.


Blah, blah, blah: Meetings, managers & competence

January 10, 2011

My daughter will be an engineer in a few years.

And she will have to listen to this type of crap if she chooses a corporate or academic career.

God bless engineers.


Hope, Real Hope, Is About Doing Something

December 4, 2010

Dispel the night through action that on the surface is pure folly.

This excerpt is from Chris Hedges’ column talking about resisting the military violence in Afghanistan.

After the small talk, franchisees are always taking about the violent effects of their work on their families. The missed events, spousal tension, fear of meeting the mortgage…the end of hope.

Hope knows that unless we physically defy government control we are complicit in the violence of the state. All who resist keep hope alive. All who succumb to fear, despair and apathy become enemies of hope. They become, in their passivity, agents of injustice. If the enemies of hope are finally victorious, the poison of violence will become not only the language of power but the language of opposition. And those who resist with nonviolence are in times like these the thin line of defense between a civil society and its disintegration.

Do something, no matter how small.

Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. Hope does not come with the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is an action. Hope is doing something. The more futile, the more useless, the more irrelevant and incomprehensible an act of rebellion is, the vaster and the more potent hope becomes. Hope never makes sense. Hope is weak, unorganized and absurd. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope does not believe in force. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on us all. Hope posits that people are drawn to the good by the good. This is the secret of hope’s power and it is why it can never finally be defeated. Hope demands for others what we demand for ourselves. Hope does not separate us from them. Hope sees in our enemy our own face.

Don’t be afraid.

Hope is not for the practical and the sophisticated, the cynics and the complacent, the defeated and the fearful. Hope is what the corporate state, which saturates our airwaves with lies, seeks to obliterate. Hope is what our corporate overlords are determined to crush. Be afraid, they tell us. Surrender your liberties to us so we can make the world safe from terror. Don’t resist. Embrace the alienation of our cheerful conformity. Buy our products. Without them you are worthless. Become our brands. Do not look up from your electronic hallucinations to think. No. Above all do not think. Obey.


Dance away the heartache, dance away the fears

October 19, 2010

Authority and control has historically opposed compassion and freedom.

To attack despair in the most vulnerable peoples demands great courage. To call others to life: to live a still-difficult life, to not allow your heart to harden,  is a message of compassion, kindness and solidarity worthy of any world leader.

Governor General Jean joins dancers in D-Day town, Nunavut stone caps Inukshuk set in Normandy

Canada’s Governor General Michaëlle Jean dances with Lorne Duquette, from Mistawasis First Nation in Saskatchewan, during her visit yesterday at the Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer, France. (CP/Andrew Vaughan)

Governor General of Canada in Ghana

Michaelle Jean rests her hand on the bars of the ‘Door of No Return,’ the final point in the Elmina Castle where African slaves were fitted through a small opening and boarded on ships

Michaelle Jean, center, takes part in an African dance outside Elmina Castle in Elmina, Ghana, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2006

Governor General Michaëlle Jean dances in her childhood town of Jacmel during a visit to Haiti in 2006.

Maybe not everyone may be able to create this transcendence. But if a Haitian refugee and a farmer’s son can do it, maybe there’s hope for us all.

Dance Away, Roxy Music in 1979

Yesterday – well it seemed so cool
When I walked you home, kissed goodnight
I said “it’s love” you said “alright”
It’s funny how I could never cry
Until tonight and you pass by
Hand in hand with another guy
You’re dressed to kill and guess who’s dying?

Dance away the heartache, dance away the tears
Dance away the heartache, dance away the tears
Dance away

Loneliness is a crowded room
Full of open hearts, turned to stone
All together all alone
All at once my whole world had changed
Now I’m in the dark, off the wall
Let the strobe light up them all
I close my eyes and dance till dawn

Dance away the heartache, dance away the tears
Dance away the heartache, dance away the tears
Dance away, dance away, dance away

Now I know I must walk the line
Until I find an open door
Off the street onto the floor
There was I – many times a fool
I hope and pray, but not too much
Out of reach is out of touch
All the way is far enough

Dance away the heartache, dance away the tears
Dance away the heartache, dance away the tears
Dance away the heartache, dance away the tears
Dance away the heartache, dance away the tears
Dance away the heartache

%d bloggers like this: