Recently we were visiting with friends when the discussion turned to the topic of customary greetings around the world. I mentioned that greetings in Thailand are accompanied by a gesture known as the ‘wai’, which involves placing the palms together with fingertips at the nose, the forehead, or the chest while bowing the head. This … More Who Do You Think You Are?
At first glance, the answer to this question seems obvious. From the time we are very young, we connect with others in social situations. As young children, our instincts guide us in seeking compatible playmates. Many people consider their best friends to be those that they made in early childhood, or during their formative school … More How Do You Make Friends?
I recently watched the movie, The Lost Daughter on Netflix. It explores some of the unvarnished truths of motherhood. The director, Maggie Gyllenhaal, has talked about the two models of motherhood we espouse as a culture—the bad mother who is neglectful and unfit or the good mother who tries to live up to all the … More The Good Mother
I am humbled and honoured by this posting from Catherine Brown in Australia. Just finished reading “Geckos and Guns” by a Canadian author, Sharon Bazant. It is a real page turner and beautifully written. For anyone that has lived in Islamabad, travelled through Pakistan, either as an ex-pat, tourist, missionary, or on a diplomatic posting, … More A Great Review
Once again Christmas is going to be challenging this year. Countries all over the world are tightening restrictions for gatherings and travel. For many, it feels like this pandemic is going on forever. The future is uncertain. Mental health and addiction issues are on the rise. Buddhist philosophy tells us to focus on what we … More Gratitude for the Holidays
I was sorting through old papers recently and came upon a short piece that I wrote many years ago. It got left behind in a dusty old file. It seems to be a story waiting to be told. But what kind of story would it be? Is it a murder mystery? Or the tale of … More What Kind of Story?
We all have ‘dinner party stories’ to tell. Here is one of ours. Long before we started to travel, live overseas, and explore the world, we had some unique down-home adventures. Feel free to share one of yours. It was a chilly spring night in Alberta, 1971. Jim and Sara were winding down with a … More Friday Night Lesson: A True Story
Many of us have been watching the television series, Impeachment: American Crime Story, which focuses on the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal of the late 1990s. The story is primarily told from the perspective of the women caught in a web of secrets, lies, and political revenge—Linda Tripp, Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, and Hillary Clinton. Linda, … More The Burden of His Sins
Recently the actor, Jonah Hill made a social media request, asking people not to comment about his body—good or bad. Hooray for him! I am overjoyed that a celebrity with a substantial public platform has opened up this conversation. For many years, I have been expressing similar sentiments. It is important to maintain a healthy … More A Body of Thoughts
In my memoir, Geckos & Guns: The Pakistan Years, I have written about the complexities and difficulties of cross-cultural marriages between Pakistani men and western women. These were my observations in the early 1990s. Perhaps things have changed—I hope so. The following is an excerpt from Geckos & Guns on this topic. I would love … More Cross-cultural Marriages in Pakistan