long weekend

And we’re only halfway through. What I wouldn’t give for peace.

Someday, I pray I’m proven to be wrong, and there is a heaven, and it’s just an opportunity to do and learn all things you never got a chance to during your life. Every bit of knowledge learned.

Who shot JFK? Were aliens actually here? Who really controls the world?

And the scariest of all: what did people actually think of me?

Plus, you know, doing all the things you wanted to try: travelling to every part of the world, kayaking the Colorado, trekking the Amazon, finding out if Patrick Stewart is really as cool as he seems. Seeing if Helen of Troy or Cleopatra live up to the hype. Is Rasputin’s dick really pickled somewhere? Was kindness really all it was cracked up to be?

You know, stuff like that.

Target: 1500 words
Written: 1969 words, novel: Father Lightning


Friday, Friday. Girls are working tomorrow so it might almost be a relaxing day.

I doubt it though. I am not a lucky man, and I do prefer to remind myself of that fact.

Of course, I do it with kindness, because you know, maybe it’ll reverse the jinx if I don’t overassume good things will happen to me.

Assumptions of goodwill can be a virus, especially if you haven’t earned it.

Target: 1500 words
Written: 1479 words, novel: Father Lightning

sad times

Too many lately. Death after death, tragedy after tragedy.

The pandemic brought everything to a grinding halt; coming out of it has felt like being thrown into a meat grinder.

I thought I was down during The Mungk; daily meditations on trauma and fatalism being a big part of that. Thinking about kindness has only caused me to realize how small a part of the world it’s become.

I blame Trump, Putin and all the other right wing motherfuckers; propagating constant lies amidst a firehose of misinformation, killing rational thought and reasonable behaviour in a fiery torment of unreal anger and radicalization.

I think I’m going to have to start looking harder. Either that or go it alone. Hell, it worked for Jesus, didn’t it?

Wait. Did it?

Okay, Ghandi maybe. Wait. Him too?

Martin Luther King? John Lennon?

Jesus, being kind is a violent racket.

Target: 1500 words
Written: 2642 words, novel: Father Lightning


And not the cool, freaky, robotic ones from East Of West (which you should totally read, by the way, if you’re into apocalyptic fiction surrounding an alternate America and the love story between Death and the vicious, but awesome empress of China).

Father Lightning revolves around a perversion of two things: first, my grandfather, who was among the kindest men I’ve ever known – a role model for me in so many ways. And secondly, the United Church, where I grew up and eventually left, because when we did confirmation at age twelve, I decided to, uh, read the Bible.

Like, all of it.

Nothing will turn you atheist faster, believe me. Well, fast isn’t the word, I suppose. It’s a very long book, although by the time I was through with Exodus, I was well on my way. Something about the way they treated women and gay folks, and well, you know, the explicit acceptance of slavery as being totally cool.

Even at twelve, I knew that shit wasn’t right.

Anyway, I had to get away from God, and it’s taken me three decades to come back to it with a fresh look. I’m not, by any means, turning Christian. I’m not even taking up a belief in God. I am, however, seeing that some faiths aren’t as harmful as others. The United Church was among the first to accept gay marriage, women into the ministry and the message is largely of kindness. Heck, they even came out with a surprisingly accountable apology for residentials schools… in the Nineties, twenty years before the rest of Canada was forced to reckon with them.

All faiths are not equal, and not always harmful.

That said, I’m perverting both things, because I needed a vehicle to show that no matter our intentions, when we allow our beliefs to become institutionalized, they become magnets for people craving power. Greedy people. People who want to lord over others. And slowly, over time, we begin to forget why we believe what we believe and the words we use become scribbles on a floor, walked over and unread.

Our faith becomes dogmatic; our truths platitudes served up only in the service of covering up worse behaviour. They become a false shield; a way to deflect from the many crimes going on behind the front lines.

That’s what Father Lightning is. Reclaiming kindness without faith. Kindness as logic. Kindness as common sense. Kindness as what it should be – a way of life that makes the lives of everyone involved better, which makes sense.

Why anyone would choose otherwise is beyond me.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 1182 words, novel: Father Lightning

st emilion

Okay, St-Emilion was pretty cool. My daughter didn’t get to sit on the magic pregnancy bench, because it was in the lower village and well, as we’re discovering, France makes minimal effort at making things accessible to the disabled. Still, good wine, and there was some kind of mural for financing armageddon?

I’m not entirely certain what all that was about, but my wife and daughter did light a candle for their recently deceased mother/grandmother there. She wasn’t a practicing Catholic anymore, due to yet another local scandal involving a sick priest and children, which directly affected close friends of hers, but I believe she still took some comfort in belief. At least, I hope so, given the terrible number Alzheimer’s brought on her.

Hey, Catholics, maybe if you rethought that whole marriage/sex thing, you wouldn’t have so many fucked up perverts in your midst.

Just a thought.

Target: 1300 words
Written: 147 words, novel: Father Lightning

good friday

I mean, I’m not religious, so it’s just a day off for us to take our dog for a walk down a sideroad, but hey, it’s time off. Time for family, and that’s important.

Zombie Jesus isn’t that interesting, although as a metaphor for the killing of kindness, I can agree. Old Testament God is spiteful and hateful, a demagogue in all-powerful trappings. The ultimate masturbatory fantasy for wannabe fascists.

The New Testament is less angry, less vitriol. Less control. It’s like God’s rebellious son decided to buck his petty, authoritarian jealousies and become a straight hippie (with caveats, obviously – there’s still a power trip there).

Anyway, I’m pretty sure Jesus fucked Mary Magdalene and never actually died. They just went on a three-day bender of perversity and orgasm (and wine – you know dude was into it), before coming back and having to make shit up about dying and coming back to cover up their illicit affair and hangovers.

How’s that for a good Friday?

Target: 1300 words
Written: 1225 words, novel: Father Lightning

another week, another end of week

Thank goodness. Kindness. I use the words thank god and for Christ’s sake and things like that, but realistically, I shouldn’t. I’m not Christian. I’m agnostic at best.

Habit, I suppose. There’s no correlation between divinity and human religion, though I believe in the divinity of certain behaviours. Kindness, for one.

Perspective and understanding, another.

Total honesty, in the nicest possible of conveyance.

All things to strive for, and for which I repeatedly fail.

Target: 1200 words
Written: 444 words, comic: Bike #1