Author: Brian Doyle

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    What will children dream if not of bears?

    • Brian Doyle
    • 08 December 2015
    2 Comments

    If a three-year-old likes bears, you are into bears for the foreseeable future. Bears have been around since before there were pencils, my young friend said, which is inarguably true, and not something I had ever considered before. When we talk about what is lost in a world in which wilderness is lost, we never talk about the loss of the life we imagine. When there are no bears in the world, then no children will dream of bears, and draw bears, and sleep with bears, and that will be a terrible shame.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Windows to grace on the school bus

    • Brian Doyle
    • 12 October 2015
    6 Comments

    I am present in the kitchen window at 7.39 exactly if at all possible, to be given the gift of a kid licking his window, or a kid waving at me, or one little kid inarguably and thoroughly picking his nose. You wouldn't think that a boy picking his nose would be a glorious and poignant and thrilling and joyous sight, something that seemed truly and deeply holy, but it sure was, to me. All children are my children and yours and the bus bounces down the street every morning and we are not dead and all is grace.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The holy mystery of why the Sisters are not in charge of the Church

    • Brian Doyle
    • 18 August 2015
    27 Comments

    Not one of them ever raped a child or moved rapists from one parish to another. Not one of them ever played havoc with church funds. Not one of them ran off with a secretary. As far as I could tell each of them embraced hard work, and kindness, and humility and was every bit as committed and dedicated to the ancient mission of the Church as any priest or brother or abbot or bishop or cardinal or pope.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A rant about America's weapons fired economy

    • Brian Doyle
    • 16 June 2015
    21 Comments

    Here's a story. A man who was a soldier in the American army in Iraq tells it to me. A friend of his, one of his best and closest friends, was nearly pierced through by a bullet fired by a sniper. American surgeons removed the bullet and discovered it was a 5.56mm cartridge manufactured in Lake City, Missouri. For profit.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Grandmother is dying

    • Brian Doyle
    • 05 May 2015
    4 Comments

    There are two chairs flanking Grandmother’s bed and I am to sit in the chair by the window. That is the chair in which children sit and I am a child so. Grandmother is in the bed sleeping. I am keeping vigil. Mother says Grandmother is dying but she looks like she is sleeping to me.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Never forget the actual St Patrick

    • Brian Doyle
    • 16 March 2015
    10 Comments

    A courage that could not be crushed, an imagination That could not be imprisoned, a song sung anywhere Free people insist on telling their own wild holy tales.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Luther's flawed hardware decisions

    • Brian Doyle
    • 27 January 2015
    27 Comments

    Martin Luther was absolutely correct and right philosophically when he nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to a chapel door in Wittenberg. The Catholic Church was rife with greed and corruption and scandal and lies and theft and devious financial plots, as it still is, and probably always has been. But I maintain that Luther was utterly wrong and incorrect in his choice of tools.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Wee Mary MacKillop minds the shop

    • Brian Doyle
    • 15 December 2014
    4 Comments

    I can tell you that Fitzroy always was and will be a wry wilderness; Every colour and ethnicity and language you can imagine lives there... And now I see wee quiet shy Mary MacKillop there, minding a shop. She is fourteen. Her people are Scottish. She will be legendary, later.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A word with dad

    • Brian Doyle
    • 09 September 2014
    4 Comments

    Somehow, even with all those children, and with the usual brawl and bawl among his sons, and what surely must have been many a snide remark from his daughter, our dad never lost his temper, or even, that we remember, his equanimity. Just as amazing, he never seemed to miss a crime or misdemeanour, but somehow knew of it instantly.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    As close as we ever came to the Navy

    • Brian Doyle
    • 01 July 2014
    2 Comments

    When I was young, I thought that men and women in the military were violent and foolish. Now I understand that they are braver than I was, brave enough to admit and acknowledge our ancient addiction, and in many cases do astounding things to bring it to an end; the most eloquent and articulate agents for peace I ever met are those who've been in wars, and the most strident agents for wanton butchery are those who never knew it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The weight and wonder of a brother's last words

    • Brian Doyle
    • 17 June 2014
    11 Comments

    We give great weight to last words. Most of the time I'd guess that those words are about love. I'd guess that some of those final words are shrieks or gasps or utterances of astonishment. The very last thing my brother said before he died was 'The answer is in the questioning.' I have thought about those words for two years now. It turns out you can ponder them from every conceivable angle and never get to the bottom of what they mean.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Luckier man's lessons in grace

    • Brian Doyle
    • 03 March 2014
    9 Comments

    So let us review: a man sent me a deft wedding gift even though I was the man who was marrying the girl his son had loved for years ... The dad was sad when the young couple broke up. But he was delighted that she was married to someone she loved, he told me years later, and of course he sent me a present, out of affection for her and respect for me ... So it was that yet again I learned about grace, and about being an actual man ...

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