The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Archive for

The Third Place – a Novella

Posted on July 31, 2018

Summer is as time for novels.  Two summers ago, I wrote a novel about a woman leader learning to deal with an Internet troll.  Last year it was about a young American senator taking on a president gone rogue. And for this summer I’ve written a novella (defined as a short novel between 30,00 – 60,000 words – somewhere between a short story and a novel). This past week I finished The Third Place– a story about an entrepreneur and his family who decide to use their business to support the dialogue of democracy and citizenship.  The protagonist is Everton Overly, who buys a vast older home in an old portion of a Canadian city and works to turn it into his dream of the…

Summer Reflections – It Was Always Thus

Posted on July 25, 2018

In a column I’m writing for this weekend’s London Free Press, I talk about how people in low-income situations can’t actually afford summer.  I stumbled across this article from the New York Times, written in 1860, just as the American Civil War was about to commence.  There are a lot of similarities here and I thought it worth sharing.  In some ways we’ve made progress, but not in others. ————————————————————————————-   Where the Rich and the Poor Pass the Summer May 19, 1860 The season is fast approaching when our wealthy and fashionable citizens will, according to their annual custom, leave the City, and seek a more comfortable and healthy retreat in the country. And what, then, of the poor, whom poverty and the…

Summer Reflections – Physician, Heal Yourself

Posted on July 22, 2018

For centuries the word “sabbath” denoted a time of religious retreat, but in recent years it has come to be viewed as a necessary time of retreat to recalibrate ourselves to face the pressures of modern life. “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy,” was one of the original 10 Commandments – the third on the list – but it was a concept practiced by other religions and cultures around the world.  For some that meant focusing on God; for others it was a time of healing. It was centred on the idea that life during the week can not only drain us but also cause us to make decisions that in the long run are detrimental to our mental health.  There is…

The Legacy Lingers. Its Effect Uncertain

Posted on July 18, 2018

Today would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday. Hard to believe that he’s been gone from among us for five years already and questions continue to linger about his abiding influence.  Some of it is easy to figure.  As a person of moral stature, it is likely that no one from this present generation will stand as such a colossus of meaning and integrity.  As a family man, his life was mixed – as one would expect from someone so fully dedicated to a cause of freedom and having to spend almost 30 years in prison as a result of that commitment.  As a leader for human rights, his practices were varied, but the ultimate outcomes of his efforts are now beyond dispute.  And…

Summer Reflections – Half of Life, Half of Death

Posted on July 17, 2018

Ronald Rotheiser issues a challenge in his Forgotten Among the Lilies, and it’s worth taking up as a summer test.  Prompting us to have a good look in the mirror, he says: “Scrutinize and examine, look for signs of ageing, but spend that time looking into your eyes.  What do they reveal?  Are they tired, unenthusiastic, cynical, lifeless, lacking in sparkle, hardened?  . . . Is there any fire there?  Does passion still burn?  Are they weary of experiencing, incapable of being surprised?  Is there still a young child buried somewhere behind them?” It used to be that such insights were directed to those reaching senior years, but not anymore. There’s been too much research telling us that depression, loneliness, mental illness and a quiet desperation…

%d bloggers like this: