Today was John De Lazzari’s funeral. But I don’t believe life ends, and John’s most certainly won’t. In my bones I know, the love we sow in this life continues and is living, and John loved very very well while he shared this life with us. It was a grace, an honour and a privilege to know John. His smile, his warmth of heart, his gentleness and his absolute faithfulness linger with me in my own heart. But perhaps one of the most profound witnesses to the beauty of John’s life lay in his ocean deep friendship with his (and our) dear friend Michael Barrett. It was a marvel to behold. It was and is a light for all of us. I share this video in tribute to John and in testament to the deep fruits of his beautiful and wonderful life.
Excerpt from the DVD Prophets of Peace (In God’s Hands: Michael Barrett’s Story)
A tribute to our dear friend John De Lazzari and the beautiful friendship he shared with Michael Barrett. John passed from this life into the next on Monday, September 23rd, 2013 at the young age of 45. Dear John, this is a deepest thank you for all the love, gentleness, goodness, kindness, laughter, compassion and joy with which you lived your beautiful life. You were a living example of faithfulness. Love is eternal. With prayers to his loving wife Hoosnah, his family and his many friends. God bless you John – as we were blessed through you.
I started working with L’Arche Daybreak to create a video arm to their social media presence/ strategy. L’Arche is an organization that lives and breathes the essence of authentic community. With their growing Facebook page being their focus, I’m recording and editing a short daily series of the positive goings-on in their community life, building on the online resonance that they’ve already discovered by sharing images of positive daily events and the lives of charasmatic “core members” who are at the heart of their community life.
It started with a shuffle. I was sitting in a public waiting area at Mount Sinai Hospital yesterday. A man in his 80s, wearing a beige trench coat and a few days stubble shuffled in to the seat next to me. He sat, paused, gummed a bit then turned and in a rich Hebrew accent asked if I knew what that giant candelabrum was next to us. “I think it’s a menorah” I offered and that opened it. He informed me on the meaning of Shabbat (to rest), why animals are sacred, he tested me on the difference between animals and humans – “speech” I offered, “and walking upright” he added. “That’s me” he said as a red pick-up pulled up outside the front door. He stood, shuffled, grinned and shook my hand saying, “Nice to meet you. Enjoy Life!” and off he shuffled toward his balding middle aged son holding the door. I turned, waved, and was left smiling with the stranger in the seat across from me. “Enjoy Life!”
Creative Commons Licence from SBC9
I live in a city. Now there’s any number of problems that can scare a person about a city, violence, crowds, pollution… For me it’s just one thing: Grid lock. Sure, everyone gets frustrated by it, angry. It’s not a pleasurable thing. But me, it actually scares me. My knuckles turn white, I start sweating, my heart rate picks up, my mouth gets dry, and I run from it, like I do my imagination in a midnight woods. It’s a bad thing, so call me a coward, but I just don’t want to get involved. That’s when I head north to escape to the open fields, the fresh air, the sandy beaches and pristine waters, joining the Friday night traffic that stretches like a tapeworm on Hwy 400. I guess that’s why they tell you to face your fears.
But there’s something else out there on those bare county roads. Not a thing so much as a business, a rare trade, and one particular to these parts of Ontario. As you crawl into Perkinsfield, in a township called Tiny, past summer signs that boast of giant “asparagus – 20 feet”, you’ll find the first hint of their kind. Just off the dirt shoulder, where brake lights are filtered by dust, sits the truest answer to grid lock. This one’s an old TTC street car, propped up on a set of aimless tracks. The trolley was carted up to these parts a year ago, retired from its public duties and, under a fresh coat of paint, found a new persona. The RED ROCKET was freshly toasted as the latest addition of the Chip Wagon industry.
Yes the Chip Wagon. Whether you’ve bathed in the masterful brilliance of a “fry” well done or suffered in the bowels over a bad batch of gravy, these double parked beauties are a salute to the idea of stop and go. Locomotive burger shacks, a Meals on Wheels of sorts. Sure it’s not low fat health food. If you’re lethargically overweight, with high cholesterol, maybe you should reconsider that meal plan, and if you’re an ardent supporter of the benefits of trail mix, then drive on. But there’s no denying the place they have in the landscape.