Author Archives: Men's Work

About Men's Work

Keith Ashford. Men's counsellor, private practice, Kingston, Ontario. Graduate of Queen's University (M.Div). Former journalist, minister. No religious affiliation.

Up. Down

New York, New York lyrics: “I’m number one / Top of the list / Head of the heap / King of the hill”

When we stand at the summit of personal achievement, there is only one way to go: Down.

Lila

Life is a play about love. We are currently watching what happens when love is thwarted, repressed, personalized, nationalized, militarized. When love is turned in on itself, when it becomes selfishness, it explodes.

War and peace. Briefly

When a concern for the common good overtakes our longstanding preoccupation with me and mine, peace will prevail. In the meantime, war is inevitable. We strive to hold individuals and agencies accountable for war, but in fact no one is responsible. Unless everyone is.

Mr. Nobody

Where there are memories, there is a person. Where there are no memories, there is no person. Perhaps because most of life is unremembered, memories are described as precious and irreplaceable. We escape burning buildings clutching old photographs, artifactual evidence that we exist. There are numberless black and white images in circulation, floating around in flea markets and other places, even lying on the ground. We look at them, faded and curled, and wonder: Who are those people? According to every cultural convention, a person is a bundle of particulars, a medley of distinguishing characteristics which, if we are among the blessed, will be curated at some later date for an obituary. Now tell me, is this beginning to feel like a rabbit hole? What if we are not persons at all? What if we are nobody in particular?