Esmeralda Santiago recalls a childhood memory in “When I was Puerto Rican”: Sunday morning before breakfast Abuela handed me my piqué dress, washed and ironed. “We’re going to Mass,” she said, pulling out a small white mantilla, which I was to wear during the service. “Can we have breakfast first, Abuela. I’m hungry.” “No. We have to fast before church. Don’t ask why. It’s too complicated to explain.” I dressed and combed my hair, and she helped me pin the mantilla to the top of my head. “All the way there and back,’ she said, “you should have nothing but ... [Continue Reading]
About Sean MullanSeán Mullan had careers as a Marine Navigation Officer and a Church Minister before setting up and running a social enterprise called Third Space in Dublin City Centre.
It happens more often than I would like. Some important piece of technology goes on the blink, my phone, my e-book reader, my laptop. I try to get the best out of what I buy and also try and avoid adding to the planet’s heaps of electronic rubbish so I keep my technology for as long as I possibly can. The longer you keep it the more likely it is to malfunction. When something goes on the blink I always try the soft reset first. Soft reset means the phone, reader or laptop resets itself without wiping everything clean. It ... [Continue Reading]
The other crowd. Do you know who I mean? Them. The ones not like us. The ones we would like to be friends with if only they would get their act together and start seeing things my way. What do we do about the other crowd? That question can start a war, destabilise a country, spark a riot, divide a religious denomination or split a family. It has done all of those. Many times. Like dust particles in the air that are seen only in a beam of sunlight, the issue of “the other lot” is always there, whether seen ... [Continue Reading]
First the immediate challenge of this time is that we have been significantly disturbed in recent months. For those of us who like predictability and a reasonable level of security, which is probably a huge majority of us, that causes us to classify these times as difficult. I have a number of difficulties with "difficult." Even if you leave God out of the picture there are people in Yemen, Syria and India who would tell us we have no idea what "difficult" is and who among us would look them in the eye and tell them they are wrong? And ... [Continue Reading]