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Mitchell Toews | The peacemongers

After a summertime ballgame, we sat in the shade of the playground’s toboggan slide and somehow the conversation wandered from baseball to the philosophical. Our Mennonite elders taught us peace and how to live in a congregation and a community. Our greatest collective efforts as a people were directed at prevention and resolution. Other, less noble, efforts concerned denial and a refusal to face the conflict that found us. Sometimes […]

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Vidya Vasudevan | When the trees nodded their assent

The judge put down the newspaper with a sigh. The news was depressing. From neighbors battling over water, family property, parking slots, domestic violence, road rage and caste clashes, it was clear the warring mindset was firmly entrenched. The sound of the doorbell brought him out of reverie. The judge stared at the visitor on his doorstep. Dressed in simple attire with a sling bag, the judge did not immediately […]

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X.H. Collins | The foreign devil

The Foreign Devil was called so because no one knew what his real name was and because he did not look like anyone else in town, Han or Tibetan. Years later, when I saw a picture book of Santa Claus, I thought to myself, “If Santa Claus would lose so much weight that his cheeks were sunken rather than plump, that his color was grayish rather than rosy, and, if […]

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Julie Anne Thorndyke | The cave

I hadn’t expected there would really be a cave. It was a legend, a family myth, a story Dad told each year around the dinner table when the Christmas trifle was reduced to a creamy blur in grandma’s cut-glass dish. I wonder which sister snaffled that glittery heirloom in the post-funeral bun-rush? All Mum’s tarnished silver teaspoons, green Depression-glass dishes, vintage enamel cookware with chipped edges, all piled in cardboard […]

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