The Relapse Trilogy Part Three: Reconciliation

I am still trying and still failing to situate my householder-husband role into the Goldilocks orbit: planet me revolving around the romantic relationship while at the same time keeping time with the divine.  William James defined religion as paying attention to our experience of a relationship to the ultimate.  I love that: Paying attention to … Read more

The Relapse Trilogy Part Two: Renunciation

I can get very into renouncing.  The word renounce—from the old French word renouncier, meaning to cede, to give up.  Also, from its deeper Latin origins, it means to proclaim, and to protest against (okay-okay, I know I exceeded the socially tolerable quota of etymological references already in the last episode, by about two.  So … Read more

An Open Letter to Stephen Batchelor

Hello Stephen, I’d like to have a conversation with you about drugs, and solitude.  Your latest book, The Art of Solitude, is my favourite among all your books, and I have read them all, except for The Tibet Guide, which I’ve never had occasion to use.  And I reckon never will have, certainly not in … Read more

The Relapse Trilogy Intro: What a Coincidence

  The Relapse Trilogy Intro: What a Coincidence I vowed in my wedding that I would learn to love this woman and my relapsing’s a sign that I’ve learned fuck all.  Nothing of value, anyway.  On the title page of the epic manuscript I wrote about how I cured my life-long addictions—actually I didn’t say … Read more

Uncovery compared to books on addictions and recovery

Uncovering Addictions will stand between Dr. Gabor Mate’s In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts and Bruce K. Alexander’s The Globalization of Addiction because it is both a diagnosis of addictions as a response to trauma and an identification of addictions as a consequence of societal disconnection. Like Memoirs of an Addicted Brain, by Marc Lewis, … Read more

About John

John has an undergraduate degree in music composition and a masters in ethnomusicology and the neuroscience of music from York University. In the 1980s, he was the music and opera critic for the Georgia Straight, for which he won a Western Canada Magazine Award for Best Arts Review. Before leaving Vancouver in 1988, he wrote … Read more

John’s Story of Uncovery

Every morning over the past 14 years, John has devoted an hour to his memoir. For the four years prior to the pandemic, he was been perched on a stool at a Starbucks on a gritty corner in downtown Toronto, half a block north of a sex shop/crack house, a noticeable hub of dismal activity … Read more

The Future (Ain’t What it Used to Be)

            I find myself thinking about racing strategies, for example: situations where we might want to risk flying the spinnaker, the course in relation to currents, winds, shoals, our competitors’ positions, and such.  It’s all very complicated, and this is very pleasurable.  Before, I was focussed on boat maintenance and improvement.  Also challenging.  Also all … Read more