About Rory Holland

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So far Rory Holland has created 563 blog entries.

Gone Fishing

By |February 10th, 2015|

I watched one of those father-son movies last night. You know, the kid, now grown up, still desperate for dad’s approval.   There’s a typical pattern to the narrative, boy reaches out, is rejected, reaches out again, is rejected, and then finally on the third […]

Facing the Pig

By |February 5th, 2015|

I have farmer friends who raise pigs. They live just twenty minutes away. Urban pork. They like people coming to see the animals wandering around the field, getting a chance see what they are ultimately going to eat. “Meet your meat” is their tag […]

Putting My Dogma To Sleep

By |February 4th, 2015|

When I’m in a room of left thinking folks I veer to the right, yet when I am among conservatives I can find myself on the other side of Castro. Does that make me disagreeable?

I’m not a fan of dogma. Anymore. There were plenty […]

Who’s the Boss of Me?

By |February 2nd, 2015|

Over dinner a friend, who teaches University, was lamenting that his students had no idea what they were going to do with the education they were acquiring. “They have to become entrepreneurs of their own knowledge!”

His point was, the kids didn’t see the importance […]


By |January 30th, 2015|

I bumped into an old friend who I haven’t seen in at least twenty years. Besides looking vaguely familiar, there’s little in common between the then us and now. The years have shaped and reshaped our identities. The question wasn’t so much “what’ve you […]

I Am Right, Right?

By |January 29th, 2015|

I have lost all objectivity. Come to think of it, I am not sure I ever had any. Maybe, in fact, there is no such thing. How can there be? It seems logical to suggest that everyone can only view life and its situations […]

Small is Beautiful

By |January 28th, 2015|

Almost all of human experience starts small: an idea, a choice, a decision, a failing, or a success.  Everything begins at a beginning.

Over lunch a friend described his new relationship. One month in. ‘you know that feeling when you just hug, and you smell […]

Fires, Cars, Jars & Bozos

By |January 27th, 2015|

The fire in the woodstove isn’t starting. I can’t understand how forest fires can light from a single cigarette butt, but I have trouble getting one going with everything this side of a blow torch.   I feel like such a failure when I have […]

Til I Am Myself Again

By |January 26th, 2015|

I was helping a buddy with his resume this weekend.   He has great credentials, and an illustrious job history. Still the challenge was – do we shape it just to get the job, or to let the reader in on who really he is, […]

Reject Rejection

By |January 23rd, 2015|

I recently read about an author who had a book on the bestsellers list and was working on a commissioned screenplay. She had put together a spreadsheet of all her submissions over the years. Of her dozens of manuscripts, essays, articles, plays and short […]

Dying. Slowly.

By |January 22nd, 2015|

Every once in a while I have a wave of remembering my own mortality. An, ‘oh by the way, this is all going to end for you at some point’. I greet the not-so-cheery thoughts with varying degrees of panic and dread, and then […]

The Shame Of It All

By |January 21st, 2015|

So, where were we? Oh, right, I had my pants around my ankles. I guess what I am saying is that to risk love and intimacy is to risk shame. Isn’t that awesome? I certainly don’t remember that talk when we went through pre-marital […]

I’ll Show You Mine If….

By |January 20th, 2015|

“Why don’t you write more about intimacy and love in your blog?” someone recently asked. I was reminded of a vivid memory from childhood:

“We’ll show you ours, if you show us yours” offered the older neighbour twins to my twelve year old friend. It […]

Time and Tides

By |January 19th, 2015|

It woke me up. A dull thud about every thirty seconds. I didn’t want it to be what I knew it was. We were on a sailboat, at anchor, and it was hitting the ground. Thud.

When we got into the bay, I had assumed […]

New Story

By |December 19th, 2014|

The point is to stop telling the same story. The one that has made sense, and provided a convenient excuse these past years, but doesn’t really serve anyone – especially me.

Like any good script, my Christmas narrative has kernel of truth surrounded in myth. […]


By |December 17th, 2014|

“Oranges and lemons, and the bells of St. Clements” so our mother’s sang as they held their arms in an arch that we walked under. I don’t recall the rest of the song, or what happened after we were through, but, these 45 years […]

25th of December

By |December 16th, 2014|

It occurred to me recently that my favourite childhood Christmas shows are full of rejection, bullying, and ostracizing. Rudolph laughed at and called names, the Grinch exiled at the top of a mountain, and Charlie Brown mocked at every turn. Merry and bright indeed.

Sure […]

True North

By |December 15th, 2014|

I got a tattoo. No, not the kind that comes with a piece of gum. It’s a compass rose, right there, forever, on the inside of my forearm. It looks pretty cool. That wasn’t the point, but it’s a nice side benefit.

A compass is […]

Salad Bar in The Alley

By |December 12th, 2014|

She sprang up from inside the dumpster like a jack in the box. There was a smile on her face and in her hand she held an English cucumber. The bin was behind a large market, anything considered past prime or blemished ended up […]

I’m Sorry

By |December 10th, 2014|

I apologized to someone. I said I was it was my fault, and I was sorry. I don’t do that very often. I mean, I screw up all the time, I just don’t like saying it out loud. The worst is when I think […]

Poor in Spirit

By |December 9th, 2014|

This morning I have organized a tour of the Downtown East Side of Vancouver for a corporate group. “I want to take them out of their comfort zone” was the instruction. We’ll be visiting shelters and soup kitchens and getting a sense of what […]

Standing Still

By |December 8th, 2014|

I spent  Saturday in a church listening to my favorite poet. David Whyte’s as much a philosopher as wordsmith. He’s also Irish. Thoughtful rich verse read with an accent that can melt hearts. Yah, it was just like that. All day.

He talks a lot […]

Fuck It. Go.

By |December 5th, 2014|


A friend of mine told me he’s taken up swimming. I used to do that. The worst part of getting into the pool is getting into the pool. Never mind the changing room weirdos, or  the guilt at not having the ‘pre-shower’. It’s that […]

Dark, Then Light

By |December 4th, 2014|

I am not getting used to be it being dark in the afternoon. The light is giving up too soon. It’s ceding territory like it doesn’t care. Night is too insistent and day isn’t up for the fight. A couple more weeks of this […]

Now What?

By |December 3rd, 2014|

Friends have just discovered their young daughter has cancer. It changes everything – at least for the next while. All the ideas, plans, events, and marks on the calendar are meaningless now. There is only one thing. Her.

I walk on the ice of life […]

They Say It’s My Birthday

By |December 2nd, 2014|

As a December kid, I have always been a little late to the game. My mum started me in school when I was five. I never made sports teams – those were for the kids with born between January and March. I was also […]

Pen to Paper

By |December 1st, 2014|

I have a journal. It’s empty. A gift from my son last Christmas. It’s beautiful, in fact too beautiful for words, at least my words. It’s not just the thoughts, it’s how I write them – my scrawl. To do this lovely leather bound […]

Teach Your Children

By |November 28th, 2014|

There was an article posted yesterday from a child psychologist querying the logic of taking children to a protest. On the one hand she could appreciate the education value of the experience, but also wondered if civil disobedience might disrupt their sense of right […]