Story tellers have always needed an audience. Yet the joy in story telling is not entirely rooted in the slack-jawed amazement or teary-eyed delight of the listeners. The urge to create a new jumble of ideas or to portray a venerable idea in a fresh new perspective is ever present. The story teller is driven by this urge but cannot continue long without the encouragement or respect of their audience. It is with this in mind that I timidly begin to do what many would consider madness. In these pages, I will share the stories that give me particular delight. The madness comes from the uncertainty of finding you, my reader. The stories are neither popular nor perhaps very instructive. In the end, I will cling to the smug conceit that they are important stories. No one but you can evaluate the sanity of that judgment. The trick to telling “important” stories is choosing topics of enduring value which give the story teller a longer time-frame to attract an audience. Whether I have chosen wisely in selecting such an ephemeral media to collect my audience over the long term will become clear in the not too distant future. The attraction of gaining a new listener from anyone who types a select few keywords into their computer is very strong and probably illusory. In the meantime, I will have the satisfaction of crafting these stories, which, if my instinct is right, will delight and fascinate you as much as they do me.
You can tell a good deal about me from my blog address, “stephen.mccanny.ca” , clearly a post by a Canadian of Irish descent. I would like to add one small detail to this inference. My baptism certificate – an official birth record in Quebec at the time- is from St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in Montreal. I share this not to claim any special affinity for Jesuit spirituality and training but to underline the fact that I made my official entry into the world in a university parish in a working class neighbourhood. This meeting place for the learned and the practical must have had an influence on me, as I much admire these qualities in others and seek to demonstrate them in my own life. I invite you to read on and find out what tales your humble narrator has acquired in the time since that baptism certificate was issued.