Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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30

Mar

2016

Irreverence won’t hurt God

Author: Jim Taylor
A few years ago, I wrote a satirical ditty to the familiar sea shanty whose chorus goes, “Way, hey and up she rises.” Only I connected it to Easter: “Way, hey, and up He rises… early Easter morning.”
The first verse asked, “What shall we do with a risen saviour…?” The rest of the verses were, umm, a shade more irreverent:
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Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: irreverence

27

Mar

2016

Re-thinking the Resurrection

Author: Jim Taylor
This is not one of my usual columns. The newspaper which gets “first publication” rights is not publishing today, Easter Sunday. That leaves me free to muse about Easter, in general. Easter, as seen by the secular world, is about bunnies and eggs. And chocolate. And spring in the northern hemisphere. And did I mention chocolate? But in the Christian church, it’s about The Resurrection (with capital letters). When I was much younger, the Rev. Jim Campbell invited his congregation to submit topics they wanted him to preach about. My note said, “Resurrection -- I’d love to see how you handle it!” I knew that Jim was too honest a minister to simply repeat conventional platitudes. He didn’t disappoint me.
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23

Mar

2016

Games that shape our later lives

Author: Jim Taylor
Today is halfway between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. It’s also Spring Break for my grandchildren -- five extra days off school, plus the Easter weekend.
Most of the year, parents have their children’s after-school free time fully organized. Soccer practice, perhaps. Or swimming. Music lessons. Boys and girls club. Gym classes. Ballet. Whatever it is, it keeps the kids occupied, with some kind of adult supervision, until the parents get home from work.
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Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: games

20

Mar

2016

A eulogy for disappearing trees

Author: Jim Taylor
I went for a walk in the wood last weekend. But the woods weren’t there anymore. I hadn’t been on that network of trails since autumn rains and winter snows began. When the snow melted, I headed back to my favourite hillsides. The gravel road leading to the trailhead was gone. “Closed,” a sign said. The hillside slopes looked like a testbed for a Mars probe -- not a living thing left anywhere. The developer is expanding his subdivision. Okay, I accept that he has a legal right to do so. I also accept that a municipality cannot collect taxes from trees. But why this obsession with eliminating everything green?
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Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: eulogy, trees, green

16

Mar

2016

Epitaph for a song writer

Author: Jim Taylor
The world’s Joy Quotient declined a little on Sunday March 6, when Ian Macdonald died. 
        Ian was one of those rare people who never let his inner child get buried under the overburden of grown-up concerns. He took an almost wicked delight in wit. The prospect of trying something new and different -- whether a children’s tale for adults, or Bible study through improv drama --brought out a crooked grin, a glint in his eye. 
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13

Mar

2016

No column today

Author: Jim Taylor
Sorry, no column today Joan has not been well this week. After eight years of chronic leukemia, and about the same number of chemo treatments (I lose track) her immune levels are almost non-existent. There’s a bronchitis bug of some kind going around; she caught it. Accompanying her through three medical appointments, plus at least as many prescriptions, left my mind rather like melting jelly. I had some ideas for a column, but they simply would not gel. So all I can do is send along some of the mail received about last week’s column, on the relationship between suffering and sin.
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Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: no column

9

Mar

2016

Three little hens go north

Author: Jim Taylor
Every now and then a good news story comes along that I have to share.
This one starts at a resort community somewhere in the Okanagan Valley. Like all resort communities, people come and go; some stay longer than others.
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6

Mar

2016

The punishment rarely fits the crime

Author: Jim Taylor
Justice William Horkins has set March 24 to announce his verdict in the Jian Ghomeshi trial. Ghomeshi, in case you’ve been emulating a groundhog all winter, pled not guilty to five charges of sexual assault and choking. A friend of a friend asked a judge, off the record, if he thought Ghomeshi would get off. The judge gave a four-word reply: "It's a slam dunk." Acquittal seems like denial of justice. The allegations by Ghomeshi’s victims, plus his own video of “rough sex,” portray him as a creep. Or, in psychological lingo, as a sadist, narcissist, or psychopath. There is, of course, a rational logic for acquittal.
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Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: punishment, crime

2

Mar

2016

Whole body listening

Author: Jim Taylor
He was talking, but I couldn’t hear him for the light. 
That’s right -- for the light. A big window behind him turned him into a silhouette, a black cardboard cut-out. I could hear his voice, but I couldn’t see his mouth, his eyes, his face. And so I missed a lot of what he was saying.
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Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: body, listening

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