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

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31

Jul

2017

Infant becomes a pawn in war of ideologies

Author: Jim Taylor

Charlie Gard did not live long enough to celebrate his first birthday. It would have come this Sunday, August 4th. The shortness of little Charlie’s life is a tragedy. But his life itself was equally a tragedy. Because Charlie stopped being a baby, and became a cause.

            Charlie was born with a rare, incurable, untreatable, and always fatal hereditary disease, infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MMDS). According to one news story, only 16 people in the world have ever had it.

            Charlie didn’t choose it; he didn’t do anything to cause it; it just happened.


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26

Jul

2017

Reflections on a dream home

Author: Jim Taylor

Last Sunday marked an anniversary for Joan and me. On July 23, 1993, we moved into our dream home.

            It wasn’t actually finished yet. But the builder assured us we could move in on July 23. He likes to keep his promises. So he had the inside of the house ready for us. Dust and sawdust swept out. Appliances installed. Walls painted. Carpet laid.

           But there was still work to be done outside. 

           A dream therapist told me once that when I dream about a house, I’m dreaming about myself. Maybe so. Certainly houses and personalities have parallels.



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24

Jul

2017

The possibility of losing everything

Author: Jim Taylor

It would be hard not to write about a traumatic event – even if it works out all right in the end.

            Last weekend, the forest fire that ravaged parts of Okanagan Centre forced Joan and me to abandon our home on 15 minutes’ notice. It was an oddly liberating experience.

            We were lucky to have 15 minutes. One couple I talked with had less than two minutes. “I looked out my window and saw the flames shooting up the trees at the end of our yard,” she said. “We just ran out the door and into our car.”

            She assumed that their home was gone. She seemed astonishingly calm about it.

            Eight homes burned; about 30 others suffered damage.



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19

Jul

2017

Voting for a different Jesus

Author: Jim Taylor

Renowned humorist Garrison Keillor had eye surgery recently. In an article in the Washington Post, he wrote about recovering in his hotel room, unable even to watch television because his vision was so blurry: 

            “And it occurred to me, not once but several times, that I am a fortunate man and thank you, Lord. For Medicare and a good group health policy and savings to cover any shortfall.”

            Others, he realized, would not be as fortunate -- “The 22 million people who will lose their health insurance in the next few years if Congress does as the man wishes will face some high barriers between them and any sort of eye surgery… Eighty per cent of white evangelical Christians who cast ballots last fall voted for the man who seems as far from Christian virtues (humility, kindness, patience, etc.) as Hulk Hogan is from the Dalai Lama.”

            From their viewpoint, Keillor mused, “Apparently, Jesus got the story wrong.”


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17

Jul

2017

Forest fires affect more than humans

Author: Jim Taylor

Fires are always good fodder for news stories.

            They’re vastly more visual than meetings where dark-suited dignitaries sit in stone circles. Stonehenge shows more animation.

            The nature worshippers who created Stonehenge might, in fact, have more understanding of the causes of this summer’s fires than we do. 

            Amid the smoke (and mirrors), a few still small voices have whispered the words, “climate change.” The gradual warming of the Pacific Ocean affects air flow patterns over the continent. As a result, summers get hotter, or wetter. Winters get colder, or milder. Which sounds confusing, even contradictory. Which is precisely what’s happening. As the air flow loops look more and more like a snake with constipation, weather becomes unpredictable. 

            The only sure thing is that whatever comes, it will be more extreme than expected. 


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