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

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What makes a religion legitimate?

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday September 26, 2021


A small news item, tucked in the back pages of my newspaper, said that across the U.S. more and more people were citing “religious exemptions” to avoid -- well, to avoid almost anything they don’t like.

            The current issue is COVID-19 vaccinations. In the past, the “religious exemption” has been used by employers to exclude abortion and family planning from health plans. To refuse to hire gays and lesbians. To reject same-sex marriages.

            And so on.

            According to Associated Press, “Religious objections, once used sparingly around the country… are becoming a much more widely used loophole…”

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Letting our senses interact

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday September 23, 2021


A while ago, I was driving along between appointments, listening to classical music on CBC  -- not long enough, unfortunately, to hear the source of a symphonic piece. The sounds of the orchestra filled the car, filled my head, filled my mind. 

            For a few glorious moments, I heard music a different way. 

            I didn’t hear it so much as see it. I saw the sounds as colours, swirling and dancing. The brasses were, of course, brassy. Woodwinds were shades of green; drums, deep brown. The strings ranged from deep purple cellos to sapphire-blue violins. A solo violin soared into a laser beam of pure white. 

            Granted, that’s not how I normally hear music. But why not? 

            Why do we limit music to the single sense of hearing? 

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Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: Senses, music, Art




No patience left with protesters

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday September 19, 2021


We’ve had a vaccination passport for slightly under a week here in B.C. Obviously, it’s causing problems for the stores and restaurants that have to check patrons at the door – especially when some of those patrons, who should know better, verbally abuse a high school kid 30 years their junior.

           Lest there be any doubt where I stand on this issue, I have no sympathy for the protest mobs that have travelled – sometimes right across the country – to demonstrate in front of hospitals and medical clinics.  

            Protest at political rallies if you will – though I wish you wouldn’t. But you’ve gone too far when you start harassing healthcare workers already on the thin edge of burnout after 18 months of busting their butts to save patients from a disease that you claim doesn’t exist. 

            Your actions wipe out any tolerance I used to have for you. 

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Many roles in one

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday September 16, 2021


Everyone has dreams. So say the medical specialists, who observe our sleep patterns. Rapid eye movement (REM) signals the state of dreaming, even if we can’t remember having had a dream.

            A few years ago, I decided to include my dreams in my daily journaling. It’s been an interesting exercise.

            I wake up, for example, clearly recalling two dreams overnight. I sit down at my computer to write about them. By the time I’ve tapped a few notes for the first dream, the other has vanished. Completely.

            Writing down my dreams has, however, had a practical outcome. I discovered that there’s a flow to my dreams, a progression of themes and contexts.

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Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: dreams




No column, just letters

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday September 12, 2021


With a Canadian federal election drawing near to voting day, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 bombings, the Taliban taking over in Afghanistan and Texas, and the Delta variant running rampant through the un-vaccinated, you’d think I couldn’t run short of things to write about.

            And you’d be right. There’s no lack of things to write about. The trouble is, they all weave together. Every time I start writing on one subject, I find I have to drag in another, and another. And it’s sufficiently laced with profanity that any spam filter worth its subscription price would instantly flag and quarantine the message.

            So all you’re getting this week is your own responses to my 85th birthday column last week. There’s lots of reading, here, and I think you’ll enjoy the readers’ comments.

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Categories: Sharp Edges


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