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

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29

May

2019

The oneness of life and love

Author: Jim Taylor

God is love, I hear, over and over. God is love.

            I wonder what the speaker's definitions are.

            About God. Do they mean the traditional God, the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God who knows everything, created everything, and still controls everything? Including playoff games…?

            That's a comfortable notion, I suppose, if it lets you blame God from everything that goes wrong, from avalanches that wipe out holiday resorts to tsunamis that flood a nuclear power plant and poison the entire Pacific Ocean.

            To say nothing of demented people who run down holidaying crowds with a truck, or open fire in a movie theatre, or abuse small children.

            "God moves in mysterious ways," they will say. "I guess we'll never understand God's will...."

            Such a belief may offer comfort, but it's not a God of love.


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Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: life, God, love

5

Dec

2018

Permission to let go

Author: Jim Taylor

“All the leaves have gone,” sang The Mamas and the Papas in their short but brilliant musical career. 

            Their words come to mind as I look out my office window. Joan and I planted a Japanese red maple out there, 20 years ago. All its leaves have gone. 

            Except for two lonely twigs that still have bright red leaves clinging to their tips. The twigs lash about in winter winds. But those last leaves won’t let go.

        Perhaps I should go outside and say a prayer for the last leaves on my maple tree. So that they can let go too.


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11

Jul

2018

Email from beyond the grave

Author: Jim Taylor

I got an email from my friend Doug Hodgkinson the other day. Which was odd. Because Doug died seven years ago.

            I wondered where he was writing from. And if they have wi-fi connections there, wherever “there” is. They don’t have gmail addresses, anyway. Doug had a gmail address before his death, but this message came from Hestbript@ibh1mnhk6k.rereprsente.us, which reads like the proverbial roomful of monkeys whacking typewriter keys at random.

            Just in case there’s any doubt, I don’t think the message came from either heaven or hell – unless it’s the kind of hell that exploiters of human weakness and gullibility create.  I gave up believing in hell long ago; I gave up on heaven a little later. 

            The two go together, because they both assume a God who hands out rewards and punishments.


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Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: life, Hell, heaven, death, email

15

Mar

2017

If it can die, it lives

Author: Jim Taylor

Towards the end of the cross-country ski season, a friend mused, “Does snow feel pain when I jab it with my ski pole?”

            We all laughed.

            “Why not?” she persisted. “Aren’t we all made of the same stardust? Everything in the universe came from the Big Bang. Whether it’s snow or trees or me, we all consist of the matter that was created 14 billion years ago. So why should I assume that I’m the only one who feels pain when I get jabbed with something sharp?”

            A physicist will tell you that all matter is made up of particles. For convenience, we call them electrons and protons. But there are no exclusively human electrons and protons; no uniquely human quarks or gluons. At the sub-atomic level, water is made of exactly the same stuff as humans.

            So why can’t water feel pain?


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Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: life, Snow, water, pain

9

Nov

2016

Put More Bubbles in your Life

Author: Jim Taylor
There was a time, wasn’t there, when the World series took place in September? Before the NHL started up? When baseball was a game of summer, football of fall, and hockey of winter? Now they’re all on at once. No wonder I’m confused about the seasons.
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Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: bubbles, life

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