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

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No one should live in fear

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday June 27, 2021


When parliament recesses for the summer, members who do not expect to run again have an opportunity to speak about their experience. Most of them praise the institution and their colleagues effusively. 

            Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq didn’t. 

            Ottawa’s only Innu MP, she launched a blistering attack on the racism and prejudice endemic in a system built around aging white males in suits. 

            “Every time I walk on to House of Common grounds, speak in these chambers, I’m reminded every step of the way I don’t belong here,” Qaqqaq began.

            Even as an MP, she said, “I have never felt safe or protected in my position.” Security guards follow her, suspicious about a seeming outsider – young, female, and non-white – wandering in those hallowed halls. 

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It just wells up inside

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday June 24, 2021


Sofie Hartwick is an anomaly – a gifted pianist who doesn’t read music, doesn’t know what she’s going to play before she starts, and never repeats herself. 

            And plays beautiful music just the same. 

            Sofie – I’m using her first name because I think of her as part of my church family – is somewhere on the autism spectrum. Where, doesn’t matter. Typically, she plays a totally spontaneous piece for about three minutes at the conclusion of our church’s sermon/reflection/homily. 

            Something in the minister’s words sets up a musical thought pattern for her. Perhaps it defines the tempo she’ll play at, or the key she’ll play in. And then she starts playing. 

            And the rest of us listen in awe. 


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Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: piano, Sofie, CD




Musings on Father’s Day

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday June 20, 2021


 Father’s Day feels somewhat hypocritical. 

            On the one hand, we’re supposedly praising fathers for all the contributions they make to children’s growth and emotional stability. 

            And on the other hand, fathers are the only social group that can safely be ridiculed, scorned, and denigrated without inciting some kind of mass protest. 

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What’s a father anyway?

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday June 17, 2021


It’s Father’s Day this weekend. 

            My daughter, a single parent, is trying to be both a mother and a father to her children. She asked me, the other day, “What does it mean to be a father?”

            There are only two things I can say for sure. 

            One is that being a father is not limited to being male. 

            The second is that supplying sperm does not make one a father. Indeed, any male who later claims that merely having provided an aggressive sperm gives him a right to control a child’s life should be run out of town on a rail.

            I learned about being a father from – who else – my own father. 

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Our values come from our communities

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday June 13, 2021


Last Sunday evening, a young man who doesn’t deserve to have a name aimed his black pickup truck at a family taking their evening walk along a sidewalk in London, Ontario. He bounced over the curb and smashed into them. 

            They were Muslims. The women were wearing hijabs and traditional shalwar kameez -- loose, pleated trousers with a long shirt. “They were visible,” said a family friend.

            The grandmother died on the spot. Father, mother, and daughter died in hospital. Only the boy, nine years old, survived his injuries.

            What that young man did seems abundantly clear. But the motive for his actions remains (as I write this column) unclear. 


            Why them?

            Why there, at that particular time?

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