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

To make Comments write directly to Jim at jimt@quixotic.ca

 

30

Jul

2020

Scattering my wife’s ashes

Author: Jim Taylor

We took Joan Taylor home two weekends ago. 

            The four remaining members of her family – her daughter, two grandchildren, and I, her husband – drove her ashes 500 km and five mountain passes back to Kootenay Lake, where she had grown up. 

            She had been clear, all through her leukemia, that she wanted to be cremated, not buried. 

            “What do you want done with your ashes,” we asked her, in her final months. 

            “I don’t care,” she said. “I won’t be there.”

            Oddly enough, those were the same words my father used, when I asked him the same question. A few days later, he had second thoughts. He wanted his ashes scattered in his favourite fishing river. 


Comments (0) Number of views (167)

27

Jul

2020

Party-goers yield to ancient impulses

Author: Jim Taylor

           Until early July, B.C. had been a model for North America. This province was the first to be hit by the pandemic; it was the first to “flatten the curve” and bring infections under control. B.C.’s interior had no new cases in weeks.

            And then around Canada Day, a bunch of younger people gathered at private parties in two Kelowna resort hotels. Some of those people later visited two other sites where infected individuals were present. 

            As a result, around 300 new cases have been identified. And around 1000 people are now in  self-isolation because of the possibility of having been infected. 

            And those figures, admits Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, are “absolutely going to go higher.”


Comments (0) Number of views (118)

25

Jul

2020

Here, there, and everywhere

Author: Jim Taylor

He got cancer. A rare kind of cancer, his doctor told him. He knew he was looking death in the eye. 

            He remembered an old saying: “There are no atheists in foxholes.”  When bullets zip past your head, you don’t turn to philosophical theories for comfort.

            And he realized that no matter how sincere his convictions about a God who was inside, outside, and everywhere, a God embodied  in the world and in him, at that moment what he wanted was a God who could do something about his cancer.  A God who was more than an abstract understanding. 

            He realized he still yearned for that God “out there.”


Comments (0) Number of views (125)
Read more

Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: God, fear, cancer

21

Jul

2020

White privilege is not about guilt

Author: Jim Taylor

A new term has crept into the lexicon of race relations – “white privilege.”

            Don’t confuse white privilege with white supremacy. White supremacy means that you actively assert the superiority of people with white skins over anyone who has skin of a different colour --  using politics, religion, legislation, or violence.

            White privilege, on the other hand, refers to aspects of life that we -- I speak for myself, but I assume others are like me -- have never previously considered, but have simply taken for granted.


Comments (0) Number of views (147)

17

Jul

2020

The stories behind everything

Author: Jim Taylor

The yucca plants along my driveway are in bloom. This year, 51 spikes, creamy white columns of glory, rise above their clusters of sword-like leaves,

            I don’t know what kind of yucca plants I have. There are, Wikipedia tells me, 49 species of yucca, and another 24 sub-species. Some grow over 30 feet (10 m) tall. Some are used for food. Some grow only in deserts. Some have fleshy leaves that store water like aloes; some have leaves as hard and dry as old shoe leather.

            All I know is that my yucca border began with just two plants. The man who built our house was doing some work in his mother’s yard. He dug up some yuccas, and said to himself, “Jim Taylor needs something to grow along his driveway.”

            His mother is long gone, but her yuccas live on, and delight people walking by when they burst into their annual celebration of summer.


Comments (0) Number of views (136)
Read more

Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: yucca, provenance

12

Jul

2020

Be careful not to burst bubbles

Author: Jim Taylor

Children love blowing bubbles. They blow bubbles in the bath. They run around the yard leaving trails of bubbles behind them. They try to catch those shimmering, shining bubbles without bursting them.

            Bubbles are fascinating. Real, but not real. Some bubbles pop when they touch other bubbles; some merge into bigger bubbles.

            I remember community picnics where some bubbles looked like oversized bologna, bigger than the kids who blew them. They drifted overhead. Until they popped and showered droplets of glycerine and detergent on the adults below. 

            In today’s COVID-19 world, though, “bubble” takes on new meaning. We’re not thinking of bubbles from the outside anymore; we’re thinking of the bubbles we’re inside. 

 

Comments (0) Number of views (126)

10

Jul

2020

Playing with numbers in Numbers

Author: Jim Taylor

IThe Bible asserts -- not just once but three times -- that Moses led 600,000 men of fighting age out of Egypt. Forty years later, when they crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, the Israelites still had 600,000 men able to go to war. 

            So a whole new generation was born while roaming through the deserts and mountains of the Sinai peninsula.

            Which means -- I think I’m correct here -- that there must have been women among them, although the Bible didn’t bother counting women. Or children. Or seniors, such as Moses himself.

            Assuming that birthrates haven’t changed much, 600,000 men probably meant an equal number of women. 

            Add children and seniors, the total nears two million.

            If you’ve ever seen the Sinai desert, it is inconceivable that two million people could wander for 40 years through that arid wilderness. 


Comments (0) Number of views (123)

5

Jul

2020

Plague of locusts makes bad into worse

Author: Jim Taylor

News reports have called it “a plague of biblical proportions.” But they’re not talking about the COVID-19 pandemic. 

            The Bible actually has very little to say about pandemics. About death from starvation or drought, yes. About death in war, oh my goodness yes. But very little about mass deaths from diseases – if I exclude the book of Revelation, which smacks its lips at the prospect of wiping out one-third of the world’s population in a single trumpet blast. 

            Rather, the “biblical plague” refers to locusts. Billions upon billions of flying grasshoppers that descend from the sky in clouds and eat the leaves off everything. 

            Rght now great plagues of locusts are demolishing agricultural crops across east Africa, Somalia, Yemen, parts of Iran, Pakistan, and India. 


Comments (0) Number of views (154)
Read more

Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: Moses, Locusts, plagues

RSS

Tags

"gate of the year" #MeToo 150th birthday 1950s 1954 1972 1984 3G 9/11 A God That Could Be Real abduction abortion Abrams abuse achievement Adam addiction Addis Ababa adoption Adrian Dix affirmative action aging agnostics Ahriman Ahura Mazda airlines airport killings Alabama albinism albinos Alexa algorithms Allegations Almighty Almighty God ALS alt-right altruism Amanda Todd Amazon Amerika Amherst amnesia analysis Andrea Constant Andrew Copeland Taylor anger anniversaries Anthropocene antidote Ants aphrodisiac Apologies apoptosis App Store Archives Ardern Aristotle armistice Armstrong Army and Navy stores Art artifacts artists ashes astronomy atheists atonement atropine Attawapiscat attitudes attraction audits authorities authorities. Bible autism automation autumn B.C. election B.C. Health Ministry B.C. Legislature B-2 baby Bach bad news baggage Bahai Banda banning books Baptism Barabbas barbed wire barbers Bashar al Assad BC BC Conference Beans bears beauty Beaver Beethoven beginnings behaviour bel-2 belief systems beliefs belonging benefits Bernardo Berners-Lee berries Bible biblical sex Biden billionaire BioScience birds birth birthday birthdays Bitcoin Black history Blackmore blessings blockades blood blood donors Bloomberg boar body Bohr bolide Bolivia Bolivian women bombing bombings bombs books border patrol both/and bottom up Bountiful Brahms brain development brains Brazil breath breathe breathing Brexit broken Bruce McLeod bubbles Buber Buddha Buddhism Bulkley bulldozers bullets bullying bush pilots butterflies butterfly Calendar California Cambridge Analytica. Facebook cameras Canada Canada Day Canadian Blood services Canal Flats cancer Canute Capp caregivers caring Carnaval. Mardi Gras carousel cars Carter Commission cash cats cave CBC Cecil the lion. Zanda CentrePiece CF chance change Charlie Gard Charlottesville Charter of Compassion Checklists checkups chemical weapons Chesapeake Bay Retriever Chesterton Child Advocacy Centre child trafficking children Chile China chivalry chocolates choice choices choirs Christchurch Christian Christianity Christians Christina Rossetti Christine Blasey Ford Christmas Christmas gathering Christmas lights Christmas tree Christmas trees Christopher Plummer church churches circle of life Clarissa Pinkola Estés Clichés cliffhanger climate change clocks close votes clouds Coastal GasLink coastal tribes coffee collaboration collective work colonial mindset colonies Colten Boushie Columbia River Columbia River Treaty comfort communication Communion community compassion complexity composers composting computer processes conception conclusions Confederacy Confederate statues confessions confidence Confirmation confusion Congo Congress Conrad Black consciousness consensual consent conservative Conservative Party contraception contrasts Conversations conversion therapy copyright coral Cornwallis corona virus corporations corruption Cosby Cougars counter-cultural Countercurrents courtesy courts Covenant Coventry Cathedral COVID-19 CPP CPR CRA Craig crashes Crawford Bay creation creche credit cards creeds cremation crescent Creston crime criminal crossbills cross-country skiing crucifixion Cruelty crypto-currencies Cultural appropriation cuneiform Curie curling cutbacks cyberbullying Cystic Fibrosis Dalai Lama Damocles Dan Rather Danforth dark matter darkness Darren Osburne Darwin data mining daughter David David Suzuki de Bono dead zone deaf deafness death death survival deaths decision decisions Definitions Delhi Dementia democracy Democratic denial Denny's departure Depression Descartes Desiderata despair determinism Devin Kelley dew dawn grass Diana Butler-Bass dinosaurs discussion dissent distancing diversity division divorce dog dogs dominance Don Cherry Donald Trump donkey Donna Sinclair doorways Doug Ford Doug Martindale Dr. Keith Roach Dr. Seuss dreaming dreams Drugs ducks Duvalier dying Dylan Thomas earth Earth Day Easter Eat Pray Love Ebola e-cigarettes eclipse economics Eden editing editing by committee Edwards-Sawatzky Egypt eight-track tapes Einstein either/or election Elizabeth Gilbert Ellithorpe email embassy emergent emotions Empire encryption English Entropy epiphany epitaph Erika van Oyen erosion Esteban Santiago eternal life eternity ethics Ethiopia Eucharist eulogy eunuchs evacuation evacuation orders Evangelical Fellowship Eve Evelyn Glennie Every Note Played everything evil Evolution Exodus expectations experience experiment explosions extinction extinctions extradition extremes extremism eye for an eye Eyes Facebook faith falling leaves False Creek Farmworkers fascist fate fear Fearless Fosdick Fedex feel feminine hygiene Fentanyl Ferrier Fibonacci Field figure skating Fire fireball fireflies fires First Nations Fitbit flirting flooding floods floppy disks flow chart flow charts flowers fluency flying Flying objects fog Folk sayings Food Bank forensic Forest fires forests forgiving Four Pests campaign fracking franchises free free speech free will freedom freedom of speech frequency friend Friendship friendships fruit fundamentalism funerals future Gaia games Gandhi Garbage Garden of Eden Garrison Keillor gas tanks Geese genes Genghis Khan genocide
Copyright 2020 by Jim Taylor  |  Powered by: Churchweb Canada