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

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

 

31

Aug

2021

Rain!

Author: Jim Taylor

This poem came about when we finally got some serious rain, ending months of drought, fire, heat domes. Somehow it turned into an exercise in alliteration. 

            Instead of reading it silently, try rolling the words around on your tongue, See if it makes any difference. 

 

 

Moisture seeps into the soil. 

Invisible fungi wrap filaments around roots

that thread through the dry debris

of former life; they suck sustenance

back into the synapses of the forest floor. 

The green fuse lights; sap creeps into

 capillaries long closed for self-defence.

Tree tops wave triumphantly. 

 

Comments (0) Number of views (351)
Read more

Categories: Poetry

Tags: rain, rejoicing

20

Aug

2021

Make it personal!

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday August 19, 2021

 

Everything is personal. Everything. Even whatever happened 13.8 billion years ago -- if it weren’t personal you wouldn’t be here to read these words.

            Or, to put it another way, there is no such thing as impersonal information. Abstract terms describing theoretical concepts -- like civil rights, climate change, government corruption, and foreign aid -- take on meaning only in a personal context.

            Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not advocating personal attacks on someone’s appearance or morals. Rather, recognize that whatever you say, the person you’re speaking to will take it personally.

            If they don’t, they’re not listening.


Comments (0) Number of views (179)

20

Aug

2021

The highway of increasing decrepitude

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday August 15, 2021

 

Another school classmate died last week. David Scott died in Washington DC August 5.

            David and I went through our first six grades together at a school in the foothills of the Himalayas. Then we lost touch. 

            I left India with my parents, and have only been back briefly. David, on the other hand,  spent most of his working life in India -- four decades with the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. He was professor of history of religions in theological colleges, a chaplain, and a study-center director.

            I didn’t get to know David again until I attended a school reunion some 40 years later.

            Other classmates were much closer to him. So I don’t write this column deep in grief. I write it because David’s death brings into sharp focus the harsh reality of growing older. We lose friends.


Comments (0) Number of views (174)

13

Aug

2021

If the old trees could speak

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday August 12, 2021

 

Over the transition from July to August, I spent about ten days on Vancouver Island. Five times, I went hiking in old-growth forests. Massive trunks soar upwards, 200-300 feet, so straight, so vertical, that they might have been laid out by an engineer with a spirit level. At the top, the canopy of branches opens out into a fretwork vault, lacing the sky with a canopy of needled embroidery. 

            I took pictures, of course. But pictures cannot capture the awe engendered by an old-growth forest. I need Emily Carr’s exuberant brush strokes, her explosive splashes of colour, to bring out the sacredness of these trees. 

            But it’s not all about the cathedral image. 

            Down below, fallen giants nurse new seedlings. Young hemlocks, mostly. One such nurse tree had become a day care for over 30 young hemlocks growing along its length,. The death of an old matriarch had opened a trapdoor of sky to let the light in. 

            I wondered what that forest might say to us, if it could speak. 


Comments (0) Number of views (146)

13

Aug

2021

A slow-motion apocalypse

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday August 8, 2021

 

Seventy-six years ago yesterday, the world’s first atomic bomb seared the city of Hiroshima in Japan. Writer Tom Englehart makes Hiroshima personal.

            In a column in TomDispatch, he described a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which, he says, “can obviously offer a visitor only a hint of what it was actually like to experience the end of the world, thanks to a single bomb. And yet I found the experience so deeply unsettling that, when I returned home to New York City, I could barely talk about it.

            “While it’s seldom thought of that way, climate change should really be reimagined as the equivalent of a slow-motion nuclear holocaust. Hiroshima took place in seconds, a single blinding flash of heat. Global warming will prove to be a matter of years, decades, even centuries of heat.”


Comments (0) Number of views (157)

1

Aug

2021

The constant of accelerating change

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday August 1, 2021

 

Along with a majority of Canadians, I’ve had my second COVID-19 vaccination. I’d like to go back to hugging my friends and shaking hands with those who might become close friends. 

            It ain’t gonna happen. Evolution – which is just another word for “change” – doesn’t work that way. 

            The dinosaurs probably thought evolution had gone into reverse when the asteroid hit the Yucatan peninsula and they all died of hypothermia. They had, after all, been the dominant product of evolution for 170 million years. 

            But in fact, evolution speeded up. The great annihilation was the great acceleration. It opened up new frontiers for mammals (which includes us) and birds. 

            How long have we humans dominated life on this planet? I’d guess that until about 10,000 years ago we had no discernable effect at all. Only since we enslaved technology have we turned into the most invasive species this planet has ever known, surpassing even insects.


Comments (0) Number of views (227)
RSS

Tags

"gate of the year" #MeToo 150th birthday 1950s 1954 1972 1984 215 3G 9/11 A God That Could Be Real abduction aboriginal abortion Abrams abuse achievement Adam addiction Addis Ababa adoption Adrian Dix Advent advertising affirmative action Afghanistan aging agnostics Ahriman Ahura Mazda airlines airport killings Alabama albinism albinos Alexa algorithms Allegations allies Almighty Almighty God alone ALS alt-right altruism Amanda Gorman Amanda Todd Amazon American empire Amerika Amherst amnesia analysis Andes Andrea Constant Andrew Copeland Taylor anger animals anniversaries Anthropocene antidote Ants aphrodisiac apologetics Apologies apology apoptosis App Store Archives Ardern Aristotle armistice Armstrong army Army and Navy stores Art artifacts artists ashes Asian assisted death astronomy atheists atonement atropine Attawapiscat attitudes attraction audits Aunt Jemima Australia authorities authorities. Bible autism automation autumn B.C. election B.C. Health Ministry B.C. Legislature B-2 baby Bach bad news baggage Bagnell Bahai Bali Banda banning books Baptism Barabbas Barbados barbed wire barbers barriers Bashar al Assad Batman baton BC BC Conference Beans bears beauty Beaver Beethoven beginnings behaviour bel-2 belief systems beliefs bells belonging benefits Bernardo Berners-Lee berries Bible biblical sex bicycle Biden Bill C-6 billboards billionaire BioScience birds birth birthday birthdays Bitcoin Black history Blackmore blessings Blockade blockades blood blood donations blood donors Bloomberg Blue Christmas boar boarding school body Bohr bolide Bolivia Bolivian women BOMBHEAD bombing bombings bombs books border patrol borrowing 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 burials bus driver bush pilots butterflies butterfly Calendar California Cambridge Analytica. Facebook cameras campfire Canada Canada Day Canadian Blood services Canal Flats cancer cannibalism Canute Capitol Capp caregivers Caribbean Caribbean Conference of Churches caring Carnaval. Mardi Gras carousel cars Carter Commission cash castes cats cave caveats CBC CD Cecil the lion. Zanda cell phones Celsius CentrePiece CF chance change Charlie Gard Charlottesville Charter of Compassion Checklists checkups chemical weapons Chesapeake Bay Retriever Chesterton Child Advocacy Centre child trafficking childbirth children Chile Chile. Allende China chivalry chocolates choice choices choirs Christchurch Christiaanity Christian Christianity Christians Christina Rossetti Christine Blasey Ford Christmas Christmas Eve Christmas gathering Christmas lights Christmas tree Christmas trees Christopher Plummer church churches circle of life Clarissa Pinkola Estés Clichés cliffhanger climate change climate crisis clocks close votes clouds Coastal GasLink coastal tribes coffee coincidence cold collaboration collective work colonial mindset colonies Colten Boushie Columbia River Columbia River Treaty comfort comic strips commercials communication Communion community compassion competition complexity composers composting computer processes Computers conception conclusions Confederacy Confederate statues confession confessions confidence Confirmation confusion Congo Congress Conrad Black consciousness consensual consent conservative Conservative Party conspiracies conspiracy constitution contraception contrasts Conversations Conversion conversion therapy Convoy cooperation COP26 copyright coral Cornwallis corona virus coronavirus corporations corruption Corrymeela Cosby Cougars counter-cultural Countercurrents couple courtesy courts Covenant Coventry Cathedral COVID-19 Coyotes CPP CPR CRA Craig crashes Crawford Bay creation creche credit credit cards creeds cremation crescent Creston crime criminal crossbills cross-country skiing Crows crucifixion Cruelty crypto-currencies Cuba Missile Crisis Cultural appropriation cuneiform Curie curling cutbacks cyberbullying Cystic Fibrosis Dalai Lama Damien Damocles Dan Rather dancing Danforth dark matter darkness Darren Osburne Darwin data mining daughter David David Scott David Suzuki de Bono dead zone deaf deafness death death survival deaths debt decision decisions decorations deficit Definitions Delhi Dementia democracy Democratic denial Denny's departure Depression Derek Chauvin Descartes Desiderata despair determinism Devin Kelley dew dawn grass Diana Butler-Bass dinosaurs discontinuities discussion Dishwashing dissent distancing diversity division divorce dog dogs dominance Don Cherry Donald Trump donkey Donna Sinclair donor doorways Doug Ford Doug Martindale Dr. Keith Roach Dr. Seuss dreaming dreams Drugs ducks Duvalier dying Dylan Thomas earth Earth Day earthquake Easter Eat Pray Love Ebola echo chambers e-cigarettes eclipse economics Eden editing editing by committee Edwards-Sawatzky ego Egypt eight-track tapes Einstein either/or election Elizabeth Gilbert Ellithorpe email embassy emergent emotions Empire encryption Englehart English Entropy environment epiphany epitaph Erika van Oyen erosion Esteban Santiago eternal life eternity ethics Ethiopia Eucharist eulogy eunuchs euthanasia
Copyright 2022 by Jim Taylor  |  Powered by: Churchweb Canada