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

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9

Jan

2021

Taking a break in long traditions

Author: Jim Taylor

           Our Christmas tree traced the 60 years of our marriage.

            In the beginning, all we could afford was tinsel, draped like icicles. Over time, we added a variety of glass balls, gradually getting bigger, brighter. We bought souvenirs, brass or crystal, sometimes ceramic, to remind us of our travels.

            And Joan embroidered -- her passion -- dozens and dozens of, I don’t know what to call them, cloth ornaments to hang on the tree.

            Sometimes the tree itself was almost invisible beneath its decorations. 

            But one thing remained constant, for all those years. The ornament at the very top of the tree, was a blown glass spire, pointing upwards. 

            Joan brought that spire into our marriage. 

            But when I went to slip Joan’s fragile spire onto the top of the tree, it imploded in my hands. 


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12

Dec

2019

Let your light shine…

Author: Jim Taylor

           A small ceramic Christmas tree sits on a table in our front hall. It’s not much of a tree – about 12 inches high, dark green, with whitish snow flaked on the ends of its branches. A light bulb inside shines out through coloured plastic plugs stuck into holes in the branches.

            Over the years, we’ve lost about a dozen of the plastic plugs. The light inside now shines directly out through several holes.

            It never was particularly pretty, I suppose. But it’s special. Because it was given to me with love.

            It came from Lorraine Wicklow almost 40 years ago. The next summer, Lorraine died of a massive brain hemorrhage.

            As far as I know, she had no family, no relatives. Perhaps I was her family. She used to drop in at my office, back in the days when I worked at the United Church’s national offices in Toronto. She always arrived at the very end of the day, just as I was loading up my briefcase to go home.


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