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

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

 

18

Sep

2021

Conversion therapy a form of bullying

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday August 26, 2021

 

I no longer believe in conversions. I mention this, because conversion therapy has become an election issue.

            I had a classic conversion experience, once -- down on my knees, acknowledging my sinful nature, turning my life over to Jesus, emerging wrung out and tearful.

            In truth, I’ve probably had a dozen conversion experiences. They might better be called Epiphanies -- moments when the pieces I had been shuffling suddenly snapped into place, a “Aha!” moment.

            A couple of friends have been trying to change my mind -- and I theirs -- on several topics for about 20 years. I see no sign that I have influenced them.

            And all they have done for me is push me farther along the direction I was already going.


Comments (0) Number of views (77)

18

Sep

2021

A prayer for Haiti, sort of

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday August 22, 2021

 

Dear God, 

            Why do you keep picking on Haiti? 

            It is, by far, the poorest country in the Americas. It has the fewest resources to recover from a disaster. It has no industries, no exports, no assets, and no hope. 

            Perhaps that’s overstating the situation, but only slightly. Of all the countries that could be afflicted by an earthquake, Haiti is probably the country least capable of surviving. 

            But you hit it with a 7.0 earthquake in 2010, which resulted in at least 20,000 deaths and left millions homeless. It’s not possible to discuss property damage, because most of the property that fell down was already falling down anyway. 

            Now, while it’s still recovering from the 2010 earthquake – if it ever will – you whack it with a bigger 7.2 earthquake


Comments (0) Number of views (64)
Read more

Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: Haiti, earthquake

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 (117)

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 (113)

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 (103)

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 (101)

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 (178)

29

Jul

2021

Going ‘round in circles

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday July 29, 2021

 

Long long ago, I had a Baby Brownie camera. It had no settings at all – just point and click. But it let me take grainy black and white pictures. 

            As time went on, I graduated to a 35mm camera that would do almost everything for me except choose my subject. It would set the aperture. Choose the shutter speed. Auto-focus on whatever I had on the screen. 

             Except that one of its dials sets “picture mode,” in which the camera automatically amends its settings to suit special circumstances -- portraits, landscapes, close-ups, etc. 

            Not long ago, I took a series of photos of our Rotary club picking up litter along a popular walking route. Somehow, I bumped that dial from “Auto” to “Art.” 

            I got grainy black and white photos that I might have taken with my old Baby Brownie.


Comments (0) Number of views (225)
Read more

Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: aging, letting go

24

Jul

2021

Retribution, rehabilitation, prevention

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday July 25, 2021

 

 “A teenage girl who stabbed a boy to death in downtown Kelowna was sentenced to one day in custody after pleading guilty to manslaughter.”

            That was the first sentence of a story in Wednesday’s paper.

            It took me aback.

            One day? Especially when that one day was the day she appeared in court?

            Part of me says that murder, even an unpremeditated murder like this one, deserves punishment. No one should get off with a verbal reprimand.

            That is, of course, the principle behind what’s called retributive justice. Make ‘em suffer for that they did.


Comments (0) Number of views (123)

22

Jul

2021

Learning to live with smoke

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday July 22, 2021

 

Smoke cloaks the Okanagan Valley, as it does much of North America. With wildfires burning all over B.C. and through the western states., smoke can’t help drifting through this valley.

            It hangs like frosted glass between me and the far shore of the lake. 

            To the north and south, water sky and hills merge into an opaque curtain. 

            There are no horizons. 

            Smoke is becoming a new normal. As extreme weather patterns come tumbling one after another, we can expect more heat domes. More droughts. More smoke.


Comments (0) Number of views (127)
RSS
12345678910Last

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 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 Apologies apoptosis App Store Archives Ardern Aristotle armistice Armstrong Army and Navy stores Art artifacts artists ashes Asian assisted death astronomy atheists atonement atropine Attawapiscat attitudes attraction audits Aunt Jemima 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 Barbados barbed wire barbers barriers Bashar al Assad 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 Biden Bill C-6 billboards billionaire BioScience birds birth birthday birthdays Bitcoin Black history Blackmore blessings 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 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 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 communication Communion community compassion complexity composers composting computer processes Computers conception conclusions Confederacy Confederate statues confessions confidence Confirmation confusion Congo Congress Conrad Black consciousness consensual consent conservative Conservative Party conspiracies conspiracy constitution contraception contrasts Conversations Conversion conversion therapy COP26 copyright coral Cornwallis corona virus coronavirus corporations corruption Corrymeela Cosby Cougars counter-cultural Countercurrents couple courtesy courts Covenant Coventry Cathedral COVID-19 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 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 evacuation evacuation orders Evangelical Fellowship Eve Evelyn Glennie Every Note Played everything evil Evolution exemptions Exodus expectations experience experiment exploring explosions extinction extinctions extradition extremes extremism
Copyright 2022 by Jim Taylor  |  Powered by: Churchweb Canada