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

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

 

9

Jul

2022

On having power, or not

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday June 30, 2022

 

Two scenes. Or maybe two sides of the same scene.

            My street has been torn up for several weeks. The municipality is installing a new water main. I don’t know why -- the water pressure coming into my house already exceeds municipal standards.

            Installing the new pipes involves ripping up several blocks worth of paving. Digging a ditch. And filling the ditch in again. All of which involves a lot of heavy equipment. And because it affects traffic, the construction company requires flaggers.

            Flaggers do not have an enviable job. Aside from low pay, they either stand around feeling useless most of the day. Or they get abuse from impatient drivers, angry at being delayed for no apparent reason.


Comments (0) Number of views (88)

9

Jul

2022

Guilty of trespassing

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday June 26, 2022

 

“Forgive us our trespasses,” says the most familiar prayer in Christianity, “as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

            If those words are so important, why, in 80-odd years of attending worship services all over the world, have I never once heard a sermon connecting them with colonial peoples’ treatment of Indigenous inhabitants?

            Indeed, I doubt if any preachers focussed on those words from the Lord’s Prayer even this week, which marked National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada.

            Because there can be no doubt that we are trespassing on lands that did not originally belong to us. 


Comments (0) Number of views (88)

24

Jun

2022

Who I am, and how I got there

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday, June 23, 2022

 

I started writing a journal in December 1964. Ironically, I didn’t set out to chronicle my life. I intended to write a magazine article. For fame, or glory, or something.  

            That autumn, I had taken a night-school course taught by author and ghost-writer Raymond Hull, co-author with Lawrence J. Peter of the best-selling book, The Peter Principle. I never completed that course, because I got a new job in Prince Rupert, far up the northern B.C. coast. 

            During my first weeks in that rain-soaked, rock-hewn, isolated city on an island in the Pacific, I compiled my impressions into a magazine article, following the conventions Hull had taught me. I sent it to his class. 

            I never heard anything more about it. But that article established a habit of writing down my impressions. And so I continued. 


Comments (0) Number of views (108)

24

Jun

2022

Paying back 12 years of transfusions

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday June 19, 2022

 

“The best laid plans o’ mice an’ men,” wrote poet Robbie Burns long ago, “gang aft agley.”

            Canadian Blood Services and I laid plans for celebrating the one-year anniversary of opening the new Kelowma plasma clinic, this coming Wednesday, June 22. Alas, life had other plans. Things went agley.

            I wanted to be the first plasma donor, when the clinic opened in 2021. My wife had been receiving plasma transfusions for 12 years, while she had chronic lymphatic leukemia (CLL). The plasma contained immune-globulin, antibodies distilled from about 1000 donors per transfusion, to supplement her weakened immune system.

            I wanted to repay some of that debt, if I could.


Comments (0) Number of views (100)

17

Jun

2022

A difference that makes a difference

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday June 16, 2022

 

It was not a typical breakfast conversation: But then, we weren’t a typical breakfast group. 

            For around 25 years, a group of guys -- who all worked for, with, or in Canadian churches -- have met at least once a year to talk. About almost anything. 

            We haven’t solved any of the world’s problems. But we’ve had a good time not solving them.

            And so, on this particular morning, we found ourselves wondering about the difference between guilt and shame.


Comments (0) Number of views (122)

17

Jun

2022

Playing a duet with the great ones

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday June 9, 2022

 

Piano recitals are back. 

            My church has a wonderful grand piano. Piano teachers love to bring their children to play on it, to the applause of their admiring parents and adoring grandparents.

            Until Covid-19 came along, we used to have up to a dozen piano recitals a year. During the pandemic, some teachers abandoned recitals altogether. Others did virtual recitals.

            But as the pandemic restrictions eased, the recitals have come back. 

            I’m the sound man. I get to attend, without having to play anything.


Comments (0) Number of views (96)

17

Jun

2022

The Queen and I

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday June 5, 2022

 

England is having a grand party to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s platinum anniversary – 70 years on the throne. (TV doesn’t tell me how enthusiastically the Scots and Welsh are joining in.) 

            “Lillibet” and I don’t have a long personal history. Minimal, in fact. Our life stories intersect at only two points. 


Comments (0) Number of views (94)

17

Jun

2022

Saying a proper goodbye, just in case

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday June 2, 2022

 

As far as I know, none of my friends are in imminent danger of dying – thanks to pills, pacemakers, and physiotherapists.

            But we have all had warnings of our mortality. The future is not infinite anymore.

            The editor of my elementary school’s newsletter mused about her shrinking mailing list. “When I don't know what's happened to classmates,” she wrote, “it makes me sad. Sort of like I haven't said a proper goodbye.”

            Goodbye. 

            We don’t like goodbyes. As Rabbi Kami Knapp wrote, “People feel uncomfortable with the feelings associated with goodbyes, or we become too busy to take the time to properly say goodbye.” 

            Many of our words for parting deny the possibility of permanent separation, whether by death or circumstance. 


Comments (0) Number of views (96)
Read more

Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: death, goodbye, partings

17

Jun

2022

The right is wrong; the left is rarely right

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday May 29, 2022

 

Yet another school shooting in the U.S. Nineteen children and two teachers dead -- plus the shooter himself.

            As I write this column, authorities are still trying to fathom the teenaged shooter’s motives. Was he influenced by extremist ideologies? By prejudice? By social media?

            I suggest that the terms we use, in examining motives, are themselves part of the problem. Traditional interpretations of “right” and “left,” liberal and conservative, get in the way of understanding.

            We need to start again.

            Try these definitions on for size. The right worships the individual. The left worships the group.


Comments (0) Number of views (90)

17

Jun

2022

Playing around with earworms

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday May 26, 2022

 

A rhythm was running through my head when I woke up: “Dah dit dah dit dah dit dah…” No words, just a mesmerizing beat.

            Ever had one of those earworms that won’t go away?

            During my shower, a word inserted itself to the relentless rhythm: “Patsy.” Then the rest of the words came trickling back: “Patsy Atsy Or-ee-ay… Workin’ on the railroad.”

            I cannot imagine where that memory came from. It wasn’t in any of my dreams that night. The last time I remember singing it, I was a teenager, sitting around a campfire, each of us trying to holler louder than everyone else.


Comments (0) Number of views (79)
RSS
12345678910Last
«December 2022»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
27282930123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
1234567

Tags

"gate of the year" #MeToo .C. Taylor 150th birthday 1950s 1954 1972 1984 215 3G 4004 BC 70 years 8 billion 9/11 A A God That Could Be Real abduction aboriginal abortion Abrams abuse achievement Adam Adams River addiction Addis Ababa adoption Adrian Dix Advent advertising affirmative action Afghanistan agendas 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 Anniversary 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 Baal Shem Tov baby Bach bad news baggage Bagnell Bahai Baldi 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 Bird songs birds birth birthday birthdays Bitcoin Black history Blackmore blessings Blockade blockades blood blood donations blood donors Bloomberg Blue Christmas boar boarding school body Boebert 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 candidates 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 Chrystia Freeland church churches circle of life citizenship Clarissa Pinkola Estés Clearwater Clichés cliffhanger climate change climate crisis clocks close votes clouds Coastal GasLink coastal tribes coffee coincidence cold Coleman collaboration collapse collective work colonial colonial mindset colonialism 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 consensus consent conservative Conservative Party conservative values conspiracies conspiracy constitution construction contraception contrasts Conversations Conversion conversion therapy Convoy cooperation COP26 copyright coral Cornwallis corona virus coronavirus corporate defence corporations corruption Corrymeela Cosby Cougars counter-cultural Countercurrents couple courtesy courts Covenant Coventry Cathedral cover-up 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 cute 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 Dickie 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 duets Duvalier dying Dylan Thomas earth Earth Day earthquake Earworms Easter Eat Pray Love Eatons Ebola echo chambers e-cigarettes eclipse economics Eden editing editing by committee Edwards-Sawatzky ego
Copyright 2022 by Jim Taylor  |  Powered by: Churchweb Canada