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Sunday December 12, 2021
Things were just starting to get back to normal. Restaurants and drive-ins were open again. Sports events could have fans in the stands. People trapped in Canada for the last 18 months were booking flights to exotic locations.
And then the Omigod variant appeared. (Sorry, the OmiCRON variant). Some old rules were re-instated. Some new rules were imposed.
Suddenly, a return to “normal” -- whatever that is – looked a lot farther away.
I suggest that we’re kidding ourselves if we expect that the world is ever going to go back to whatever we once considered normal.
On a personal note, I know that, since my wife’s death last year, going back to any former “normal” is impossible.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: normal, Omicron, mutations
Thursday December 9, 2021
The woman standing in line looked vaguely familiar. But because she was wearing a Covid mask, I could see only her eyes and forehead.
“Holly?” I asked, tentatively.
Her eyebrows shot up. Her eyes crinkled. “Jim!” she exclaimed, flinging her arms around me. (Take that, Covid!)
I find it hard to recognize people with half their face hidden.
In the old days, people used masks to cover other parts of their faces. The Lone Ranger and Batman wore masks over the upper half.
Now it’s the opposite.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: COVID-19, Masks, whole body
Sunday December 5, 2021
After two weeks of reporting on B.C.’s floods, evacuations, washouts, and landslides, the CBC’s David Common was asked for his personal reaction to what he had seen.
He paused to think. I could see him collecting his thoughts, to avoid rambling or repeating what he had already said.
Water, he said. The sheer power of something that most of us take for granted.
Indeed, most of us do take water for granted. We think of water as benign. Friendly. Necessary.
This last few weeks, water has gone out of control.
Tags: water, BC, McLuhan, floods
Thursday December 2, 2021
I had a hummingbird around my house, last week. I shouldn’t have had a hummingbird at all – they migrated south more than a month ago.
But yes, a hummingbird was back.
One of my hummingbird feeders still had some sugar syrup in it that I, out of sheer laziness, had not emptied out. I didn’t believe my eyes when I saw this little hummingbird, wings beating invisibly, poke its beak into a fake plastic flower to sip some of the remaining nectar.
Then he/she/it flew over to my kitchen window. Looked in at me. Nodded acknowledgement. And flashed off to the mountain ash tree where it hunkered down, no bigger than the twig it perched on.
She was back again, the next day. So she wasn’t just an accidental, passing through.
Tags: Rumsfeld, normal, pandemeic, Omicron
In the old days, people used masks to cover other parts of their faces. The Lone Ranger and Batman wore masks over the upper half. Presumably, if people couldn’t see your eyes, they couldn’t recognize you.
Now it’s the opposite.
Thursday November 25, 2021
Happy New Year!!! No, I haven’t been transported to some distant science-fiction planet – this Sunday is the beginning of the liturgical year for the Christian church in the western world.
To be more specific, it’s the first Sunday of Advent, the period preceding Christmas. Advent always starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas.
So why would the Christian year not simply match a calendar year?
Because religions honour their tradition more than secular standards. So the Christian liturgical year doesn’t match the school year starting in September, the Gregorian year, or even the solar year, which would probably start on a solstice.
A related question, then – why start the year with Advent?
Tags: New Year, Advent, baton
Thursday November 18, 2021
As I grow older, I realize how much friends matter.
I didn’t always feel that way. Friends came into my life; friends passed out of my life. I moved on and left the old friends behind.
There always seemed to be enough friends around.
Not any more. Far too many friends have died. Others still live, but too little contact and too many years mean the only thing we have in common now is youthful memories.
Author Frederik Buechner understood the importance of friends better than I did. In his book Whistling the Dark, he wrote: “Your friends are not your friends for any particular reason. They are your friends for no particular reason. The job you do, the family you have, the way you vote, the major achievements and blunders of your life, your religious convictions or lack of them, are all somehow set off to one side when the two of you get together."
Tags: Senses, Remembrance Day, peace
Sunday November 14, 2021
I don’t get it. How, and why, in the world of professional sports, is a ten-year-old sexual encounter considered a more serious offence than constant physical violence?
My ruminations are, of course, founded on the lawsuit launched by former Chicago Blackhawks player Kyle Beach that former video-coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him and another player during the team’s run to the 2010 Stanley Cup.
As a result, at least three executives have lost or quit their jobs.
But no executive has ever lost his job because his players gave superstar Sidney Crosby a concussion – four concussions, officially, probably more never diagnosed.
Tags: sex, NHL, violence
Thursday December 11, 2021
I don’t feel qualified to write about Remembrance Day. I’ve never served in any war.
Two uncles did serve. My uncle Andy was chief surgeon with the British Army’s retreat from Burma – a 1000-mile retreat that makes Dunkirk look like child’s play in a bathtub. But I won’t go into details.
Joan’s uncle Frank died in Italy during WWII. Joan was about five. What she remembers, most, was the smell of his rough wool serge uniform, when he picked her up for a goodbye hug.
She never saw him again.
And she could never stand the smell of serge or the colour khaki.
In the context of today, Remembrance Day 2021, I wonder how our senses would recognize peace.