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

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24

Dec

2022

Manger and manager -- a study in contrasts

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday December 18, 2022

 

There’s something about a season of peace and goodwill, a season marked by glad tidings of comfort and joy, that throws into stark contrast the operating systems we take for granted all the rest of the year.

            I imagine that’s what prompted Eli Sopow of University Canada West to write an article for The Conversation Canada on Elon Musk.

            I don’t know what you think of Musk most of the year. Envy of his wealth -- even if he’s no longer the world’s richest person? Admiration for his achievements, such as Tesla and SpaceX? Loathing? Disgust?

            Whatever your feeling, I’m sure it didn’t involve comparisons with Santa Claus.


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24

Dec

2022

When illness disrupts mental pathways

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday December 15, 2022

 

I was sick a week ago. Medically, I just had a cold. A bad cold. Perhaps the worst cold I have had in ten years. I feared it might be Covid-19, despite a full house of vaccinations. A Rapid Test proved negative. 

            I thought of Covid because I had read that Covid can scramble one’s brain, randomly disrupting neural synapses that have formed a reliable communications channel for decades. 

            So that one suddenly can’t remember how to do the simplest things. 

            They call it “brain fog.”

 

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24

Dec

2022

Let your light shine…

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday December 8, 2022

 

The first Christmas after Joan died, I decided not to put away all the Christmas decorations. They spoke to me of warmth in winter, of caring and compassion, of togetherness – themes I desperately needed that first year of Covid-19 isolation.

            So, for the last three years, a small ceramic Christmas tree has been sitting on a table in my front hall. It’s not much of a tree – about 12 inches high, dark green, with whitish snowflakes on the ends of its branches. A light bulb inside shines out through coloured plastic plugs stuck into holes in the branches.

            If I’m going out at night, I turn it on before I leave. When I come home again, it welcomes me back, glowing softly in the darkened entry.


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24

Dec

2022

Jewish song writers who invented modern Christmas

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday November 27, 2022 

 

Years ago, I thought I was giving the Sunday School kids a treat – no dull boring lesson today; we’d just sing some familiar Christmas carols. 

            We tried. One of the mothers bravely played the piano. A teenager hoping to emulate Eric Clapton played a 12=string guitar. The singing, however, was less than enthusiastic: 

            “Okay,” I said, “you’re not keen on our choices. What would you like to sing?”

            Bigmouth at the back called out, “Rudolph!”

            Without waiting for either piano or guitar, the whole group of kids launched into Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

            They sang lustily. With enthusiasm. They knew all the words. They also knew all the words to Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. And to Silver Bells.

            I didn’t have the heart to tell them that those had all been written by Jews. 


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24

Dec

2022

A season in a life of waiting

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday December 1,, 2022

 

This is the first week of Advent. Advent is the four-week period in which Christian churches traditionally prepare for the birth of Jesus. It’s considered a time of waiting, while we tidy up the dusty corners of our lives to prepare for a special visitor.

            I don’t know about you, but I dislike waiting. I feel as if I’ve spent most of my life waiting for something, even if I didn’t clearly know what I was waiting for. 

            As a child, I waited to be considered an adult. 

            As a young adult, I waited for my career to find me. 

            As a father, I waited for my children to grow up. And when they did, I waited for them to come home.


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Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: future, Advent, waiting

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