Monday, May 23, 2016
An Ode to Jim
When my home based business battle reached the public eye, someone wrote on my blog, 'First one through the wall gets a bloody face.' or something like that. In those early days, I didn't really feel the weight of those words, but I do now. I met my brick wall of resistance and it wasn't pretty, but through the ugliness I discovered something truly beautiful. There will always be people who stick their necks out to help you. I have such a long list of strangers and friends who took the time to talk to me or come to meetings or drive me to do presentations, or stay married to me, or even just to listen to me drone on about land use. But at the very top of the list, in his very own stratosphere, is Jim.
Let me tell you a little bit about Jim. It's Jim's job to oversee everything to do with the building code in HRM. Think of the library. Think of the Nova Centre. Love or hate all that development, you gotta imagine that the person at the top probably knows a little bit about the building code. Jim is even an author of the national building code.
This is the guy that over the course of two years has probably answered 5,623 of my questions. This is the guy that, on his own dime, drove down to explain to me that Home Occupation Bylaws were written so that a house could still be a house and not a commercial occupancy. This is the guy that, on his own dime, tried to help me politely explain to the town that there was just a simple administrative error happening, and when that didn't go so well, this was the guy that helped me write a presentation and come up with the simplest of solutions for the province to fix this error. (they didn't listen and took the hard road, but that's another story) This is the guy that stuck by my side for two bloody years and gave me the strength to keep fighting. This is the guy that taught me about 'the ethical application of rules' This is the guy that when my own council said 'our hands are tied' just kept on helping me. This is the guy that truly championed my cause. If anyone wants to learn what it means to be a champion of the arts, go meet Jim.
My greatest lesson, throughout this ordeal, was not that there is pettiness in the world. My greatest lesson was learning that there are people that help; people that are motivated by doing the right thing. My greatest lesson was learning that there will always be people like Jim. 100% Bullshit free. That is Jim.
There isn't really any way to repay this kind of kindness, but a personalized Mariko mug was the best compensation I could think of. Check out Mariko's web site. Here are a few more shots of this masterpiece.