Corner

Corner: (n) the place at which two converging lines or surfaces meet.

Jerry was my friend. His dad was a conservative preacher who refused to own a television.

Jerry didn’t share his father’s convictions. When he was around his papa he was as silent as a mouse, and as soon as he walked out of the door of his home he turned into a roaring lion.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

He was fun.

But even though I was just a kid myself, I knew there was something a little bit mixed up with Jerry. There was a hidden rage which was not very well disguised. It was like a box sticking out from under your bed that you thought was put away, but everybody knew there was something beneath.

Jerry got angry easily. Matter of fact, one night we were at my house and went into the garage. We found a possum next to our freezer. (I share this with you because it was unusual. If we normally had possums next to our freezer, I would have left it out of the tale.)

The possum was a little surprised to see us. It acted like it was pursuing a normal routine and we had interrupted the process. It gave a quick snarl in our direction. It was enough to convince me to get the hell out of the way. If you’ve never seen a possum up close, it’s ugly enough to avoid without the snarl, but if you put a growl with it… Well, I was ready to head to the next county.

But not Jerry.

Jerry seemed upset that the possum had dared to emit disapproval. He ran over to a shelf in the garage and picked up a hammer. I know I probably should have said something, but honestly, it was my first time being in a garage with a man who was going to attack a possum.

The possum scurried over into the corner of the garage.

Bad maneuver—now it was trapped. It was either going to have to fight its way out, or it was going to face whatever verdict Jerry had chosen for it.

Jerry changed right in front of my eyes. He was breathing heavily, standing with his legs spread, hammer over his head, eyes bulging—and it became obvious to me that he planned on attacking the creature.

I did finally gain speech. “Jerry, let it go. We’ll just leave the door open and it’ll scurry away.”

Excellent advice—especially coming from a teenager whose frontal lobe was not yet complete.

Jerry did not hear a word I said. He was ready to “kill possum.”

He moved closer. The possum snarled even more ferociously.

And even though I liked Jerry, when I heard that possum, I got the hell out of there. So peeking through the window from outside the garage I watched as Jerry grasped the hammer tightly.

One, two, five, ten…twenty blows. With all his strength, he killed that possum.

I don’t think Jerry had anything personal against the possum. Jerry’s outburst was coming from somewhere else.

When he was done, he backed up, panting, with the bloody hammer in his hand.

As I slowly walked back into the garage he spoke, “I got the goddamn motherfucking thing.”

I was completely shocked, I had never seen anyone kill a possum. Matter of fact, I had never encountered a pissed-off possum. And I sure had never seen Jerry so out of control or heard him spew such profanity.

About that time, my mother arrived, came into the garage, looked into the corner and saw what remained of the smashed possum. She gazed carefully at Jerry, who was still clutching his weapon.

Honestly, my mother was not a sensitive or intuitive person, but in that moment, she knew that Jerry was not all right.

She put her hand on his shoulder, gradually reached over and took the hammer away, and then cupped her hands around his face and said, “Good job, Jerry. Why don’t you two boys go bury the possum while I clean up the corner?”

So we did.

We walked about a quarter of a mile down the road to the railroad tracks. Nothing was said. It was so quiet I could hear the shovel strike against the ground as we drug it along.

We dug a hole and buried the flattened creature beneath it and covered it up.

When we were done, Jerry returned to being Jerry.

That day I learned a very valuable lesson.

If you corner any of God’s creatures—and that includes the human variety—they will fuss, spit, growl and even snarl at you. At that point you have to decide whether you’re going to walk away or if you’re going to destroy them.

Let me tell you—there are a lot of “Jerrys” in the world.


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Cornea

Cornea: (n) the transparent anterior part of the eye covering the iris and the pupil

“All those in favor…”

“The eyes have it.”

They really do. It’s been talked about poetically throughout the generations.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

“The eyes are the windows to the soul.”

“The light of the body is the eye.”

“The eyes never lie.”

If all of this is true, aside from correcting my eyesight through glasses or surgery, what can I do to convey to others through my cornea, sincerity?

Nothing. That’s the beauty of the eyes:

  • They cannot be “enlisted” in a plan for deception.
  • They cannot be instructed in devious forms of flitting.

Generally speaking, they give away the intention of the heart long before the lips have a chance to spit out a deceitful explanation.

Yes, the tongue speaks deception; the ears are often deaf.

But the eyes see it all and tell it all.

Perhaps that’s why we don’t like to make eye contact with one another. We know our brothers and sisters on Earth “read” us through those portals.

Yes, it is safer to be downcast or to put on the darkest pair of sunglasses you can find, and keep the world guessing.

Because once you unmask those beautiful peepers, they begin to speak volumes on the contents within.

I don’t know much about the actual cornea, but I do know that it is where we are guaranteed to speak the truth, although all of our other members may be trying to launch a sinful plan.


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Cornball

Cornball: (n) person who indulges in clichés or sentimentality.

“I am just so blessed to write to you every single day. You are such terrific people.”

You see, this passage I just wrote is considered “cornball.” Another word is “cloying.” How about “maudlin?”funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

And then there’s the classic: sappy.

Somewhere along the line we became so frightened of being insincere that we became sincerely mean.

It doesn’t take more than half an hour of watching old television to realize that the producers of nearly every show were determined to leave the watcher tingly with goodness.

Nowadays, it would be impossible to market a show called “Breaking Good” or to suggest that a life of gentleness and kindness could make you anything but a victim waiting around to be victimized.

How much cornball do we need? Do we need any?

When I grew up, people walked around and said things to each other like, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Or, “Honk your horn if you love Jesus!”

But somewhere along the line, the bumper stickers and slogans filled with such cornball notions of “peace on Earth” were suddenly replaced with apocalyptic concepts of doom and gloom.

Maybe it happened when the first person affixed, on the tail end of his or her car, the thought, “Shit happens.”

But even in our modern world, “shit happens” would be considered cornball—because it maintains an attitude of being patient with the shit instead of twittering about it.

That’s interesting. When I was younger, if you felt good, excited and full of great hopes for the ‘morrow, you would say to people that you were “all a’twitter!”

Now, when people are “a’twitter,” they are merely considering better ways to destroy one another.


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Corn

Corn: (n) a tall cereal plant having a jointed, solid stem and bearing the grain, seeds, or kernels on large ears.

I tried to get lost in America.

Many times.

Although I visited every large city, there were occasions in my touring, travels and interaction with the populace that I purposely placed myself deeper and deeper into smaller and smaller regions.

It was enlightening.

It was invigorating to drive down a country road at twilight and not see a building taller than two stories for ten miles in any direction.

What I could never escape was corn.

It’s everywhere.

I judged my tours by its growth.

I began each tour traveling when little, tiny green heads were barely popping out of the earth.  Matter of fact, someone would have to point out that the “field over there” was corn, because it looked like a promising acre of weeds.

Time passed.

I logged some more numbers on my odometer, and now the green weed was nearly knee high—often before the fourth of July.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

But it still didn’t look like much.

More travel, more little towns. More diners which surprised me with a particular delicacy that tickled my fancy.

The corn just kept growing.

Pretty soon you could make out tiny ears sprouting, getting ready to hear further instructions from Mother Nature.

And then—all at once—there were huge fields of it in all directions. Corn stalks blowing in the breeze, chock-full of magnificent cobs, ready for the munching.

It was delicious.

But it was also forewarning—the warmth in the air was soon to be replaced, and traveling gypsies like me needed to find warmer climates, and spend my time watching the oranges grow.


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Cork

Cork: (n) material used to make stoppers for bottles

Long before there were screw-on caps, people had to figure out a way to keep their wine from spilling. After all, it’s unrealistic to think that the wine bottle will remain upright since we, ourselves, are incapable of the  maneuver.

I don’t know who suggested the cork. But little did they know that centuries later, they would institute a phraseology which encourages funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
control: “Put a cork in it.”

As soon as this genius—whoever he or she was—carved a piece of cork to fit into the top of a bottle and was able to pull it back out, to open the vessel once again, he or she made it clear that if you don’t want to spill the contents, you’ve got to make sure the exit is dammed.

That covers so many subjects I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

For instance, every morning I wake up stuck with how I feel. Sometimes washing up, getting some breakfast or just moving around might improve my energy, but often the contents of my “bottle” is either ready for pouring—or needs corking.

I have to know the difference.

Bluntly, there are times when I am not suitable for human consumption. No matter how many aspirin I take, push-ups I do or cups of coffee I may ingest, what is inside me needs to be corked.

Then there are days when my internal splashings can pour forth like crystal blue water. Those are the occasions when I can pull the cork, and make myself available for the party of humankind.

“Put a cork in it.”

And when you do—be grateful to the person who decided to cease accepting spillage and found a good way to keep it bottled up.


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Corinthians

Corinthians: (n) either of two books of the New Testament, I Corinthians or II Corinthians, written by Paul.

Whenever I talk to young—or just new—writers, I offer a single piece of advice. And it isn’t the classic comment normally passed along, which is, “Write what you know.”

Hell, I write a lot of things I don’t know about.

But you see, the key is—I just told you. I purposely shared that I don’t know anything about the subject; I am merely giving you my reaction.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

What every writer needs to be is painfully honest—about both discovery and ignorance.

If a writer is bruised, he will post paragraphs filled with defensiveness.

If a writer is prideful, his scribblings will be speckled with condescension.

When Paul, the Apostle, who was originally Saul of Tarsus, sat down to write the Corinthians, he allowed himself to don more than one persona.

His feelings got hurt because the Corinthians found a preacher who they liked better than him, so he reminded them, in a very petty way, that he was the one that first brought the Gospel to them.

He tried to deal with a controversy of immoral proportions, which should only be handled on-site in the moment.

And he certainly was wounded and complained about their lack of financial assistance to his wandering mission.

Yes, the books of First and Second Corinthians are a study for any writer in comprehending that some mornings, when you get up on the wrong side of the bed, it’s better to roll back over.

And yet, in the midst of that—even with the upheaval he was feeling in his soul toward these people, he still managed to write one of the most beautiful passages of all time:

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels and have not love, I am sounding brass and tinkling cymbal.”

It’s referred to as “the love chapter”—the thirteenth of First Corinthians. It is brimming with humility, passion, wonder and, dare I say, precious honesty.

It is the reason we remember Paul in history as a great teacher of peace instead of a cranky, aging Jew who was having trouble making budget.

“Now abides faith, hope and love…” but as Paul said truthfully, “the greatest of these is love.”


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Correlate

Correlate: (v) when two things affect or depend upon another

Déjà vu—that odd, often creepy sensation—that what we’re presently experiencing we have already encountered.

I have actually heard many explanations for this phenomenon, so let me tell you what I think one of the instigators may be for a déjà vu moment:

Every piece of the heart and soul inside us, loving us, tries to subliminally warn us that the place we’re in, the steps we are taking and the mood we’ve selected has been pursued before, and did not bring about much fruitfulness.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I believe one of the great gifts imparted to me as a human being is the instinct of knowing I’ve done this stupid thing before in some way, shape or form, and now would be a good time to bail out.

The present political situation seems very familiar to me. It doesn’t feel odd. Matter of fact, this is the third occasion in my lifetime when I’ve seen the United States temporarily go insane because half of the country was supporting someone the other half believed to be crooked.

Let me give you a correlation:

It would be similar to living in a house with a father and mother who campaigned to divide the affection of the children, causing brothers and sisters to be at war because they side with one parent over the other.

This is what we’re being asked to do today.

We were also asked to do this in the late 1990’s, with President Bill Clinton, and of course, in the early 1970’s, with President Richard Nixon.

If any of you out there lived through these experiences, you should allow your brain to give you a beautiful déjà vu, and begin to correlate, in your thinking, the similarities and traps—and thereby avoid being sucked into a war of insults and lies, and instead find your identity, maintain it, and laugh at the ridiculous fiasco.

Here are things that correlate: telling the truth, honesty, repentance and change

On the other hand: lying, cheating, denial and destruction.

Truth will always end up on top. It’s not because God is controlling the Universe and killing off all the liars. Rather, it’s because people like you and me begin to correlate and come to agreement. As painful as the truth may seem, it does free us from the need to defend dangerous lies.

Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace.

Bill Clinton is still regarded as a flirtatious womanizer.

Whoever continues to lie in our present circumstances in America will join these two in obscurity.


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