Close

Close: (adj) not separated by distance, or a family member

When I am close but fall short, I immediately decide to find the person who is close to me.

Here’s the truth: close is not good enough.

Doing your best rarely fills the need. Attempts to rationalize only bring about comical excuses which generate private laughter from your
critics and too much sympathy from your friends.

If we’re going to live lives where we “come close,” then we need someone to be close to. This person needs to tell us the truth. They need to praise when we achieve our purposes, and point out when our cowardice, laziness or procrastination send us to the end of the line, to try again.

We are part of the human race. “All have fallen short.” So says the patriarch.

Since we are guilty of failing to make the edge, we need someone edgy in our lives, to help us discover how to do it better the next time. Otherwise, we do it again, but with less vigor because of nervous energy, or we develop a reason not to attempt a second effort.

We will be close so we need someone close.

That’s as simple as life is.

And if for some reason, we’re unable to hear the tender suggestions of that friend, then we will spend all of our time wallowing in a self-satisfied nothingness.

Let’s not do that.

Come close? Then draw close.

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Clone

Clone: (v) to make a duplicate

Some people just like to argue. I’m convinced of that.

You could even tell them you agree with what they’re saying, and they will still comment on how poorly you supported the point.

Thus the argument about cloning.

People are very afraid we’re actually going to attempt to clone human beings. That’s not what bothers me. What troubles me is that we want to clone attractive, intelligent, disease-free human beings.

Will they still be assholes?

You see, that’s the problem. I have met people who are supposed to be very appealing, but after spending ten minutes with them, I was grateful that the eleventh minute arrived so I could leave.

They were just too aware of their positive attributes.

There is something sweet in the human spirit about uncertainty–something appealing about an attractive person wondering if you think they look alright.

Do we really want a clone who is not only structured in perfection, but has a receipt to prove it?

I gain strength through my weaknesses. If people do not know this to be true, they will continue to lie and deceive in order to cover up hidden flubs. Are we going to clone flubbed people so they’ll be more real?

Or is the purpose of cloning an attempt to achieve what God was unable to do–and that is make a perfect Adam and Eve.

 

 

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Cloister

Cloister: (v) to seclude or shut up in

It is the universal discovery–or perhaps better stated, pursuit–of every human being: will we discover the better use of our brain before we
uncover the more pleasant use of our genitals?

It has caused parents to hide, protect, imprison, box up and threaten their children for generations.

We are so afraid that our offspring will do things just as stupid as we did–so we figure the best path is to place them on an emotional or even physical desert island, “far from the madding crowd.”

Unfortunately, other parents have the same idea, so one way or another, our children find one another, and learn to clump and hump.

What is it we’re so afraid of?

  • Unwanted pregnancy.
  • Our children marrying before they get their driver’s license.
  • Little Billy or Sally spending their whole lives on welfare, wondering whether six children is too few or too many.
  • Or perhaps having so many lovers that they eventually just dry up and blow away in a whirlwind of fornication.

Even though guiding children–and ourselves–is a very good idea, cloistering has never worked. The human animal always escapes the care of the human spirit, to roam the jungle, panting for danger.

So what should we do?

No one knows.

Good parenting has nothing to do with pursuing a path, but instead, looking down the available paths … and avoiding the dead-end streets.

 

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Clod

Clod: (n) a stupid person

A novel, noble notion just came to my brain. If I could turn it into a lifestyle choice, I might just transform myself a decent human being.

No promises.

What if I could tell myself that I will not criticize, condemn, mock or marginalize any other person who is doing something that I have–at least once–done myself?

Can you imagine that?

Can you comprehend how much ammunition I would remove from my “judgment gun?”

For I will tell you for certain: I have been a clod.

I have been a stumbling, bumbling sweaty mess of gelatin, trying desperately to impress, as I proceeded to diminish any confirmation that I had a brain in my head.

I fumbled.

I bumbled.

I said the wrong thing at the wrong time, and failed to do what was right to the right person.

I have been a clod.

I have been a stranger in a strange land, and that land was “Intelligence.”

I am clumsy–often without excuse, still feeling the need to make one.

If I could just learn that such weakness is much more acceptable if I do not treat others differently than I want to be treated myself.

For you being a clod is no different from me being a clod, which is absolutely the same thing as “clod-dom” everywhere.

Yes, if I would just stop condemning those who have done what I have also done, I would lighten my emotional workload by at least a ton–every single day.

 

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Clock

Clock: (n) a mechanical or electrical device for measuring time

Tick-tock.

Actually, I’ve never heard a clock do a “tock.” But many times, one has ticked me off.

I hate time–even though I have to admit the word “hate” is a rather vicious and overwrought expression. But the extreme dislike I have for the confinement of minutes and hours does threaten to become hateful.

Time never fulfills. The clock never has just the right amount to offer. There’s either too much time, which lends itself to all sorts of buffoonery and mistakes, or there’s too little time, and worry and fussiness set in, creating an old man or woman out of the youngest soul.

Occasionally I abandon the clock. I pretend it doesn’t exist. I wait for the sunrise to alert me of the day and the sunset to inform me of the need for an evening meal.

Yet that simple approach is quickly overtaken by the brattiness of responsibility.

Still, all in all, the clock doesn’t tell the time–it shows it. What will prove the value of my journey, the depth of my soul and the worth of my efforts?

Well, in that case, time will tell.

 

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Clobber

Clobber: (v) to hit someone hard

The quotation is attributed to Teddy Roosevelt: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

An admirable thought, but in a world filled with wack-a-doodle-dandies and nutzoids, there is always someone who eventually tries to make you use your stick.

So if you don’t plan to use the stick, or if you’re against that type of violent behavior, then carrying it around may seem intimidating, especially when you run across someone who has an assault rifle.

I must be honest–I have never actually been in a fist fight with anyone. I have tackled people and used my girth to lay on them, to make them submit to my will–but I have never chosen to clobber them.

The only time clobbering has come into my life was when I was in the middle of a football game and I was running down to cover a kickoff, when all of a sudden, something hit me like a meteor from space. For the next five minutes, I went to visit the Lilliputians on Mars. I was babbling, incoherent and obviously damaged–from being clobbered. To this day I don’t know which player found the correct angle to block me without me seeing it coming, but I came about three-and-a-half angels from meeting Jesus.

On that day I decided that if this were the by-product of clobbering, then I no longer wished to partake, participate or initiate such endeavors.

Even though there is some sort of vague concept in our society that we need to “stand up for ourselves” or otherwise, the bullies will take over, my preferable experience is to learn how to send out really good reconnaissance and find out if there are any bullies on the road ahead, and set my GPS for milder paths.

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Cloak-and-Dagger

Cloak-and-dagger: (adj) characteristic of mystery

I suppose if I saw someone walking toward me wearing a cloak, I might be curious enough about their fashion choice to wonder what they were hiding beneath the bulky garment. I’m not so sure I would assume it was a dagger–more likely twenty unwanted pounds.

But maybe it’s the same thing. Since we don’t live in a time when people are stabbing one another with stilettos over grievances, a redefining of “cloak-and-dagger” for our period might be in order.

I contend that the cloak-and-dagger of our generation is the hiding the real truth of our abilities behind self-promotion. And the dagger which follows is an inadequate performance, leaving our fellow-travelers unimpressed.

Then too often violence ensues.

Because we should never have claimed to be more than who we are, we are inevitably going to fail, which will make us defensive and therefore volatile.

What would happen if we stopped lying about our abilities?

What if we decided not to chase big dreams?

What if we judged our talent on the response to our performance rather than what we think the response should be “if people weren’t stupid?”

Our society is still menaced with the “cloak-and-dagger,” because unless we praise the misguided claims of those around us, they just might turn on us and stab us with whatever is available.

So let me be the first one to take my cloak off and cast aside my dagger. I will do my best to tell you of the gifts I have, mingled with my weaknesses. If you find additional flaws, I thank you for saving me from the embarrassment of humiliating over-assessment.

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