Clamber

Clamber: (v) to climb, move, or get in or out of something in an awkward and laborious way, typically using both hands and feet

It’s difficult to know whether we are judged by what we’re able to achieve, or how well we overcame the obstacles that attempt to forbid
achievement.

Yes, you could discuss that one for hours.

It reminds me of the time I took my children to an amusement park. I was still a very young man, but very fat. This created an immediate perplexity. Because I was young, I envisioned things I could do, often not taking into consideration the extra baggage I was bringing along.

Another example:

We went out on a boat trip. They had a little, thin gangplank to get on the boat, which I was grateful to have negotiated. So I assumed that when we returned there would be some sort of similar passageway from the front of the boat onto the dock again.

There wasn’t.

They eased the boat toward the landing, leaving a gap of about three feet between the boat and the safety of the dock. Well, other folks gave it a little bit of a running start, leaped into the air and came down safely onto the pier.

I kept inching my way behind people, letting them go first. I guess I was hoping that I would have a few minutes at the end, to figure out what to do, but failed to realize that all the people stayed on the dock and were going to watch my grand leap.

I tried to make that running start, to clamber with my entire obese body, legs and arms in the air, and land safely.

Just when I got to the end of the boat, my brain said, “Are you crazy?”

An immediate order was given at Mind Central: STOP!!

I nearly tumbled into the water but was able to step back. Then I tried to reach one leg across, and was able to get my foot onto the surface, but I was spread too far to get any pressure on the leg to push me over.

By this time I had secured an audience.

People began to make suggestions. My children were trying to hide and my wife was already being comforted by strangers.

At this point, I decided it was impossible. The ordeal went for ten minutes. The combination of fear, practicality and my limitations was turning me into a sea-lovin’ man.

Finally the captain took a rope and hooked it around some sort of turret and pulled the whole boat a bit closer–with just his sheer brute force. This received applause from those standing by. Even more humiliation.

I still was not able to find a “clambering” approach to leaving the boat. So three guys reached down, grabbed me under my arms and on the count of three, hoisted me up on the dock.

I attempted to land with some authority, stomping my feet a couple of times so the people around me would be aware that I had muscular ability, then quickly grabbed my family and disappeared into the crowd, heading for the refreshment stand.

After all, I was hungry from all the exertion.

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Cheat

Cheat: (v) to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage

Some people compare the human brain to a computer.

There may be truth to that–though the brain is capable of much more reasoning and processing.

But one of the similarities that would hold true is that the brain does maintain a browser. It has a listing of most recent files, frequently viewed files, and even files we think we’ve deleted.

Every once in a while, they’ll just pop up and remind us that the mind doesn’t always find ways to be kind.

It’s a little piece of nastiness.

So it runs a tally.

How many murders have we watched in television and movies over the past six months?

How many shows on the beauty of Antarctica and gorgeous flower displays from India?

How many scenes of pornography and the abuse of the female body have crossed our eyes in comparision to the downloads we have perused of mothers loving their children and women conquering prejudice, to be successful in business?

Because our browser is filled with corruption, we cheat.

  • We cheat on our taxes.
  • We cheat on our lovers.
  • We cheat ourselves out of blessing because cursing is so easily available.
  • We cheat our children out of intimacy in favor of a quick trip to the amusement park.
  • We cheat our talent out of the privilege of being used in a creative way while constantly bitching about the limitations of our job.

We cheat.

And then, fearing that we will be revealed as cheaters, we develop a honeycomb of intertwined lies, which now buzz from our lips with far too much glib precision.

Where will our cheating take us?

Well, we certainly don’t think anybody is going to be better than us, so it turns us into suspicious, angry and vindictive neighbors.

We cheat.

Mostly, we cheat ourselves.

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Brimstone

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Brimstone: (n) sulphur

It’s rare to find brimstone without its friend, fire.

They travel as a duet.Dictionary B

Over the years, they have become the universal threat to mankind for sinful doings and disobedience to deity.

There are churches which spend all their time talking about a hell filled with fire and brimstone. The premise is that we should take our seventy-two years of life and continue to be so frightened by the prospect of burning up and reeking of sulphur that we muster a nervous righteousness.

Of course, Earth has so many temptations and delicacies to offer that sometimes the searing of fire and the sniff of sulphur are not enough to keep the pilgrim progressing.

There has to be more.

So you can feel free to join in the debate about the existence of a hell with fire and brimstone, or whether ultimately, a loving God gives universal passes to everyone at the great amusement park in the sky–but in the meantime, a tremendous amount of life is going on around you which screams for your participation.

I found out a long time ago that there’s no government or religion that has anything against kindness, gentleness, good cheer and humility.

Might these four be the key to life on Earth and eternity post-Earth?

I find it difficult to have much concern about brimstone.

I am, on the other hand, seeking a comfortable and joyous way … to keep my nose to the grindstone.

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Ballpark

Ballpark: (n) a baseball stadium or field.Dictionary B

I’ve only been to one baseball game.

What is strange about that statement is how much I really enjoyed the experience.

The whole endeavor occurred because I was looking for a cheap way to entertain my children without spending an arm and a leg at an amusement park. A friend gave me some free tickets to a minor league baseball game and I thought I could give my kids a new experience, and they would think I was spending a lot of money, and I would be Dad-of-the-Year–for at least a day.

Little did I know what glorious pageantry and procedure goes into the whole process of preparing for one of these games. The field was beautiful, the grass was green, the baselines were white and clean and the players were dressed in elaborate costumes.

Unfortunately, because the game moved so slowly, my children started to get bored, so I resorted to using the refreshment stand as a means of uplifting them.

Therefore, the odyssey to the ballpark to see the game ended up costing me $35 in snacks.

So I never returned again–not because the extravaganza lacked impact. No, it was absolutely magnificent.

It was because I just couldn’t afford the free tickets.

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Ample

dictionary with letter A

Ample (adj): enough or more than enough; plentiful.

I refer to it as the “Nancy regret.”

She was a girl I knew who just never could quite allow herself to be grateful, appreciative or satisfied with anything.

If we got a sandwich at a restaurant and everybody was talking about how ample the serving was and delicious the flavor, Nancy would point out to one and all that it was “pretty good but could have been improved by some brown mustard.”

We once took a field trip to an amusement park. The whole class was abuzz about the exciting rides, sweet-tasting corn dogs and fluffy cotton candy. Nancy inserted that the public restrooms didn’t have toilet paper in all the stalls.

When we graduated from high school, we donned our caps and gowns, and with tears in our eyes, bid each other a fond farewell, only to have Nancy close with the lament that she believed the choice of pink for the female gowns was “a bit startling.”

I never forgot Nancy. I’ve often wondered what her wedding night was like, as her poor, helpless husband attempted to pull off the best miracle of romance he could with the accommodations provided, and then, lying there in the dark afterglow, to receive Nancy’s critique.

Sometimes things are ample.

And any additional comment beyond the appreciation of having what you need at the time you need it is not only bratty, but as I pointed out … will turn you into a real Nancy.

 

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