Count

Count: (v) to enumerate

“That doesn’t count.”

A statement often made when people are in the process of a count.

What should we count? What really counts?

Well, you can count on me to try to turn this into something meaningful. Or maybe it’s not meaningful at all, just making “meaningless” a little less painful.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

What should be counted?

I think it may be the central question to the serendipity of the human race. Yet I must be honest with you—every symphony must be willing to go through the process of being a cacophony. In other words, if we’re not willing to deal with the messiness of our lives, we will never be able to straighten things up and narrow our focus.

  1. We certainly should not count offenses. No good discussion ever begins with, “This is the third time this week…”
  2. Counting your blessings is considered to be a virtue but I must admit, when people start including the joy of having their rice dish set up perfectly, I become a little cynical.
  3. It’s never a good idea to count the hours. Everything good happens in the seconds leading up to the minute.
  4. Should we count the number of friends we have? Should we count our enemies? Maybe it would be better to count where they overlap.
  5. In a season in which polls seem to be more important than finding purpose, certain counts become ridiculous.

“Do you believe in God?” asks the pollster. 86% said they do, but when pushed for a description, many decided to plead the Fifth.

What should we count?

  1. I think it’s all right to count the fingers and toes of new-born babies, unless you plan on destroying a nine-digit one.

What else could we count?

  1. I think we could count the number of times we allow ourselves to give a damn about something other than counting the problems, the iniquities, the faults, the sins and the disagreements of others.


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Contaminate

Contaminate: (v) to make something impure

The first time I said a prayer my soul merged with God.

Then I went to prayer meetings. Now a sense of loss floods my heart every time I listen to over-exsggerated supplications.

The first time a woman kissed my lips and touched my face I thought I was going to melt like butter on a hot waffle.

Then came television, movies, and all sorts of insidious representations of romance, which make me sometimes wonder why in the hell we’re attracted to each funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cother.

The first time I voted I believed I was accompanied to the polls by George Washington himself.

Now, through the disappointment of the Electoral College and the tainting of civil discourse, I would rather have a 24-hour stomach virus. (Well, maybe not.)

The first time I stood onstage and sang a song for an audience, and had chills go up and down my spine as I harmonized with my friends, I thought I had pierced the heavenly gates and joined the supernal chorus.

Now I feel perplexed at a musical cacophony that shouts, screams and contorts without ever touching the human heart.

I remember the first time for many beautiful things.

And then humanity tried to contaminate the simplicity, insisting that the complexity brought deeper meaning.

It didn’t.

I have taken a brief season of my life to debug myself from the infection of religious fanaticism, entertainment porn, political grappling and music composed with a tin ear.

I feel good.

I feel simple.

I no longer feel contaminated.

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Commotion

Commotion: (n) a state of confused and noisy disturbance.

“Turn down the noise.”

Wait! You can’t do that–because there is a holy proclamation to “make a joyful noise.”

Those who want things to be quiet and calm, in so doing, quell the spiritual party.

So what noise do we want to silence? Can we censor it?

Can we stop a commotion by hand-picking the sounds that will be allowed to mingle?

Should they be segregated?

Classical music over here, rock and roll over there? An accordion on a hill far away…?

What is a commotion? Commotion is the sound of something I don’t like. It’s a stirring and rumbling that is disconcerting.

It’s Grandma going to hear a rap artist, convinced that the entire atmosphere is a cacophony which could only be resolved by the second coming of Christ.

But it’s also a poor young eight-year-old having to sit in a room with a string quartet playing back-up at an oboe recital. That commotion causes him to create his own commotion.

If we’re going to only respond to needs in life based upon how loudly they scream at us, we will begin to have the mentality of an ambulance chaser … or the 24-hour news cycle.

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Cacophony

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Cacophony: (n) a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds.

To blend together as one while still maintaining the presence of an individual tone.

That’s what a band is.

You should be able to close your eyes and hear each magnificent instrument. It should not be a wall of sound. It should not blare. It should co-exist without disappearing.

Part of this is the sensitivity of musicians playing with precision while honoring their collaborators, and part of it is the ability to mix the sound in such a way that everything doesn’t blur into a cacophony of colliding notes which often do not seem to coincide.

Some people choose to go solo because they don’t believe it’s possible to find harmony. Other people have surrendered to the inevitable orchestration, often ending up as a cacophony.

It’s the same thing with people.

Freedom is not an overwhelming explosion of celebration; it is a distinctive melody played by each human soul, which is not smothered by the harsh overtones of the brassy.

 

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