Damn

Damn: (v) to declare something to be bad, unfit, invalid

 “…and he that believeth not shall be damned.”

I think I was eight years old when I read that for the first time.

I wondered why.

Why does God need to damn anyone?

I wasn’t sure what I believed about God. It is an evolution. Matter of fact, to this day our love affair is a private matter.

But I was pretty sure, from my understanding, that He was “man enough” to survive an unbeliever.

After all, I do. There are many people who don’t believe in me. Some of them have gone so far as to declare their unbelief and pronounce damnation on my soul. But I never had the inclination to toss my own rendition of ultimate rejection back their way.

It’s not because I’m noble. It just seems very childish to be really mad at someone because they don’t believe in you.

The instinct may be there.

Perhaps hurt feelings.

A bit of confusion.

But fury? Rage? I don’t think so.

And why would God, who has so many devotees, focus in on the few who decide to be reluctant, or even rebellious?

Why would God damn anyone?

Hell, if He started damning people, I don’t know where He would stop.

So yes—I’m pretty sure if damnation is part of the nature of God, we all are lost and abandoned.

No, I just have to believe that somebody wrote that. Maybe they were trying to scare their congregation into being faithful. Maybe they wanted their race to seem better than others who did not believe.

I don’t know.

I just don’t reckon God is so insecure that He has to retaliate apathy with judgment.

Wouldn’t it be funny if each one of us received an eternity that matched our own choices? Those who believe heaven is “streets of gold and mansions” would discover that they are surrounded with great wealth—but nothing really to do.

And those who believe we come back again through reincarnation to be other creatures would find themselves on that merry-go-round.

And of course, those who believe there is no God, and the grave is the end of the journey, would be allowed to decay in peace.

Crumple

Crumple: (v) to give way suddenly; collapse

I love living.

I am downright silly about my enjoyment of breathing.

I am not looking forward to dying.

I am not one of those noble souls who believes I am going to a better place, but instead, have cast my lot in constructing my own “better place” here.

Along with this devotion to inhaling and exhaling comes a certain amount of hypochondria.

It’s true.

I’m not crazy. Nor do I become a nervous wreck about every sneeze or discoloration of a wart.

But I have been known, as a young father, to scream at my children because they caught colds or the stomach flu and were dangerously threatening me with them. On occasion, this reaction has flirted with irrational.

Of late, I have had some good, long talks with myself about refusing to crumple over every little symptom that might temporarily invade my body space.

I am perfectly aware that not every headache is a brain tumor.

Indigestion crops up without foretelling of a heart attack.

And having an occasional bout with bleary eyes due to fatigue does not forewarn of blindness.

You see, I know all these things.

But trying to get my “knower” to make the short journey to my “feeler” is often implausible.

So I am aware that I’m healthy, but I still often try to mimic sick.

On these occasions, I crumple—getting a few tears in my eyes while considering my demise and how sad it will be to those I love, and even mankind as a whole.

It is foolish.

It is childish.

But when I get into one of these crumple fests, it doesn’t help me to know that I’m foolish and childish.

I just need to roll over in the morning, take a deep breath, realize that my lungs are clear, my heart is beating, and God bless America:

“I gots me another day.”

 

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Cosmetic

Cosmetic: (n) a preparation for beautifying the face, skin, hair, nails, etc.

I have an odd face.

Not odd in the sense of grotesque, but rather unusual.

Though I am a man, I really can’t grow a beard. Matter of fact, I can go many days without shaving before anybody would even call it stubble.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I don’t have eyebrows. It’s like the plans were drawn for some, but apparently there was some problem with the shipment.

My ears pin back to my head. I know that normally ears are a problem because they stick out, but mine could certainly be a bit more assertive.

My nose is small for such a big face.

And as I’ve grown older, I’m not so concerned with wrinkles as I am with little discolorations—marks that appear, changing my countenance from smooth to sometimes resembling the surface of the moon.

I have two such places. One is in the middle of my left cheek. It appears to be some sort of wart. It is tiny, which makes it even more annoying. Then, near my left eye, I have a very light brown age spot.

I realize this is not of much interest to you. (Matter of fact, I may be writing this sentence to no readership.)

But the point is, I want to take those two tiny mars and use cosmetics to cover them up, so that my face looks like a moon pie instead of the cratered dark side.

It is vain.

It is the last thing I do in the morning—before coming out of my room, I grab a simple cover stick and touch those two parts with coloration until they disappear.

I’m not so sure it makes me look younger—but it does make me feel younger.

Or maybe just immature and childish.


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Cock

Cock: (n) a male bird

How should I handle this word? You see, everything I mention will come across as a double entendre.

Even the dictionary definition is “a male bird.” Where did your brain go on that one?

Some words just don’t have permission to be uttered in public. I even giggle inwardly when I hear a storyteller speaking to young children utter the term, “Cock-a-doodle-doo.”

A pundit, becoming extremely pungent, might say, “Cock and bull story.” I’m sorry. My brain is off and away.

I am not dirty-minded. But I do have dirty laundry laying around. And because of that, certain words, phrases and ideas cannot be spoken in front of me without my brain doing a childish tap dance.

I am fully aware that being so vulnerable as to share this with you, I run the risk that some of you, when hearing the word “cock,” may actually think of a rooster. In that case, I do not know whether to congratulate you for being pure, or pity you for being absent a bit of noble naughtiness.

But as for me and my self, I shall not speak “cock” nor can I hear “cock” without becoming twelve years old again, always prepared to burst into laughter over the sound of a fart.Donate Button

 

Cleave

Cleave: (v) to either split or join

“A man shall leave his mother and a woman will leave her home, and they will cleave together and the twain shall be one flesh.”

A paraphrase from the Good Book. I think it’s very fascinating that the King James translators used the word “cleave.” Because as you can
see, it has a double meaning. It can refer to cutting apart–as in when it is associated with a cleaver. Or it can refer to enjoining, a fanciful term for clinging.

Isn’t that fascinating? Because that pretty well describes marriage.

A bad marriage can tear people apart. It can take a hatchet to their confidence and self-worth, leaving them childish and vengeful.

A good marriage, on the other hand, is when two intelligent people realize the power they have together, and mingle their energies into one solid human-life effort.

I guess what the Good Book fails to communicate is, what makes the difference? What distinguishes a bad marriage from a good marriage?

It’s actually the same thing that separates friendships, partnerships and family relationships. Somewhere along the line, people who love each other stop competing. It’s usually not planned–it’s probably not the by-product of a long conversation or hours of counseling.

Confident of the love of another person, we no longer feel the need to be superior. We are satisfied with a joint project. We don’t insist on separate minds, separate practices, separate ways or separate fears.

We blend. We relax. We realize that if love doesn’t work, then we’ve just used up our last chance.

How shall we cleave?

Shall we cut one another apart in an attempt to make our portion seem more valuable?

Or shall we blur the differences and congeal into a sense of oneness?

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Caustic

Caustic (adj) sarcastic in a scathing and bitter way.

Being negative to another human being when positive energy could be beneficial is a great offense.

But equally as caustic is to piously tell folks they can do things that they can’t. It is cruel, mean-spirited and to a large degree, self-righteous
–simply because we want to be known for giving flowers instead of stopping and working with people’s soil, and teaching them how to get something to grow.

Life is not about me. Rather, it’s about me learning to be honest with myself, and then gradually sharing with the world around me.

Yet I will tell you–it is sarcastic, bitter, childish and ridiculous to take humans who have chosen mediocrity and insist that they are just as valuable as those who are laying their lives down to discover greater purpose.

If the truth makes us free, then anything short of that freedom is bondage.

For after all, you can tie people up with fuzzy bows just as easily as you can with barbed wire.

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Cauliflower

Cauliflower: (n) a cabbage of a variety that bears a large immature flower head

“I don’t like vegetables.”

A typical complaint shared by an average adult.

It doesn’t make any difference that vegetables are healthy. Somewhere along the line, we’ve convinced ourselves that our opinions on all
matters reign supreme and might even move the God of heaven to alter His efforts.

People say:

  • “I don’t like traffic jams.”
  • “I don’t like long lines at the DMV.”
  • “I don’t like people noticing my weight gain.”

One after another, we express our disapproval for common portions of everyday life.

Since vegetables work very hard to keep us alive, we might at least take a moment and try to figure out some way to consume them.

Cauliflower is a friendly one. It can be riced, diced, cut up, slivered, fried, baked, dipped and nearly disappear into any variety of dishes.

It also is white–so you don’t have to worry about the “fear of the green.”

It happens to be delicious if you mash it, and does a remarkable job of imitating the potato.

It’s time to grow up. The childish little whine of “I don’t like it” needs to be followed by the adult counter of, “But I will find a way to enjoy it.”

Without that, we spend our whole lives childish–minus the advantage of remaining cute.

 

 

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Blithe

Blithe: (adj) showing a casual and cheerful indifference

  • Dictionary BWhen does a smile become a smirk?
  • When does it transform itself into a sneer?
  • And when is a sneer considered to be snide?

Even though it’s easy to misinterpret body language, it is nearly impossible to ignore it.

Do we have a responsibility to make sure that the attitude which precedes our persona is sending off the right signals?

And what does it mean to be blithe?

In my mind’s eye, there are many ideas which are promoted as “positive thinking” which become annoying when they’re offered at the wrong moment.

I’m tired of having people tell me they’re going to pray for me instead of spending thirty more seconds allowing me to share my heart.

I am weary of those who callously toss off the phrase, “It’s all good.”

I find it annoying to be around people who become frustrated if they can’t find their keys, but want to address my health diagnosis by informing me that “God is in control.”

If infuriates me to see pseudo-intellectuals become enraged with bigotry while refusing to lift one finger to personally assist the afflicted.

A blithe spirit comes from a self-righteous heart.

It is the childish representation that “life is going to get better”–just because we say so.

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Befuddle

Befuddle: (v) to make someone unable to think clearly.Dictionary B

It all boils down to one question:

What do you want?

Do you want to look good or do you want to live with the truth?

They aren’t the same, you know.

The truth does make you free. But if your goal in life is to look good, freedom doesn’t always achieve that purpose. Freedom just makes it possible for you to walk around without guilt.

That’s why the truth befuddles human beings.

We actually see no advantage to telling the truth–because we prefer lying and deceiving our fellow-travelers to telling the truth and sleeping well.

The truth befuddles.

It befuddles politicians because then they’re stuck with their record, which is always a mingling of achievement and carelessness.

It befuddles theologians because the obvious question of “now, how is God different from Santa Claus?” makes them defensive and causes them to fall back into an attack mode of scriptural brattiness.

It befuddles the educational system, because just about the time we are convinced that education has progressed us, new knowledge shows up to confound the wise.

And since we do not want to appear befuddled, we select to become aggressive and childish, protecting our egos at all cost.

Befuddled is the ridiculous idea that we should always be in a position of power. What could be more silly?

Why would we think that any part of creation would have the advantage of understanding all creation?

I never met a dog who was actually aware of my needs.

Why would I think that I, a mere mortal, should not occasionally be befuddled, since I don’t hold the keys to any kingdom … but only find myself stuck in traffic?

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Before

Before: (prep) during the period of time preceding a particular event, date, or time.Dictionary B

It was a sentimental period in my life, which because of hindsight, I can now refer to as “silly.” I don’t know why it came upon me.

Maybe it was nostalgia.

Maybe it was listening to too much classic rock and roll music.

But for a few weeks, I had a yearning to return to my little hometown and walk the streets, to see if I still fit in.

It became an obsession.

Maybe it was because I was so dissatisfied with my “after” that I wanted to regain my “before.” I’m not sure.

But nothing fit.

When I returned to the place of my birth, I found that the location had evolved and become something quite different–without my permission.

Nobody knew who I was. Old places that once held deep significance to me were now abandoned or turned into a Dairy Queen.

I was lost.

All I wanted was to go back to where I was before, while simultaneously bringing the financial security and prowess of what I had become.

  • Before no longer existed.
  • The present was not friendly.
  • So the future held no hope.

My hometown was no longer my home, nor was it just a little town. It was a burgeoning bedroom community of a metroplex twenty miles to the south, which was gradually swallowing it whole.

I felt empty.

But I realized that emptiness was necessary… in order to rid my soul of all the childish ideas which needed to scamper away to make room for the man.

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