Decree

Decree: (n) a formal and authoritative order

Maybe not formal.

Certainly not overbearingly authoritative.

But it certainly would be nice if one simple thought could permeate the minds and hearts of the human race. It would not be a decree that would solve all the problems, but rather, a climate which fosters the atmosphere for problems to be solved.

Is it too much to ask?

Are we so struck with our own brilliance that we could not faithfully enact a dynamic purpose?

Must everything be our own doing?

Or maybe it has to come from our race. Our religion. Our gender. Or our clan.

Yes, that is our weakness.

We believe we are stronger when we cling to smaller and smaller groups of ourselves and proclaim that particular cloister to be holy.

Meanwhile, to live under a simple decree which births the potential for both creativity and respect for the past seems odd to us, if not evil.

I’m ready.

I am prepared to join with all my brothers and sisters in the human family and agree on something instead of debating everything.

I am weary of promoting my own ideas.

I am aggravated with being fussy.

It’s time for a decree.

I’m certainly willing to consider any thoughts you might like to offer.

But in the meantime, may I present my suggestion?

Like most concepts that would be proffered as universal, it may seem a trifle odd at first, or insufficient.

But let it grow on you.

Let it settle into the middle of your soul and sprout a garden of possibilities.

Here it is—my decree:

“Make it easy.”

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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Brethren

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brethren: (n) archaic plural form of brother.

“I’m doin’ it so my family can have a better life,” he said, being interviewed on one of the singing competitions so prevalent over the airwaves.Dictionary B

I was supposed to be moved by his sentiment. I guess the goal was to get me in his corner by realizing what a fine damn fellow he was for loving his wife and children.

But is that really special?

How basic is it for us to just express affection to those we marry or procreate?

Isn’t the music more important?

Isn’t communicating with others through melody and harmony the greatest aspiration?

I just think I would be very disappointed if Beethoven wrote his symphonies for “a gal and his young’uns.”

Somewhere along the line, we need people to step out of the box of family life, and begin to refer to those around them, who do not share DNA, as “brethren.”

You are my brothers and sisters.

The fact that you look different and come from unique regions only makes you more intriguing.

When we settle for our clan, our cloister and our clump, we are admitting that we have second thoughts about loving the stranger.

Since most of us are strangers to the rest of the world … we might want to reconsider our position.

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Bermuda Shorts

Bermuda shorts: (n) casual knee-length short trousers.

Dictionary B

For the sake of lingering pieces of vanity, I would like to say that I am completely unfamiliar with Bermuda shorts, but unfortunately, I was around when they hit the shores from Bermuda, and shortly thereafter, basically disappeared.

Let me tell you something about fashion: fashion is the latest trend available to those who basically look good in anything.

If you have a bulge here and there, misshapen space or a cluttered cloister, you are very unlikely to ever be comfortable or attractive in the latest threads.

Such it was with Bermuda shorts.

They were knee-length, usually had some sort of odd print on them, and they left the rest of your leg exposed.

When I tried them on, it appeared that some sausage had seeped out of the bottom of its casing.

Not to mention the fact that no matter how tall you may be, when you are chubby you appear shorter. Bermuda shorts helped to accentuate this dwarfism.

I didn’t wear them a second time.

Matter of fact, I might have been one of the souls instrumental … in mocking them off the fashion runway.

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Attic

Attic: (n) a space or room just below the roof of a building.dictionary with letter A

I grew up in a two-bedroom house with a mother, father and four brothers.

If you’re wondering if the space provided failed to meet the requirements of the number suggested, you would be absolutely right.

So as a young boy, I was always looking for new places to go, which I felt provided me opportunities to escape the common cloister.

First was our garage, which was very tiny–not large enough to hold a car and a lawn mower.

We had a huge back yard, which was very nice, but my father had haphazardly planted trees, which were now growing everywhere, making it somewhat impossible to find any space for an actual playground.

There was one enclosure of solitude: our attic.

To get to this room, you had to pull down a set of wooden stairs in the ceiling of our garage, climb up carefully and wiggle through the tiny hole into a space about twice the size of the interior of a car. Our house was not insulated, so as soon as you got up into that territory, you were either freezing in the winter or boiling in the summer.

I didn’t care. I liked to go up there and look through the stuff.

Then one day I realized that I was not surrounded by treasures, but rather, rejects–items which were no longer found worthy to co-exist with the mortals.

  • Maybe they were outdated.
  • Maybe they were ugly.
  • Maybe they had worn out their usefulness.

But mostly they were abandoned.

Pictures, frames, papers and periodicals, periodically boiling and freezing.

After a while, I got depressed being up there. I had this strange sensation that someone would come, pull up the ladder and close me in, deeming it necessary to have one less person in the house and deciding that I was more suited for the rejects on high.

It spooked me.

I know that Anne Frank once found solace in an attic, but for me it was merely a reminder that when people get tired of things, deciding to hoard, they take them to a place where they’re out of the way … and soon forgotten.

 

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