Decrescendo

Decrescendo: (n) a gradual reduction in force or loudness.

“Don’t just play it—feel it. And after you feel it, control it.”

I heard these words in my head decades ago during a writing session, when I was constructing a song list for a new album.

I had reached a certain level of aptitude, where it was understood that I would write, perform and a proficiency would follow.

But somewhere along the way I lost sight of the dynamics of music and how my passion could turn an average song into a masterpiece of musical ecstasy.

It’s true.

Sometimes I forget.

I start believing that if I hit the marks—play fast, loud, soft or determined—then the music will do the rest.

We give too much credit to music and not enough honor to arranging the alluring passages into a magnet for human emotions.

Sometimes you just need to slow down.

Often times, you get softer–to make a point.

It’s true in music.

And it certainly is true that life, itself, requires the occasional decrescendo.

 

Control

Control: (v) to dominate by giving direction

 It certainly doesn’t make me a genius, nor particularly insightful, to tell you that the greatest problem on Planet Earth is lying.

Once it begins, there is literally no possibility of anywhere to place trust.

You have to question everything. It is not only annoying, but impractical, because time does not allow us to cross-examine everyone we should be able to funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cbelieve.

Yet, rather than attacking lying, I would much rather point out where lying slips into our lives and trickles off our tongues. Basically, it occurs when we try to establish that we are in control—but circumstances contradict our assertion.

Once it becomes obvious that we are not in control, but instead, constantly need to evolve toward better choices, we can stop lying.

We can simply say, “Oops! I missed that one.”

But if we’re afraid we’ll lose status, value, importance or power by not touting our control, then we quickly draw out our lies and spill them, like poison.

It’s not really human.

This is why any reasonable philosophy requires the participants to be prepared to repent and change—or they will end up perishing in a lifestyle of deception.

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Clue

Clue: (n) a piece of evidence

“There is a way that seems right unto a man…”

So true.

Even people who are crazy do things that honor what they think is right. That’s why right is often so wrong. Right does not need to prove
that it has a universal quality–just be sensible to one person.

That’s why we have laws. We can’t have three-hundred-fifty-million interpretations of right in the United States and think that we’ll be able to function. Yet even though there are rules, regulations and guidelines, human beings still feel what they think–is right.

Then they spend their whole lives searching for clues to prove their conclusions.

The problem? It’s not difficult.

If you want to step out today and establish a case for white people being stupid, there’s enough data available on the subject to support your claim. It certainly won’t be impossible to gather clues.

If your goal is to assert that men are different from women, and women from men, you will absolutely be able to find adequate examples to undergird your proclamation. There will be clues.

So there has to be some other way to determine actual value and lasting quality other than running it through our own personal prejudices.

What might be the clue for that?

I think perhaps the greatest clue to help us understand life on Earth is that no creature gains supremacy–just opportunity.

Even though humans may be more intelligent than other creatures, these other members of the animal kingdom certainly have an edge on survival instinct. And since Earth runs on a delicate balance between survival and intelligence, then each one of us can take a clue from the cockroach.

The greatest clue in the Universe–we are welcome to participate, but not encouraged to control.

 

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Bishop

Bishop: (n) a senior member of the Christian clergy

Dictionary B Fathering six sons, I was always torn, trying to discover what profile was best for their well-being.

After all, being a parent is not strutting your stuff in front of fellow-parents, but instead, doing as little as possible to gain as much as possible, while allowing your children the freedom to experiment without killing themselves.

As awkward as the previous sentence may seem, the process has an even greater clumsiness.

Three words:

  • Guide
  • Lead
  • Control

In many ways, the same thing is true in discovering the purpose of leadership in a church–taking the title of Bishop and finding the correct balance for “bishoping.”

After all, guiding is setting a course for your own life and allowing the sweet aura of joy and peace that surrounds your efforts to draw others in the direction of your belief and pursuit.

Leading is when you motion to them to follow your aspirations and adhere to your principles.

Controlling is when you remove part of their freewill because you fear that their choices will lead them astray.

If the wrong decision is made, you can translate what was meant to be holy into something that is wholly unacceptable.

We guide by doing more than by talking.

We lead by talking without demanding.

And we control by demanding and enforcing.

Sooner or later, the bishops of the church will have to trust the congregation to pursue the path of goodness by choice instead of intimidation.

It will be a frightening process, speckled with error from misguided trial, but still will end up producing the true fruit of the spirit instead of forced compliance to the rigid law.

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Bated

Bated: (n) in great suspense; very anxiously or excitedly.Dictionary B

When asked recently what would make the world a better place, without delay I replied, “Excitement.”

Feeling we are too mature to wiggle and squirm in anticipation, the average adult plows through a day’s activities without much emotion.

We call it control.

We insist it’s grown-up.

We fear the appearance of childishness, and in the process, lose the better parts of being childlike.

  • So we declare that “Christmas is for the children.”
  • The roller coaster was exciting, but well within the scope of our coping.
  • And romance and its pleasures are a matter of well-timed course.

Excitement is what allows us to believe that things can get better. If we are fully aware of all the possibilities, then we are no longer able to be surprised. And any creature who is incapable of being astonished at the beauty of creation soon loses the true significance of living.

I like to be excited.

Sometimes I like to excite myself, just to make sure it’s not broken.

But mostly, I feel the need to let my breath be bated by the beauty of something unknown. 

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Amendment

dictionary with letter A

Amendment: (n) 1. a change or addition to a legal or statutory document: an amendment to the existing bail laws. 2. an article added to the U.S. Constitution: e.g. the First Amendment.

Perhaps the most appealing part of the American story–from the birthing of a nation to the present-day collision of government–is the notion that even though we were greatly inspired to begin a country, with forefathers who have been touted as geniuses and revolutionary thinkers, we did understand that there would be a need, as time pressed on, to amend our original convictions by the sheer beauty and majesty of revealed wisdom.

If not, we would have those running for Congress who would still insist that because the original document claimed that black slaves were less than a whole human being, that we shouldn’t veer from that course and change our approach.

There is nothing written by man, whether inspired or not, that doesn’t require some sort of editing and tuning up as the clock ticks away.

This is true whether it’s the Constitution of the United States, which began with an agrarian society encompassed by slavery with no comprehension whatsoever about how much land mass would eventually be involved within its borders, to the Good Book, which started off with two people in a Garden and ends somewhere far away in the Universe, in an Eternity of Eternities.

I don’t believe that amendments are contradictions, but rather, necessary stipulations absorbed, to remind us of the original spirit of the text and the need to be inclusive instead of destructive.

Yes, the Good Book has many amendments in it, which some fundamentalist preachers and congregations fail to recognize because they give the same weight to a chapter in Deuteronomy that they do to the red-letter truth in the Gospel of John.

Here’s what we know for sure:

  • Life is moving towards life.
  • Freedom is moving towards freedom.
  • Liberty is also packed up and on its way to liberty.

Anything that comes along to deter the journey of this trio will be recalculated and rebooted in a different direction.

I want to be part of the amendments which make everything we believe more human, more accessible and more powerful, to create better people … instead of just maintaining strong control.