Dangling

Dangling: (part) to hang

Life is about one thing and one thing only.

Try to end up in situations where you’re considering choices instead of offering reactions.

Pause and think about that.

I ask you to reflect on the statement because I’ve been doing it a lot myself lately.

In this season, there’s a gigantic pandemic hanging over our world, threatening the lives of the human race, placing all of us in suspended animation.

Dangling.

There is a tendency to want to react, respond or reclaim a former lifestyle instead of waiting until choices are real and options, legitimate.

Otherwise you just have reactions—unwarranted or knee-jerk.

We are all trying to avoid dangling.

I had to put several things to rest in my mind this year. Although I’ve been dutiful to my faith, I had to resort to a sweet calmness, allowing me to be indifferent to whether that spiritual pursuit has any legitimacy.

Why?

Because it leaves me dangling.

Also I had a parcel of sour relationships which I frequently tried to heal. Very little progress has ever been made. I opted to let them float away. I’m no longer evaluating myself on the outcome of the negotiations.

After many decades of battling obesity, I’m trying to focus on putting good things in my mouth to swallow—and doing a little bit less of it. I’m no longer dangling “slender” before my yearning eyes, criticizing myself for the present shape of things.

For what we want to do is make choices.

What we need to avoid is giving a reaction.

And what we wish to dispel is all the terror and uncertainty of dangling.

Crevasse

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crevasse: (n) a deep, open crack

“It’s just about eight feet.”

God, I hated those words.

Growing up, I was the chubby, endearing, intelligent and funny friend. If you put me in a room watching Chiller Theater or listening to music or eating pizza, I was the star of the show.

But every once in a while, I got myself trapped into doing activities that blubber-boys should never participate in whatsoever.

I was thirteen years old and was asked to go on a hike.

I cannot lie—I went on the hike because at the end of the hike we were supposed to have a cookout over an open fire with marshmallows. They did not explain that there would be a five-hour death march preceding it.

I was panting within fifteen minutes, melting with sweat within a half hour—my legs so weak at the end of fifty minutes that I could barely stand.

This in itself was problematic.

But then we came to the Brave Man Crevasse.

The grown-up in charge of the expedition had mentioned it the night before with starry eyes, nearly breathless over the joy each of us would have in taking what he called “The Great Leap.” Struck by stupidity and still dreaming of marshmallows, I had failed to consider the impact of his statement.

About three hours into the hike, with me praying for death or the second coming of Christ, we arrived at The Crevasse.

Very simply stated, it was where the path ended and then resumed eight to ten feet over on the other side, with a drop of about fifty or sixty feet in the middle

The major problem was that before I could even consider what we were doing or how I personally was going to achieve it, many of my friends boldly took the jump and landed safely on the other side. Applause followed.

Pretty soon it was down to Lance and me. Lance was considered to be the coward of our troop—afraid of every type of bug, and really somewhat terrified of dirt. Lo and behold, Lance decided to choose this day for his epiphany of courage. He jumped up in the air and landed, his foot slipping at the last moment, nearly falling, but grabbed by some nearby buddies, who then alternated with pounding him on the back for his courage and clapping wildly.

So there it was—that universal turn of nine heads in my direction.

Their faces were full of encouragement, nodding as if to send good vibrations in my direction.

I thought about following Lance’s example, then realized I was not born stupid. So instead I stepped to the edge and looked over at the craggy hillside, filled with rocks and bushes beneath. My first thought was, “I wonder if I could survive a fall and get the hell out of here in an ambulance?”

But it seemed unlikely and certainly painful.

The delay was apparently unnerving to my cohorts, because they began to express verbal exhortations, which gradually became more ferocious and even challenging. That’s when the dastardly statement came to be.

“Come on! It’s just about eight feet!”

You see, they were wrong. It was a crevasse. There was no place for feet at all. If it had been just eight feet, I could just walk across. But it was eight huge spaces of nothing but air.

Spurred on by a combination of humiliation, edification and (still) the prospect of dinner, I leaped.

But I did not do it feet first. Instead I leaped with the top of my body toward the ledge, barely catching it with my hands, my feet dangling and kicking, and me ready to fall.

Blessedly, all of my friends who had made it safely to the other side grabbed me by whatever they could reach and pulled me up to safety.

My heart was pounding. It didn’t stop its thumping for a solid twenty minutes.

Every single one of the people who leaped across chose not to talk about it.

I think they were terrified that they nearly lost me in the Great Crevasse on the overly lengthy hike in pursuit of toasting a marshmallow.

 


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Commentary

Commentary: (n) an expression of opinions about an event or situation

I will now offer my commentary:

I have a small penis.

I bring this up to you without apology, biological explanation or some silly sidebar like, “Had no complaints…”

What is interesting about my statement, and makes this commentary worthy of publication, is that the little fella has done some amazing things.

He ended up fathering four children, and from them–not many complaints.

He has survived being in a bedroom with a woman without ridicule.

He has also seen that particular human female leave with a pleasured smile. (Basically, it had little to do with him, and was courtesy of other digits and doo-dads, but he will still take the credit.)

I suppose at one time in my life I would have been embarrassed by the size of my “unit” (that’s what people who feel they are well-endowed call it).

Or should I refer to it as my “package?” But if it is a package, I could send mine first-class reasonably. But call me crazy, I am too overjoyed with my life to complain about my wiener.

I would not want to be around people from the “pecker patrol,” who would stare at my small friend and find him to be disgracefully inadequate.

He has been dutiful. Every time my kidneys want to urinate, he shows up–often bright and early.

He has the good sense to stay out of neighborhoods where he does not belong.

And he’s remained clean and free of disease.

He’s a rather admirable chap.

And even though some of my family would be embarrassed at me talking about him in such a fashion, I think it’s time for us to get over the idea that men and women are going to hump their way to satisfaction because of the enormous size of the male dangling participle.

Making love is like everything else in life. It demands much more conversation than it does struggle.

Thus ends my commentary.

 

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Barn

Barn: (n) a large farm building used for storing grain, hay, straw or for housing livestock.Dictionary B

I grew up in a small town of 1,500 people.

One of the nice things about living in a village is that if you own one thing that others don’t, you are cool–and if by some miracle you have two, then you are rich.

I was on the junior high school basketball team.

A friend of mine lived right outside town and had a barn adjacent to his house. His parents had built, in the hayloft, a basketball court, complete with two hoops and a lovely wood floor.

It was magnificent.

I’m sure if I saw it today, it would appear rustic and dank. But to us, born in a little burg, it was Madison Square Haygarden.

My friend had never invited me up to play basketball. Other members of the team had been numerous times, but I was never included.

It hurt my feelings.

So one day when I was at his house, I just popped off with the question. “Hey, why don’t we go out to the barn and play some basketball?”

My friend was nervous but agreed. So we climbed up the steps, onto the court, and were bouncing and shooting away, when suddenly the floor just beneath my feet broke through and I fell straight down through the hole, catching myself by my armpits.

There I was, legs dangling to the floor beneath, wedged into a small opening, unable to get myself out.

Finally my friend was able to gather three or four other guys, along with his dad, to pull me out of the crevice and set me back onto firm lumber.

My friend then explained that this was why he had never invited me to the basketball court–he knew I was too heavy and might break through, but kept praying the whole time that everything would be okay.

It wasn’t.

I learned two valuable lessons that day:

  1. If you’re going to be fat, sometimes you’ll be left out of the skinny games.
  2. Prayer doesn’t always keep you from falling through the cracks…and dangling by your pits.

 

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Arm

dictionary with letter A

Arm: (n) each of the two upper limbs of the human body from the shoulder to the hand.

I do believe that many times we are actually upset about how well our body parts work together. Let me explain.

If the foot hurts, the rest of the body expresses its sympathy by having the brain note the pain and informing all the other members that they may be pulling extra duty during the day.

This became obvious to me when I woke up one morning and had slept on my arm in such a way that it felt sprained. The shocker came when I realized that this particular dangling participant in my human form performs many functions that I never even think about. So it was virtually impossible to wash myself in the shower, brush my teeth, comb my hair or reach for my box of cereal at the breakfast table.

Each time I did, I was reminded by a conscientious brain that the part of my anatomy I wished to be using was presently on sick leave.

This was communicated through pain.

Within an hour, though, I had become somewhat adept at utilizing my other arm for some functions. I also used my legs more to perform duties instead of reaching to achieve my quest.

I was mindful of my hurt arm and gave it the respect it was due, while simultaneously trying to gently “exercise” it of its demon.

It lasted all day long–and even though I was very glad when I woke up the next morning to discover I had usage back in my limb, I was impressed by the efficiency of my body and simultaneously humbled that some way or another… I can’t always find that same cooperation with the people around me.

 

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Apostrophe

dictionary with letter A

Apostrophe (n.): a punctuation mark (‘) used to indicate either possession or the omission of letters or numbers.

It is a very good question. Are shortcuts in life an expression of laziness, or a desire to simplify before we end up being conquered?

Because honestly, I have taken some shortcuts which certainly ended up at dead ends, and have often found myself taking the long way home, only to be mocked by those who use a better GPS.

You see, the apostrophe already had a job. It was being used to prove that we own something. It was a clerical title-deed, to be presented to the reader, to establish the authenticity of our rights.

But them someone said, “There ought to be another job for this little marking. After all, the formal nature of using words like ‘is’ and ‘are’ over and over again is extremely tedious. So maybe if we leave out one of the letters, and stick in the apostrophe, which is already hanging around, we could come across as more relaxed, if not hip.”

I don’t know if someone experimented with this once in writing a document, or even when it started. For instance, I don’t see any apostrophes in the Declaration of Independence. It remains rather “verbal.”

Yet as a writer, I am often encouraged to shorten words with apostrophes so as not to appear to be a stick in the mud. Why is that?

(Or perhaps better phrased, why’s that?)

I think we do a disservice to ourselves when we merely accept the radical concepts of the previous generation as common doings in our own time simply because they survived the rigors of scrutiny.

So for me, there are occasions when I think clarity demands the addition of the full use of the little verbs … instead of sticking in a comma dangling in midair.

 

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