Cobbler

Cobbler: (n) a person who mends shoes as a job

Some jobs by their nature are just flat-out annoying.

Honestly, I’d rather be a garbage collector than a politician. A politician has to interrupt the lives of people to get a vote–never thoroughly making them glad for the intrusion.

On the other hand, a garbage man arrives at your house and hauls away your stinky-poo without irritating the hell out of you.

That’s why I would like to be a cobbler. (I’m not actually thinking of changing employment–just aware that the occupation would certainly offer skill to produce blessing.)

I don’t think I would like to be a haberdasher–because even though you may make a beautiful hat for someone, once they put it on their head, unless they pass by a mirror, they soon forget the nobility of your efforts.

But a cobbler takes a pair of shoes that you really like–so much that you want to get them fixed instead of giving them away to Goodwill–and then restores them to a state of newness. You put them on your feet and they feel so good. You look down and you admire them, and you’re so proud of your choice to repair instead of repel.

So every time you see your cobbler, you say, “Thank you so much, and my toes add a double-amen.”

You may not even recognize your haberdasher–the cat who made the hat.

Your sight of your politician may generate a scowl on your face, which you are unable to remove until the next time you view ice cream.

But your garbage man…

Well, you would invite him over for lunch, to meet your cobbler.

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Chore

Chore: (n) a routine task, especially a household one.

I suddenly realized that there is no happy word to describe work.

“Labor.” That sucks.

“Effort.” Well, that takes effort

“Struggle.”

Even the word “employment” is constricting, brings a frown to one’s face.

How do we expect to ever move forward in our consciousness when everything seems to be a chore? We didn’t like chores when we were children, so are we going
to wake up one morning having accumulated enough birthdays that we will become intrigued with doing repetitious tasks?

And if we don’t like doing these “events,” what’s to guarantee that the mechanic who’s repairing the airplane doesn’t get bored and take a shortcut?

If we don’t like doing the things we’re supposed to accomplish, won’t we eventually just do them poorly?

And once mediocre becomes normal, normal is certainly dangerous.

How can we re-train ourselves to believe that work is not a chore and that chores do not need to be repetitious, but rather, gain glamor and gleam by being enhanced with new possibilities?

This is not the season to insist on tradition. The work force in America needs a revolution–a revival, if you will–of the passion that originally made us believe we wanted to do what offered us a paycheck.

Don’t ask me to do my chores.

I will rebel, go to my room and listen to the music you don’t like.

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Blanket

Blanket: (n) a large piece of material used as a covering for warmth.

Dictionary B

Having met my share of homeless brothers and sisters, I became very curious. What was it like to be homeless?

So I made a decision to don the uniform of the street and attempt to walk in the shoes of those without gainful employment, hearth and home.

I decided I would do it for a week, but must tell you that I abandoned it after twenty-four hours.

The daytime found me in a situation in which I constantly needed to be on the move so as not to annoy the “civilized” people who passed by. I got hungry very quickly and didn’t have any money, so had to figure out where to go for a free luncheon, or beg off of my neighbors.

It was humiliating.

But the most difficult part was when nighttime fell, and my mission was to locate a place to sleep that was both comfortable and safe.

I discovered that such a utopia does not exist for the street person.

I hid behind a huge bush and laid down several cardboard boxes I had broken up to use as my mattress. Several problems leaped to the forefront:

1. Every sound spooked me.

2. Sleeping on the ground means sharing the turf with things that creep and crawl.

3. I was uncomfortable not having my head elevated (pillow).

4. But the most annoying part was the lack of a blanket.

I was so accustomed to being covered, protected, swaddled by that piece of cloth that gave warmth and the sense of cocooning.

It made me bitchy, frustrated, cold, and caused me to wake up the next morning antagonistic toward the world around me–in a season when I was most vulnerable.

A blanket is a sense of well-being.

When you remove it, it takes away a gentle reassurance that all is well … and you are coddled.

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Accredited

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accredited: (adj.) of a person, organization or course of study officially recognized or authorized: e.g. an accredited chiropractic school.

I often chuckle when people ask for a resume. Have you ever thought about it?

A resume is a statement of what you’ve already done–which reeks of “has-been.” Or it insists on what you desire to do, which sniffs of being  a “wannabe.” But it certainly proclaims that you’re not doing much right now. Otherwise why would you be looking for a job?

A resume is humbling–but it is where people expect us to pull out all the information that is accredited:  all the schools we attended which have the seal of approval; all the companies we’ve worked for which have some sort of visual recognition to the reader, and all the skills that fall within the spectrum of society’s present favorites and understanding.

I don’t have a college education. Due to a mixture of ignorance on birth control and persistence to honor the pregnancy of my girlfriend, I found myself launched into adulthood right out of high school, trying to acquire my pedigree in the dog-eat-dog world. Once I decided I was not going to cannibalize by eating my fellow-dogs, I lengthened my journey toward success.

Yes, sometimes there are short-cuts, but they take you through the woods where you generally run into the Big Bad Wolf.

So I tried to work on ME. I gave myself two great gifts. Here they are:

1. Don’t assume you’re good enough. There are always new ways to try new things to tap new talents to create new possibilities.

2. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Such comparisons always lead to judgment, criticism and self-delusion.

Once I started working on myself and stopped critiquing others, I got better. In the process of getting better I also got older.

It’s amazing. Some people don’t even CARE if you’ve been to college once you cross your thirtieth birthday. By the time you’re forty, they don’t even ask, unless they’re nerds.

What they want is what every human being wants: “Excuse me. Do you have anything in your knapsack that will make my journey easier?”

So I try to always bring along a provision to cover my needs and a little extra for those who forgot to pack for a rough hike. It gives me a sensation of being “accredited.” My fellow travelers look at me and say, “Thank you for taking on the burden of caring for yourself–and for giving enough of a damn to bring an extra portion for us.”

I have nothing against formal education. But the thing about “formal” is that eventually the prom is over. You need to slip on work clothes instead of long dresses and tuxedos.Pomp and Circumstance stops and the new song is Whistle While You Work.”

It’s what really makes us accredited. It’s what makes a resume leap off the paper and appear to be filmed in 3-D.

So get your education–and with all your “getting” of knowledge, acquire some wisdom. And with that wisdom, have the generosity to pull your load.

And bring along an extra sandwich for a stranger.