Common Ground

Common ground: (n) a basis of mutual interest or agreement.

I do believe the quote is attributed to Sting, lead singer of “The Police.”

When explaining his tour into the Soviet Union, in one of his lyrics he offered the conclusion that “Russians love their children, too.”

It is so easy to sit on the precipice of destruction and discuss, like naughty brats, how much more our destructive weapons could kill your people than yours could destroy ours.

But in the long run, or in the short time it takes for a bomb to explode, people are dead–and most all of them look somewhat like us.

Anything that comes along to encourage the destruction of the planet, the deception of racism, the alienation of the genders or the false pride of a culture is the feeding frenzy for us pursuing the insanity of gobbling one another up in our social cannibalism.

Every single day, in every single way, in every single building where decisions are made about human life, three things have to be honored:

  1. Flesh may have color, but it is all basically the same.
  2. If people were created, they have one Father.
  3. We have not perfected a way to snatch life from death.

Slow down.

This is called common ground.

Everything else is just a silly argument among children about who can jump the highest, and who owns the shiniest bike.


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Clay: (n) a stiff, sticky fine-grained earth that can be molded

We don’t know anything.

Our science books, a hundred years from now, will be comedy club routines.

Our religions will cause people in the next generation to blush in embarrassment. We are perniciously ignorant because we insist that our
discoveries are so significant that it will be difficult to surpass them.

Yet we are plagued by hypocrisy because simultaneously I-phone 8 immediately needs I-phone 9.

So when you read the ancient text that “God formed man from the dust of the ground,” the poetic nature of the sentiment–and also the significance of understanding how limited our time on “Maple Street” will end up being–leaves out the fact that dust does not cling.

It does not form.

It blows, scatters and crumbles.

So although we may end up being dust somewhere along the line, the story should have informed us that the Creator obviously added his spit.

It was “Daddy spit.” (I know it’s not as famous as Mommy spit.) But it changed dust to clay, which could cling together and form flesh, blood and persons.

So even though I am made of the dust of the Earth, I am emotionally and spiritually held in place by the Saliva of the Most High God.

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Chin: (n) the protruding part of the face below the mouth

I liked my chin so much I ordered a double, and am considering acquiring a third.

A chin is a most unfortunate piece of the face. Too much responsibility is placed upon it.

Some people request that it be chiseled. It’s difficult to do that with something made of flesh.

Out of the clear blue sky, a chin can be accused of being weak. What exactly constitutes a weak chin?

It’s used in athletics as a way of determining that we’ve “crossed the bar”–lifting ourselves.

Then we are informed that we are to “take it on the chin”–the question immediately being, take what? Are we speaking of lotion, or a fist?

Since lips are sloppy, chins often get dumped on. They have to deal with excessive slobber.

It’s not easy being a chin.

You seem to be holding up a face, but nobody appreciates you because they’re too busy talking about eyes, nose size. Sometimes ears even get higher billing. (That could be because they’re higher.)

Everybody wants to French kiss, but what would it be without the chin? Where would you get the leverage to push that tongue into its appropriate position?

Chins seem to suffer with acne. They’re bespeckled for most of the adolescent years.

So it’s best to assume that a chin is supposed to be rugged, upward thinking–yet soft enough that it doesn’t scratch the face of someone who wants to get close for a kiss.

Some people put hair right in the middle of it and call it a goatee. Or is that a soul patch? Wait! Does a chin have a soul? Or is it just a patch, growing one?

I am grateful that I’m not a chin, because if I were, I would constantly be bewildered as to what was expected of me and how I should respond.

So I guess the only answer is: “Chin up.”


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Cellulite: (n) persistent subcutaneous fat causing dimpling of the skin

If it’s got your thoughts, it’s got your soul.

I just find this to be true.

What corrals my attention, stimulates my brain and makes me contemplate pretty much sets the agenda for my entire human experience.

With that in mind, I am very careful not to focus on anything that has to do with the flesh and pretend that it has any worthy emotional or spiritual implications.

Women have cellulite. Men have cellulite. You can feel free to attempt some simple exercise or treatment to get rid of it.

But if you find yourself going on a trip to the beach wearing sweat pants, talking to everyone on the journey about your cellulite, frightened to death to expose your legs, then you’re in the middle of what I would refer to as a “self damnation.” Simply defined, this is a curse each one of us places on ourselves to forbid us from heavenly conclusions because of our hellish fear or lack.

At no time whatsoever during a romantic encounter does it matter one little bit if a man or woman has cellulite. It only matters if you’re watching them from a distance, determining whether they would be worthy of such intimacy.

But you must understand that anyone who has worked hard enough to not have cellulite may just be as demanding of the partner they select.




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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alligator: (n) a large semiaquatic reptile similar to a crocodile but with a shorter head, native to the Americas and China.

Sometimes I think my brain is really bizarre–and then my actions confirm it.

When I saw today’s word, “alligator,” for some reason, the old rock-and-roll blues song, Polk Salad Annie, came to mind. Now most of you probably don’t even remember this 1970 tune, but it was sung in a gravelly voice by Tony Joe White, and had one great line, where he enthusiastically piped:

Polk Salad Annie, gator’s got your granny

Chomp, chomp.

Can you beat that? It doesn’t matter if I’m watching a show on Animal Planet, or merely hear the word. This song comes to my mind and I giggle–which of course, makes people stare at me. After all, an alligator crawls out of the swamp to eat flesh.

I also think of what used to be called Alligator Alley in Florida before it became an Interstate. I drove it one time in a very small car called a Fiesta Ghia. As I crept along in my little four-cylinder wonder machine, sitting in the middle of the road was about a four-foot long alligator, who had apparently taken a wrong turn at the last marsh. I tried to go around the gator, but I think he thought my car was small enough for a winnable attack.

So every time I moved, he chased me. I didn’t want to run over him, mainly because the car might have lost the battle.

By the grace of God and all things natural, this creature was suddenly distracted by some other sound or sniff from the nearby creepiness and waddled away. But I have often wondered what might have happened if he hadn’t.

Perhaps: “Gator got my fanny. Chomp, chomp.”



Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAffair: (n) (1) an event or sequence of events of a specified kind: e.g. the board admitted responsibility for the affair. (2) a love affair: e.g. his wife is having an affair.

There are three human emotions that collide to form what we shall call pleasure.

  • Excitement
  • Uncertainty
  • And a bit of danger

I will say that people who become involved in affairs are merely attempting to bring that trio of experiences back into their lives, since the humdrum and mundane is suffocating them.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to counsel people who have come through the ordeal of one or the other of them having an affair, trying to restore the relationship. Most of those conversations revolved around guilt and resentment. Let me tell you–there is nothing that is more of a turn-off to the human spirit than guilt and resentment. So in a voracious attempt to restore normalcy and intimacy, people forget what caused the problem in the first place: lack of excitement, absence of uncertainty and removal of a little danger.

We just expect sex to do too much. After all, it is really only fleshly friction brought about by stimulation in the brain. If the gray matter is excited, uncertain and feels a little danger, it takes care of all the foreplay and places us on an erotic journey.

What eliminates that sensation is guilt and resentment.

So in the process of trying to overcome an affair, the three main questions that are frequently asked end up being counterproductive to solving the dilemma.

  1. Why did you do it?
  2. How could you have done this to me?
  3. 3. How do you expect me to forget this?

If the perpetrator could be honest, he or she would say, “I got excited, I was intrigued by the uncertainty and I was tempted by the danger.”

After that, it was all making arrangements and mechanics.

In many ways I think we put too much emphasis on human sexuality, and in other ways our lack of understanding of what stimulates it renders us silly, if not insipid.

Here’s the truth: if your brain is not being stimulated at four o’clock in the afternoon by intelligent conversation, flirting and admiration of your lover, don’t expect any “skyrockets in flight” at ten o’clock that evening.

And if you happen to work with someone who excites you, generates uncertainty and danger, don’t be shocked if you’re grabbed by the nose hairs and pulled toward unfaithfulness.

The best counsel I ever gave people was to let them know that the affair was not due to an absence in their relationship, but a presence that appeared, bringing excitement, uncertainty and a bit of danger, which had dissipated from their experience.

We are people who need to be excited, feel some uncertainty and tingle with a bit of danger.

Without this, we start trying to schedule our sexual escapades on a calendar … right next to “Buy Groceries.”


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abrade: (v.) scrape or wear away by friction or erosion.

It sounds brilliant to me. At least I think it deserves a good old college try.

Rather than being on a diet, I’m going to be on an abrade.

All these years, I’ve tried to internalize weight loss by healthy eating, low calories, no fat, few carbs … well, the list goes on and on.

I never thought about approaching it from the angle of “abrading.” Hear me out on this–at first it may sound a little weird.

What if I started out by bathing in pure lemon juice, encouraging skin shriveling? I follow by taking large jars of vanishing cream and smearing it all over the fat forts on my body. Then, purchasing a very mild or fine-grained sandpaper, I begin to just gently rub on my love handles. I should not do it to the point of abrasion or blood-letting, but maybe it’s possible, if I abrade enough, that I can wear down the onslaught of the attack of the blubber monster.

Maybe you have other ideas, too. Maybe binding my flesh for a few minutes every day with some sort of tape or wrap, to teach my excess flesh container to gel into a more concise form, would be beneficial.

Because I cannot tell you that dieting, as a whole, has been an extraordinarily successful proposal for me, or actually for millions of others. Some of us can not afford a personal trainer or will not be selected for the cast of The Biggest Loser. We also don’t particularly like to throw up from over-exertion in a gym as a means of dispelling unused calories.

Perhaps this “abrade” process could, shall we say, clean “the outside of the cup” instead of messing around with all of the inside difficulty.

At this point, I am not prepared to support the theory, nor am I ready to write the book, which would certainly become a best-seller on the New York Times List. I do have a working title, though: Abrade, Abrade: You’ve Got It Made.

But I am ahead of myself.

I guess the first step is working up the energy to squeeze 7,322 lemons … to draw my bath.