Coffin

Coffin: (n) a long, narrow box in which a corpse is buried or cremated.

Staring down into the face of my older brother, who was quite dead, lying in a coffin, motionless, with eyes closed.

It freaked me out–mainly because I was staring at the bier. That’s another word for coffin. Now I’m just trying to show off. I tend to do so when I’m nervous. And looking at a coffin made me nervous.

Until that moment, I did not realize that I suffer from claustrophobia. Even though I was supposed to be the strong brother to support my nephew, sister-in-law and all the other relatives, I temporarily had to excuse myself and walk away to try to regain my state of mind.

All I could think about was lying in that coffin, scrunched, and having the lid shut down on my face. Every time that vision came to my brain, my heart started to pound and I found it difficult to breathe.

I was embarrassed.

I wanted to make sure no one observed my panic attack, so I found a private room and stepped inside. Unable to locate a light switch, I stood in the dark, finding no comfort whatsoever from my vision of horror.

Even though I am certain there was nobody in the room with me, I sensed a thought floating across the blackened space, landing in my consciousness. It wasn’t exactly verbalized, but it was very comforting.

The notion translated to my irrational thinking was, “Keep in mind, when you go in the coffin, you don’t have to breathe anymore.”

I laughed. It was so true. By the time I was fitted–or unfitted–for this box, I would be without the need for much of anything.

And of course, if it still freaked me out, they could always burn me up.

 

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Bumpkin

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bumpkin: (n) a socially awkward person from the countryside

The premise seems to be that if you can convince yourself that other people are ignorant, then you don’t have to deal with them, love them, respect them or even give them space.

After all, since we’ve decided to suck on the juice from the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, we have become a prideful race, who contend “the more you know, the smarter you get.”

But a lot of people have accumulated data without ever becoming smart. I believe there are four ways to be smart, which cause you to escape the world of “bumpkin:”

  1. Emotionally smart.

Basically, that’s admitting, “I can’t help anyone else if I’m a freaked-out mess.”

  1. Spiritually smart.

“I was never created to be an angel, so I need enough God in my life to love my neighbor as myself.”

  1. Mentally smart.

I need to take in just enough new information that I can try it out for myself, and therefore confirm–within me–that there’s truth to it.

  1. Body smart.

“I don’t eat too much of anything, exercise enough that I feel refreshed, and sleep every chance I can.”

My finding is that the people who follow these simple “smart values” end up being very universal and valuable to the world around them.

A bumpkin is not a person from a particular location.

A bumpkin is someone who has not yet located how to be a person.

 

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