Daddy

Daddy: (n) diminutive of Dad

Approaching my produce man at the grocery store, I asked:

“When is watermelon season?”

Without thinking, he replied, “When the watermelon show up.”

I suppose when you practically live in a grocery store, you judge the seasons by what comes off the back of the truck.

In the midst of being a parent, there is a brief vapor of time when your child recognizes you, proclaims you and refers to you as “Daddy.”

It is such a safe, sweet location that you’re tempted to encourage it to expand its borders to broader vistas.

But you can’t mess with it.

It happens during a child’s perfect age–when “Dada” has been abandoned and right before you become the generic “Dad.”

Just hearing the word lets you know how valuable you are to the child.

It gives you a reassuring hug in your soul that he is not plotting, smoking, drinking and thinking of new ways to download pornography.

For after all, you are “Daddy”—”Dada” who has become so familiar that you have gained shape and presence.

Sometimes the word “Daddy” is followed by the young child climbing up on your lap, and without being prompted, giving you a hug around the neck, which lasts a little bit longer than you thought possible.

The little one calling you Daddy believes you to be a god (or at least, Santa Claus’s right-hand man).

He is astounded at how you leave the house and come back with treasures—toys, pizza rolls and little tiny things you promised you’d get if you had time.

Daddy—a word that brings tears to the eyes of any father who knows that soon his power and authority will be challenged by the revolt of adolescence.

But for now, it’s Daddy.

For now, there’s a desire to be close.

For now, the child believes he has come from you and never wants to leave.

Maybe that’s why the Bible tells us that we should approach God by saying, “Abba, Abba.”

Which, by the way, translated from the Greek, means “Daddy, Daddy.”

 

Clothes

Clothes: (n) items worn to cover the body.

“The clothes make the man.” Unless she’s a woman.

Why do the clothes make anything?

Here’s the truth:  clothes look very good on people who would look very good without them.

If you do not look very good without clothes, draping cloth over you does not do a lot to jazz your appearance.

It can communicate wealth. I suppose it can pass along the image of style. But if you look fairly rotund without clothing, clothing is like putting drapes on a wide window.

People who are slender can put on a suit and look very proficient and businesslike. People who are portly always have to worry about whether they should unbutton the coat when they sit, for fear of launching a button.

Women who are lean can wear a dress and make it look pretty much look like the hanger it was hung upon, while women who are more “Greek” in their shape can take a perfectly lovely dress and make it appear very broad at the beam.

We are happy to wear clothes simply because they hide a multitude of fleshly sins. Yet there is no outfit that can completely disguise what lies within.

I’ve spent a lot of money on clothes and I’ve spent a little money on clothes–and at the end, the tally was, “what you see is basically what you get.”

 

 

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Christ

Christ: (n) the title, also treated as a name, given to Jesus of Nazareth

From the original Greek, the word “Christ” means “Anointed One.”

So much like religion–one definition requires a second definition.

What is anointed?

Is the Christ the only Anointed One?

Are you anointed?

Am I anointed?

Or is it a religion because there’s only one anointed person, who is worshiped by scads of non-anointed followers?

When I read the New testament, especially the Gospels, I can envision Jesus as a person. It’s when they start working hard to make him the Christ, fulfilling
Testament prophesies and legitimizing traditional practices, that I tend to duck back into the shadows.

I often wonder if Jesus would consider himself the Christ, the Anointed One.

We do have the occasion when he deflected praise for being God from a rich young ruler.

He constantly elevated the floor plan of people’s lives by telling them that “their faith made them whole.”

Is it possible that all of a sudden he turns into this opulent Son of the Most High God, who declares himself to be the Anointed One?

And it begs the question: do human beings require an Anointed One? Does somebody have to be perfect, free of sin and sent from the heavens in order for us to be impressed and impacted?

I woke up this morning to a world of white, layered in snow. I looked out my window and watched as a man in a car braved the elements, sliding his way over the ice, out onto the main thoroughfare of humanity.

That was pretty impressive. I wouldn’t call him anointed, but I did stop for a second and applaud him.

What does it take to touch us as people?

We are touched when we’re around other people who are burdened by our same difficulties, and still have not given up.

That’s what moves us.

Jesus did pretty well with the multitudes.

But Jesus Christ lives in a more uppity neighborhood.

 

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Acropolis

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acropolis: (n.) a citadel or fortified part of an ancient Greek city, typically built on a hill; in Athens, the Acropolis contained the Parthenon and other notable buildings, mostly dating from the 5th century BC.

I would not have enjoyed being a Greek.

First of all–it’s the tunic.

On occasions when I journey for a long period of time, or when I’ve eaten a large pastrami sandwich, my ankles can swell. So there I’d be–wearing this little dress, with hairless, fat calves–and cankles. No way to disguise it with socks and shoes. See what I mean?

And then there’s the design of the tunic itself. Didn’t they kind of blouse at the top? Which would transform me from appearing burly to seeming buxom.

I don’t think I would have liked Socrates, Aristotle and Plato, either. I do like to get into philosophical discussions, but I tend to mingle them with intervals of silliness, including child-like voices, gurgling sounds and Loony Tune impersonations. They probably would have found this annoying.

And I don’t think I would have fit in to the high sense of society that existed on the Acropolis with the Athenians. Because high-brow conversations give me the feeling that I’m trying to be something that I’m not, and the end of that journey is always deception, inevitably exposed.

I’m not so sure I would have agreed with the concept of a “pure democracy” either. Even though in America we tout the beauty of “one man, one vote” and the majority rule, I have too often seen the majority being not only wrong, but also devious and destitute of spiritual insight.

Sometimes truth trickles down to the minority, who sanctifies it through their pain until such a time that the voice of reason can be heard.

No, I don’t think I would have fit into the Acropolis. Could I even have climbed it? It certainly would have taken me most of the morning.

And when I got there, instead of being a writer, a family man and a fun-loving guy, I would probably have been deemed … a Greek geek.

Achilles

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAchilles: a hero of the Trojan War. During his infancy his mother plunged him into the Styx, making his body invulnerable except for the heel by which she held him. During the Trojan War, Achilles killed Hector but was later wounded in the heel by an arrow shot by Paris, and died.

Since I saw the movie, Troy, Achilles will always be Brad Pitt to me. Or maybe it’s that Brad Pitt will always be Achilles. Whichever floats your boat. And speaking of floating your boat … Supposedly Helen of Troy had an affair with Paris, which started a war and launched a thousand ships.

If you watch the movie, you see the portrayal of a very arrogant, self-sufficient, mean-spirited, dark, quizzical and I suppose to the average woman between the ages of fourteen and twenty-five, sexy Achilles.

He liked killing people.

That should be one of the classic turn-offs, but it seemed to be very exciting to his fellow-fighters and all the women who met him. He was rather ruthless, which the Greeks, who touted themselves to be such a scholarly bunch, still extolled as noble. He considered himself to be invincible, which lends itself to a bit of foolishness and certainly makes one obnoxious.

What did I learn about Achilles? I relearned the very valuable lesson that half of what I believe about myself is only true because it hasn’t been tested, and the other half, that has been tested, I do not believe, for some reason or another, to be sufficient to my needs.

We are all foolish when we think that because we haven’t yet met an enemy who can take us down, that we are beyond conquering. And we’re also quite silly when we downplay the TRUE virtues of our soul and talent, deeming them insignificant.

If Achilles had just been a good soldier, treated people better, and had not run into battle believing he was made of titanium, he probably could have lived to a ripe old age, had children and been deeply respected by the world around him. Instead, he let his ego drive his mission rather than using common sense and restraint.

It’s doubtful that dipping him in the River Styx actually achieved the purpose of making him supernatural. It sure did give him a lot of confidence, though–that is, until somebody shot an arrow in just the right place.

Interesting. Since we talk about Achilles, I wonder if that’s where we got the phrase, “that person’s a real heel.”