Budge

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Budge: (v) to move slightly

I am an oxymoron.

For I will tell you of a certainty, I am a domesticated gypsy.

Or a gypsy, domesticated.

Half of my journey has been raising a family of fine sons, who now hDictionary Bave lives of their own.

But intermingled was a series of travels to share my art and heart with hundreds of thousands of people across the United States of America.

It was a precariously divine mission, one which I had to spark up in my soul daily, to guarantee enough pistons in the engine to propel me forward.

So I was often amused when I finished my show, which included music, humor and dialogue, and the sponsor nervously came to my side, twitching and relieved, and said, “It sure seems like everybody enjoyed it.”

I do think this individual usually believed if he or she had shared some problem or preference that the audience expressed, that I would leap at the opportunity to amend my approach or add a different angle to my presentation.

Here’s the truth–and you’ll just have to believe that it’s the truth since you’re not that familiar with my soul.

You can change your cologne but not your face.

What I mean by that is, if somebody wants you to smell different, it’s really no big deal.

But when somebody wants to change your look–or your outlook–they’ve landed on sacred ground.

I’m always willing to change things that don’t matter, but I won’t budge if I believe they have eternal consequences.

 

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Apparition

dictionary with letter A

Apparition (n.) a remarkable thing that makes a sudden appearance, especially a ghost.

I believe in ghosts.

Not the cloudy, smoky spirits of souls who have gone on to their reward or retribution. I’m talking about the ghosts of bad ideas, inclinations and fallacies that possessed our world in the past, and now have come to haunt us in the present.

  • Sometimes I just wish we could come up with new bad ideas.
  • Sometimes I just wish there was something new.

But instead we have the poltergeist of previous ridiculous concepts rising up from the grave, where we thought we buried it, only to spook us once again.

We don’t have new scandals. We have the spirit of Richard Nixon and Watergate infesting the present bodies of our politicians, making them do the same stupid mistakes he tried to pull off, which ended up with his destruction.

We don’t have music born of the spirituality and emotions of our own generation, but rather, grave-robbers who go and dig up the tunes of those who are now decomposing.

We are continually vexed by the apparitions of past failures or the ongoing celebration of victories, where the band has already played and marched away.

We spend too much time celebrating the past, forgetting the prejudice, disease and dumbness that prevailed.

I believe in ghosts because we refuse to inter the past.

So we just keep living this stuff over and over again … like a bunch of tales from the crypt.

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Apparent

dictionary with letter A

Apparent (adj.)1. clearly seen or understood; obvious. 2. seeming real, but not necessarily so.

All of our eyeballs have been blurred, leaving our vision tainted.

Perhaps it was the disappointment brought on by the tension of adolescence, or some hidden prejudice inserted into our thinking by well-meaning parents.

It might have been high expectation which was dashed and brought crashing to the earth by the flak of reality.

Somewhere along the line we began looking at the world through clouded lenses of bigoted conclusions.

Therefore what is apparent to one person is not equally as apparent to another. Matter of fact, we’ve developed a whole philosophical approach to the issue, insisting that we’re all quite different, and in our difference we find our “special purpose.”

Yet it doesn’t occur to us that if we all have different views of what is necessary, beautiful and spiritual, we’re more likely to collide into each other in the dark than to embrace each other in the light.

I do think it’s important that we come to some common ground on what is apparent, and even if we don’t completely understand it, submit to the wisdom of some very essential precepts:

1. We are not here alone.

In other words, we cannot live our lives as if there are no other human beings, and trying to pursue our goals without a belief in a Creator can be more frustrating than enriching.

2. The truth will make you free.

Lying is a detour which takes you through town, past the beautiful houses, but always ends up at the city dump. No one ever gets away with lying–and truthfully, the longer the deceit is disguised, the worse the retribution.

3. Miracles are God’s business, but talent is mine.

There is no replacement for ability applied with hard work. Those who peddle shortcuts, easy diet plans and get-rich schemes may be the closest thing we will ever see to flesh-and-blood satans.

There are things which are apparent. If we agree, we can begin to pull together instead of pushing and shoving each other. But to get this done, we must stop believing that the Earth is a series of human islands instead of a continent of brothers and sisters.

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Apparel

dictionary with letter A

Apparel: (n) clothing

For most of my life, I have been a vagabond traveler with a bit of gypsy in my soul, who mustered just enough air of sophistication to avoid being deemed “Bohemian.”

But for a very brief season, I bought a piece of land and became “Lord of the Manor,” which along with its title, warranted the purchasing of garments to hang in a closet, since it was available for walking in.

I was a little shocked at how quickly I accumulated apparel. A shopping trip here, a gift there, a sale when someone was convinced I couldn’t live without some sweater handed over to me as a surprise…

It all eventually filled my closet with more turtlenecks than prayer.

And with it came shoes.

In my early years, I had one pair of shoes to my name and when they began to wear out, it would take me several weeks to conclude that they were no longer foot-worthy and needed replaced. But at one point, I think I had almost twenty pairs in my hideaway.

So here’s what I discovered about an abundance of apparel: for most of my garments, it was a very lonely life. Matter of fact, it’s a wonder that some of them didn’t “suit me” for non-support. (I apologize for that one. Sometimes I can’t resist.)

After all was said and done, it boiled down to about four outfits that I universally wore from week to week, and a few extra pieces thrown on as occasional accessories.

I truly learned the importance of the adage, “Take no thought for what ye shall wear.”

Because all a closetful of apparel did for me was make me feel guilty about ignoring my threads.

 

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Antemortem

dictionary with letter A

Antemortem: (adj & adv) before death

Sometimes words can be head-scratchers.

Isn’t antemortem just another way of saying “life?”

In other words, if we’re talking about everything before death, doesn’t that just refer to today’s activities and our ongoing existence?

But after I get done scratching my head, freeing up a few dandruff flakes, I discover a much deeper concept. (Not so deep that it makes one drown, but perhaps deep enough that it promotes moving forward swimmingly.)

For I will tell you right now, almost every facet of our society has us thinking just as much about our death as it does our life.

I was trying to remember the last movie I went to that didn’t have at least one, if not many, people killed. I guess the message is, we’re all mortal, so eat, drink and be merry.

Politics focuses on retirement, social security and often even flagrantly discusses death benefits.

You add in the medical field, constantly reminding us of all the things that can terminate our journey, and religion telling us we need to get ready for heaven, and it certainly seems that we spend an incredible amount of time wasting our present life force in preparation for our inevitable death.

Since we are granted less than a century of breathing, to study too much of the past or fear too much of the future seems a bit ridiculous and obsessive.

Yet if you have a “live for today” philosophy, people shake their heads in disapproval and mouth words like “irresponsible, hippie, Bohemian and gypsy.”

What is the balance?

I don’t know.

But I do know this–I’m not going to spend the majority of my life, while I’m still young, vibrant, mentally active, socially aware and sexually viable, laying up treasure for a time when I’m not.

I am sure, at any juncture in my life span, no matter how old I may become, I will not be thrilled to leave.

So with that in mind, I find it much more intuitive to pursue the activities of this day with jubilance and a bit of “devil-may-care,” so as to guarantee that when the post-mortem arrives … that my antemortem has sufficiently kicked ass.

 

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Address

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Address: (n.) the particulars of the place where someone lives or where an organization is situated.

150 Letts Avenue.

That was my first address. It’s where I grew up. We were a family of seven living in a two-bedroom house that was less than twelve hundred square feet. In most cases, that would qualify us for subsisting in the third world.

But in Sunbury, Ohio, it was my home. And when you’re a kid, you don’t spend a lot of time considering social status, closet space or the particular drape of a curtain. You just get by.

If you do it right, you spend more time outside, where the square footage is only limited to the amount of panting you can tolerate following a sprint.

My friends had bigger houses–what you might call a “better address.” Interesting phrasing. They also lived on Letts Avenue, but their parcel of land yielded more prosperity. But we didn’t look down on each other–at least, I don’t think so. There may have been parents in the neighborhood who told their kids not to play with me because I was “Little House Johnny,” but I was not aware of the slight.

Since then I’ve had many addresses. Big, small, bathtubs, showers, dishwashers… even swimming pools.

Presently I don’t have a home address because I’m traveling. This causes some folks to shake their heads and smirk as they comment on my “gypsy lifestyle.” But all in all, home is where you hang your hat. At least, that’s what they say.

But if you can’t afford a hat, I guess home is just where you hang.

As I look back on it, I had great fun on Letts Avenue. Even though all the moms and dads were concerned about money and prestige, the kids were concerned about snacks and play. Maybe that’s what happened to me. Maybe I never grew up.

Because I am certainly, to this day, more concerned … about playing and snacking.