Cyrene

Cyrene: (n) an ancient Greek city and colony in N Africa

He was desperately trying to remain invisible.

If not invisible, at least unnoticed.

Although he had arrived in Jerusalem to be part of the Passover celebration, driven there by his deep, abiding faith, he was a black man.

Some people believed he was the offspring of Cain, the punished murderer of his brother, Abel.

Others seemed blind to his dark complexion.

It was confusing to know what to do.

Should he be apologetic for his skin color?

Bold, assuming equality? Or defiant, to scare away the bigoted and cynical?

It was constantly on his mind. Would there be more scrutiny from the religious Jews or the self-important Roman soldiers?

Beyond his will, interrupting his progress, he was swept away by a crowd moving swiftly along the Via Dolorosa, forcing him to change his direction and move with the will of the throng.

It was a procession—a death march to the crucifixion of condemned men, heading up the long hill to die. One was struggling. He was carrying his crossbeam on his back yet finding it impossible to stand under its weight.

He fell and they beat him. He stood and they beat him.

The black man had a spontaneous urge to step forward and do something. He regretted it immediately, because one of the nearby soldiers grabbed him by the arm, asking him who he was and what the hell he thought he was doing.

“I am Simon, the Cyrene, and I was just being foolish.”

The soldier pushed him toward the beaten stranger lying in the street. “Since you give a damn, why don’t you carry his fuckin’ cross?” spat the legionnaire.

At that moment, the man, who had been lying flat down in the street, rose on his haunches and turned to look at Simon. His face was grotesque, bruised and bloody, but his eyes maintained a focus. A warmth, a purpose.

Not wanting to be crucified himself, Simon chose to heed the command. He picked up the broad beam and put it on his back as the soldier helped the weakened victim to his feet.

Trying to regain his balance, the beaten-up stranger hooked his arm with Simon’s. They were linked.

Together they made the journey the rest of the way, to the “Place of The Skull.” It seemed right to all those standing around, staring at the scene, that this black man, condemned by his color, should perform such a duty for the wicked traveler on his way to death.

Simon was stilled in his confusion. He had been black all his life. He rarely left his home in Cyrene because he never knew what level of bigotry awaited him in the outside world.

He covered the distance to the top of the hill, breaking a sweat but still able to support the battered frame of the convict. Before he knew it, they lifted the beam off of him and busied themselves nailing the man to the cross.

Simon had an instinct to stand and watch, but his better sense told him that he could easily be mistaken for one of the criminals and end up slain.

He quietly left.

As he was coming down the hill, a young man, no more than twenty years of age, approached him. “Thank you for carrying the Master’s cross,” he said.

Simon nodded. The young man continued. “His name is Jesus and we believe him to be the Son of God.”

Simon smiled. He felt pity. Or was it respect to a childish dream? He didn’t know.

Matter of fact, for almost five years, he never thought about it again. He never heard the name—until one day, back in his home of Cyrene, a young preacher—an itinerant man bronzed by the heat of the sun—said the name again.

“Jesus.”

He told a story. He filled in details that Simon could not possibly have known. He burst into tears.

“What is wrong?” the messenger asked him.

Simon shook his head. “I know that man. I carried his cross. I just didn’t know that it was the cross he was carrying for me.”

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crème

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crème: (n) cream

Sometimes I foolishly allow myself to get on a jag of discovering correct grammar, proper sentence structure, and believe it or not, accurate spelling.

In the midst of this pursuit, I occasionally stumble on a word that has an old-time spelling and a new-fangled spelling without any particular consensus on which one is definitively correct.

Idiot that I occasionally am, I adopt the unusual spelling or pronunciation, thinking it makes me a trifle uptown or high-falutin’.

The result is always the same.

All the people who do not share my predilection for a historical study of the English language—etymology—immediately wonder why in the hell I use the word etymology when I wasn’t mentioning insects.

I know they don’t know what they’re talking about.

I am positive I have discovered some nugget of personal treasure which I am offering in order to seem expansive.

But inevitably, I’ll be corrected—rudely.

In one of my novels I wrote that my character requested “coffee and crème.”

First, my spellcheck had a stroke. (You know—when the squiggly line is SO dark and red that you realize it’s coming from a rage from spellcheck’s childhood.)

I resisted spellcheck and had it published, only to hear from grammar Nazis, concerned friends, and those who joined the club (which probably is called, “Cream Should Be Spelled C-R-E-A-M.”) They all asked me to reform. I became defensive, which made them believe that I was not only ignorant, but mentally challenged.

So I have learned in a world that talks a good game of creativity while desperately extoling the status quo, to let the cream rise to the top and let the crème sink to the bottom.


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Credence

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Credence: (n) belief as to the truth of something

Actually it takes more than belief.

It requires evidence.

In attempting to convince human beings of the validity of an idea or the power of a concept, it is often necessary to come with at least two examples in which your assertion has proven itself effective.

This realization eliminates a lot of time talking nonsense or trying to establish superiority by displaying ethereal wisdom.

Just think of it—how much more credence would we have if we did not base our lifestyles on politics, money, selfish concerns, heaven, hell or wishing?

All of these may have their place, but they have nothing to do with the nuts and bolts of constructing a grand foundation for abundant life.

Religion has no credence whatsoever if it doesn’t produce a way for people to be happy and love one another.

Likewise, politics is devoid of credence if it talks about grand notions but never comes up with a simple plan on how to enact a necessary change.

Corporations which can only make commercials but not deliver on their promises forsake all credibility.

And sitting around talking about our hopes and dreams usually just makes us sleepy.

As a friend of yours living at this time on Earth, I wish you to know that I have no intention whatsoever of luring you with the lore of heaven—if I can’t give you an Earthly prototype.

 

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Creator

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Creator: (n) a person or thing that creates.

The top four things, in order, that wear out my soul in order, beginning with Number Four:

  1. Serious discussions that end up with people pouting.
  2. Feeling sorry for myself because I’m stuck in traffic.
  3. My own intolerance showing up, exposing me for the fallible son-of-a-bitch I sometimes am.

And now, Number One:

Incessant barking, preaching, complaining, questioning and postulating on the subject of God.

Is there a Creator?

Let me be blunt—I only have one reason that I want a Creator. It’s because it makes me feel more valuable.

Without a Creator, I have to envision that I am a stop on the evolutionary chain, somewhere between protoplasm and infinity.

Yuk. I don’t want to feel that way.

It makes the other three things I mentioned even more aggravating. Traffic seems more congested, my intolerance tends to have some deeper meaning, and for some unrealistic reason, getting serious about ludicrous matters makes me feel grown-up.

I need a Creator because I need to feel created, so that I will want to be creative.

Did you get that?

Creator, created, creative.

When I don’t feel created, I have no desire whatsoever to change my circumstance when bitching about it seems to adequately fill the time.

I do not find that believing in a Creator makes people better, and that disbelieving makes them worse. But sometimes, cuddling up to the idea that we are purposely constructed by a divine order does make the journey seem a little sweeter.

Otherwise, we begin to look around the room, the nation and the world, rolling our eyes, thinking internally: Hell, is that all there is?

 

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Cover

Cover: (v) to place something over or upon, as for protection, concealment, or warmth.

 “I’ll be fine.”

This is what I said to my hostess when she asked me if I might need a blanket. In that moment, I felt that I might be bothering her too much by requesting one—and the room seemed to be a really good temperature and I thought I could lay on the bed without the need of any kind of cover. funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

After all, I was just going to sleep. How much do you really need to protect you when you’re just heading for Sleeper Land?

She gave me a quizzical look when I refused additional “warmage,” as if to question my judgment on the matter, but wanting to be an ideal lady of the house, she honored my wishes, left the room and disappeared into her home, which was an unknown castle to me.

I brushed my teeth, I went to bed, and as I reached over to turn off the lamp on the nearby stand, I realized that I didn’t have a cover.

It was my fault. I had explained that I didn’t need one—but now that I was in my room and darkness was falling around me, I wanted a cover.

I nearly cried.

I didn’t know the house well enough to creep around looking in cabinets, searching for blankets, so I lay on the bed, very still, trying to convince myself that I would be content without being embraced by my cover.

I do not want to be overly dramatic…

Yes, I do. It was hell.

I found I could not sleep without having something over me. I felt naked, even though I was wearing pajamas. My shoulders were hanging out there to be seen by the night spirits, without apology. My legs were lonely.

I did not know what to do. I wanted to sleep but that didn’t seem covered.

So I got up, opened up my suitcase, began to pull out all my clothing, and tied pant legs onto shirt arms, with attached socks, until I eventually put together a really weird quilt.

It worked so well that after experimenting on four or five different combinations, I had everything covered, from my toes up to my chest.

I felt powerful again.

Yet as I lay down to go to sleep, I realized the top of my chest was unsheltered. Not wanting to get up to disrupt my makeshift blanket, I reached down into my suitcase, grabbed a pair of underwear and stuffed them under my chin.

At last…

Thank God Almighty.

Covered at last.

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Cove

Cove: (n) a small indentation or recess in the shoreline of a sea, lake, or river

 Clever will only take you so far.

This is true in any occupation, but certainly must be observed faithfully by the writer.

For you see, I am going to tell a story today about when I was sixteen. The temptation is to preface this story with an introductory sentence funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
which sounds cool, or what they might refer to as “off-the-top-of-the-head-ish.”

For instance:

  • when I young
  • back when pimples were my major problem
  • long before anybody called me Dad
  • in an era when I languished in my teens

You see what I mean?

Although at times these little scribbled affrontations are passable, they can get old very quickly, even if you’re talking about being young.

So suffice it to say, at one time in my life I decided to start a coffeehouse for the fellow-students at my high school. This was back when such an idea seemed expansive and other-worldly rather than old-timey and really out of it.

I found a small house—so tiny it was difficult to believe anybody had ever lived in it. But you could stuff about thirty-five people in, on the ground floor, if everybody agreed to inhale and exhale in unison.

It was perfect.

I covered the windows so no external lighting could come in, installed black lights and put colored bulbs around to give it a spooky effect.

We could not decide what to call the place, but one night, as we pulled up, we noticed it looked like an old fisherman’s cabin. So someone suggested we call it, “The Cove.” Actually, the suggestion was “The Fisherman’s Cove,” but as the weeks went by, the adjective was dropped, and it became known as “The Cove.”

All the students at the school jockeyed for the right to be one of the holy thirty-five to come to The Cove on a Saturday night, to sit around and eat bologna sandwiches and listen to the rock music our parents were sure would lead us to hell.

As it turned out, the rock and roll music did not take us to hell, but unfortunately, the bologna sandwiches gave us cholesterol problems.

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Coprosecutor

Coprosecutor: (n) one of two or more joint prosecutors.

“And God will judge the quick and the dead.”

The quick, in this case, refers to the living, even though it does not apply around my house.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Most of us are pretty certain that if there is a God, that He’s will be The Judge. Matter of fact, even with people who are extraordinarily bigoted, if you bring up “judge not lest ye be judged,” they will never respond by saying, “Screw God. Listen to me. The Old Man’s too easy.”

But even though we do not think of ourselves as judges, we do feel it is our job, mission and righteous goal to be prosecutors—and even join in with others, becoming coprosecutors of evil deeds, cross-examining folks and far-fetched ideas.

Yes, we think God is very impressed when we arrive in court in our suit of self-righteousness and begin to rail against defendants who we have determined need to be brought before the bar for judgement.

We feel this authority because we’re following a Book—a Book of laws and regulations. So even though we, ourselves, break some of these statues from the Holy Book, we still will doll up for the occasion and present a viral case against the guilty.

The goal? Make them look so bad that the Judge would have to agree, that if He is to follow His own laws, they must be punished.

After all, the problem is not that human beings judge each other. None of us have the power to enact lasting judgment on one another. The problem is that we’re all just a bunch of goddamn coprosecutors, who feel noble about exposing the sins and vulnerabilities of others.

Perhaps it’s why we all hate lawyers.

It certainly is why, when a lawyer is caught with his pants down—or his suitcoat off—we all rejoice and giggle.

So what do you think any good Earthly judge will do if the prosecution is bent toward the hell of punishing all wayward souls?

As there is mercy in the court of justice in our country, the same mercy exists in the heavens.

As extenuating circumstances are taken into consideration with any prosecution, so shall it be at the Great Judgment Day.

And as a judge, for no particular reason, on a whim, decides to take a chance on someone who is truly repentant, so the Great Judge will one day baffle us by granting grace beyond measure and understanding, to offenders.


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