Boulevard

Boulevard: (n) a wide street in a town or city

Los Angeles, California.Dictionary B

I was thirty years old before I got there. I tried many times. My failed attempts made it seem even more charming.

I had an old beat-up van, so when I drove to Hollywood to see the sights, it was really quite comical to spot my vehicle in the midst of such sunshine and splendor–especially when we pulled into the parking lot across from the Chinese Theater where they have all the footprints of the stars, and my brood of children poured out of the side doors to explore. I’m sure the natives thought they were being invaded by the “Bluegrass Brigade.”

Los Angeles is full of boulevards and reminders of its opulence and place in American folklore.

When my feet finally got tired and I went back to the van before the rest of the kin, I was studying a map to the stars’ homes. As I read, I considered that most of these supernovas were dead.

I looked around at the wealth and prosperity and realized that these individuals, who were so revered from the silver screen, were once living, breathing human beings, walking the streets, and now seemed to haunt the region.

It gave me a chill down my spine.

Life is short.

Find your boulevard.

Travel well.

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Beloved

Beloved: (adj) dearly loved.

Dictionary B

I didn’t like the script so I’ve written my own play.

The script provided for me by the American culture says I should really love those people who love me, who are attached to me, or who were spawned from my seed. The rest of the world is supposed to be viewed with various contortions of suspicion.

I found the premise for this theatrical presentation of “Life on Earth” to be boring, short-sighted, and lacking in plot twists to grant a thrill.

Somewhere along the line, mankind, humankind, or whatever-kind needs to become beloved to me.

This does not mean that everyone I meet will curry my favor, but it does promote the idea that if I start off viewing all women as my sisters, all men as my brothers and all children as my immediate kin, I have a much better chance of being valuable to the world than if I close off membership in my circle to the tiny ring I call friends.

Then, if I do run across those who are not very brotherly, sisterly or childlike, I can give myself a great gift: avoid them.

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Armageddon

dictionary with letter A

Armageddon: (n) in the New Testament, the last battle between good and evil before the Day of Judgment.

I have this memory from Sunday School class of a verse in which God shares with Cain that the blood of his brother “cried unto God from the Earth.”

Pretty powerful image.

So every time I think about Armageddon, I’m a bit baffled.

I have never had a desire to go to the Holy Land–mainly because I do not believe that any particular parcel of dust and stone is holy–and especially when the landscape has been so stained by human blood, shed for meaningless doctrines and interpretations.

I am not certain that this position I have taken would be a popular one with those who want to go and see where Moses received the Ten Commandments, or where Jesus walked on the water.

But if I found myself in the unenviable position of being the President of the United States, I would never send any troops into a kingdom that is already crimson with blood.

I would never allow myself to be known as the conduit that initiated a battle over nothing, which destroys everything.

There isn’t much I can do about the Jews and the Muslims wanting to fight with each other. It is my belief that Jesus came to break truth off of tradition, so that we could be human beings with each other instead of tribes.

But I guess as long as we insist on honoring our cultures more than humanity, protecting our kin more than seeking reasons to call the people of the world our brothers and sisters, and debating the personality of a God which is far beyond our comprehension, we will gradually inch our way periodically towareds Armageddon.

When we do, look for me in the rear, turning around and heading the other direction.

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Anno Domini — AD

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Anno Domini A.D. (Abbr.) :In a specified year of the Christian era; “in the year of Our Lord”

I think the closest I ever came was when the town council of my little burg where I was born considered having a day designated to me because the musical I had written was going to be premiering in the capital city.

Unfortunately, the measure was voted down because one of the members of the board was an old rival from high school who always thought I had cheated him out of something or other.

So I, who was unable to get a single day of honor in my city of kin, am greatly enamored–and baffled–by how a rejected carpenter from a tiny village in Mesopotamia, who ended up executed for crimes against the state, managed to get the date of his birth marked as the beginning of modern time.

You have to be honest–there is either something magical about that or this guy hired the best damn Jewish agent around. Am I right here? Even when his name is spoken out loud in anger, it’s still great advertising: Jesus Christ!

I know there are those who cannot believe in a SON of God because they don’t believe in God in the first place–very similar to not wanting to see the movie, Son of Flubber because you were disappointed with the first Flub.

But in thirty-three years of human life, he did something right. Maybe we shouldn’t try to study him so much theologically, but rather, analyzing the chemical reaction of human experience. What did he set off that caused such notice and took him from the tiny, fragmented vision of the Jewish people, to dominate the Greeks, Romans, Angles, Saxons and even the Afrikaans and the Chinese?

His message was simple. That was smart. Even though he never had a car, he realized that anything you want people to remember should fit on a bumper sticker.

  • “Love your neighbor”
  • “Love your enemies”
  • “Blessed are the pure in heart”
  • “You must be born again”
  • “Do unto others”

The list goes on and on. Matter of fact, his famous Sermon on the Mount is merely a hodge-podge of many, many sound bites and slogans, glued together by a devotion to mankind and God. The message was so simple that even those who were considered foolish could grasp it, even if they didn’t embrace it.

And for some reason, a hundred and twenty of the remaining followers of this teacher, who survived the horror of his crucifixion, were not only willing to dedicate the rest of their lives to spreading the message, but sacrificed their lives in a belief about his resurrection.

In other words, I think it’s safe to say that most human beings might pursue a hoax if all it meant was that you had to travel and stay in cheap hotels. But when you’re standing in front of a judge and he offers you clemency, if you deny the message and then you choose death, it’s difficult to believe that there is not some credence to the original experience.

So I shall not lament the failure of my local city council–to grant me a day of recognition in my home town. But I will use the awareness of that slight to be in awe–that as I mark my calendar today, I honor the person with the message of love … who got the ball rolling.

 

Actor

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

 

Actor: (n) a person whose profession is acting on the stage, in movies or on television.

 

 We sure spend an awful lot of time, money and energy honoring those who portray characters in the film industry. Yet at the same time we pretend that acting—or trying to be something we’re not—is a bad thing in real life.

 

I will tell you this right now: I would much rather people become excellent actors, treating me with love and respect, instead of becoming so comfortable around me that I get the brunt of their bad mood.

 

Over the years as I’ve traveled, I have gotten to know some families, spending time in their homes, and after a while they start arguing in front of me and cease to treat me as a guest. When I ask them about it, they insist that this is their way of accepting me as “kin”—abandoning any need for hospitality.

 

My response is always the same: Let’s go back to when you didn’t know me and felt compelled to be nice.

 

I am tired of reality as a whole, even if it’s a show, if it means that we’re going to unleash our darker sides on one another and spit forth our meaningless opinions at will.

 

I suppose I would aggravate some people because I do believe my life is a stage. I think it’s important to learn the right lines, pursue plots and stories that are enriching instead of bizarre and twisted, and try to come to a conclusion at the end of every day which somehow or another resembles a happy ending.

 

I think it’s important to be an actor.

 

I think it’s essential that we stop making fun of things that are good, kind, pure and gentle in favor of grumbling dissatisfaction.

 

Matter of fact, I will go so far as to say that if we don’t start making the movie of our lives that is suitable for all audiences, we will end up rating ourselves R to simulate the truthfulness of our each and every frustration festering inside of us, not providing a pleasant theater experience.

 

So if I want to say “damn,” you don’t really deserve that. It won’t hurt me to temper it to “darn.”

 

If I’m disappointed over losing my job, I shouldn’t impale you with my cynicism, but instead, find a quiet place with myself, my experiences, and God–to become people-worthy before joining the human race again.

 

Yes, all the world is a stage, and honestly, sometimes we’re just roadies and not actors in front of the crowd. But while we’re backstage, learning how to work the lights, we might want to work on our mood, so that when we find ourselves under the key light,  we can bring positive energy … instead of defeat.