Clean-shaven

Clean-shaven: (adj) description of a man without a beard or mustache.

I must be careful.

As I share my thoughts today, I must remind myself that there’s a danger of offering sour grapes–or souring the grapes that are available.

Yet I don’t like beards.

I have to admit that I am incapable of growing one. Underneath my chin hair will sprout, making me appear to be a Jewish rabbi, but on my cheeks I appear to have chihuahua skin. Yes, maybe you could call me the “German Hairless.”

When I was younger this created some despair in my soul because I was very concerned about my level of masculinity. For a time I even pretended to grow a beard. Every day, as I tried to groom it into some sort of creature of respect, it mocked me from the mirror.

My sons have beards, and there seems to be a rebirth of interest in them at this present time.

But I feel the beard is representative of too much macho, rugged, “frontiersman energy” in a time when we need to be gaining mutual humanity between the genders.

And truthfully, I think women like to look at beards, but feel much different when they’re up close and personal.

So I am ill-suited to write this essay. There should be some whiskered, wizened soul sharing the beauty of his manly landscape instead of clean-shaven me, sitting here, trying to present an argument for smoothness.

But you’re stuck.

I am clean-shaven but I am still a man. Just wanted to make that clear, in case there was any doubt.

And for those who choose to grow beards and flaunt their hair mass, I must tell you with all honesty that if it’s close-cropped to the face it looks decent, but if you let it grow out too much, it begins to look like pubic hair suspiciously sprouting out of your head.

 

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Cease

Cease: (v) to bring to an end.

The American populace is intoxicated with the possibility of a good start-up. We just love beginning things.

The national landscape is littered with projects, ideas and well-meaning concerns that have a foundation laid and then are abandoned due to lack of interest or funds.

We’ve covered this strange behavior by agreeing not to bring it up. In other words, if you don’t mention what I started that failed, I won’t mention yours. So because we’re afraid to talk about our starts that stopped, we never learn the wisdom and power to cease–that moment of clarity when we realize that what we set out to do is either impractical or poorly timed, and common sense insists that we stop and make it obvious to those around us that there is a need for a new idea.

For instance:

The American church needs to cease so it can actually start.

Political parties need to be ceased so we can actually begin to put together coalitions that are geared to advancement.

We need to cease trying to scare people because we have bought a lot of baked crickets that needs to be marketed, or maybe made the mistake of investing too much in “gluten-free.”

To cease is to plan a decrease, which gives peace and allows for increase.

If everything is good, nothing is great. And if nothing is bad, there is little chance for anything to improve.

Let’s start today, to realize what needs to cease.

For instance … this essay.Donate Button

 

 

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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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Aalto, Alvar

by  J. R Practix

dictionary with letter A

Definition of Aalto, Alvar (1898–1976), Finnish architect and designer; full name  Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto. He often used materials such as brick, copper, and timber in his building designs to blend with the landscape. As a designer he is known as the inventor of bent plywood furniture.
Come on. The dude has four names. Let me give you a scale on numbers of names:
People who go by one name are divas. Beyoncé. Kermit. God.
Two names: Hard-working folk. John Deere. Jack Daniels. Martha Stewart.
Three names: Serial killers, authors and mascots. John Wayne Gaycee, Henry David Thoreau, Smoky the Bear.
But four names or more?  Really?? Fruitcake. And I don’t mean any disrespect.
Also, what’s the big deal about blending into the landscape? Isn’t that what cavemen did? “Hey, look, Buck! There’s a hole in this rock. We can live inside there without changing the landscape or ambience!”
And by the way…bent plywood furniture?? I have done that many times–just by sitting on it suddenly.
I’m sure Mr. Aalto is a nice guy, and probably came up with his own idea on how to blend things together…ala Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups and army intelligence. But if you ask my opinion, making furniture out of plywood is what causes many young married couples to end up purchasing living room suites that wear out long before the payment stops.