Dali, Salavador

Dali, Salvador: A twentieth-century Spanish surrealist painter

I’m always baffled by the word “surrealist.”

Probably if I shared my life and journey with you, you might find it surreal. So surrealism is a judgement rather than an actual thing.

Salvador Dali painted landscapes which were infused with melting clocks. For his efforts, we categorize him as surreal.

But perhaps his message was that time does not fly, time does not slip away, but instead, time, by its very nature, melts down into an image of the effort we have expended.

Much of my life has been the slow elimination of days, months and years.

But I don’t remember the clock.

I don’t recall the tick or the tock.

Instead, my time is marked by events, creations and even the children of my pursuits.

Time melts down into whatever we want it to be.

This is not surreal.

It is surreal to think that we can do nothing, ignore our gifts, sit back, wait—and that our time will still be meaningful.

I’m not saying that Dali was looking that deeply into it. Maybe there was just a sale on blue, green and yellow paint at the local store.

But I will tell you–whether it was a message from his heart or an accidental revelation, there is a beautiful warning to one and all:

Make sure your human clock melts in a meaningful way.

 

Conquer

Conquer: (v) to overcome and take control of

I have actually lived long enough to be in a society where seemingly intelligent and even well-educated men are bragging about how high their testosterone numbers are.

That is because, as a people, we have embraced the notion that conquering is achieved by domination.

If that were so, there would still be a Roman Empire. No one ever put together a more formidable force or intimidating presence than Rome.  funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

But eventually they were dominated and therefore, conquered.

Yet enduring throughout all that shifting and shaping, the simple words of a Nazarene carpenter not only survived, but prospered–becoming arguably the most powerful message on Earth.

It all spawned from the notion that it is possible, and even necessary, to be more than a conqueror.

A conqueror, as he monitors his testosterone level, is only content when he is dominating and victorious.

But to be more than a conqueror is to find ways to be useful, powerful and on point–even when the strength and authority is not in your control.

This is the message that will survive all the huffing and puffing of the big, bad wolves.

This is the brick house of hope.

It is the principle which states that merely conquering people does not change them to your way of thinking.

So gradually changing them to your way of thinking is perhaps the only way to truly conquer.

 

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Bright

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bright: (adj) giving out or reflecting a lot of light

Incandescence–a word we don’t often use.

We only associate it with light.Dictionary B

But it is essential for all people who are bright–that is, mentally acute–to also be bright–showing forth some brilliance, so that their intelligence can be noticed.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where intelligence gets awards and ignorance gets attention.

You can see that might create problems.

I’m not suggesting that ignorance receive awards, but it would be nice if those who are bright were actually… bright.

I’ve had parents explain to me that their son or daughter is “a bookworm,” and that their miracle child had read several hundred volumes. But the problem is, you see, that the kid was incapable of speaking.

The child cast no shadow–so all the knowledge was locked up in a big, black box–with no key.

On the other hand, I’ve met kids who never touched a book for fear of getting a disease from the cover. But they had personality, leadership–brightness.

If our best and brightest don’t possess the incandescence to illuminate themselves for consideration, then our world is in some serious trouble.

When you’ve been given a message to be “the light of the world,” there is a responsibility to also nurture the function to be human, kind and able to interact with your fellow-travelers.

 

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Bramble

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bramble: (n) a prickly scrambling vine or shrub

Is the Universe a sporadic series of incomplete evolutions, or a well-constructed and defined object lesson?

It’s a damn good question.Dictionary B

Because if I were to believe that everything is spawned by chance, then I might be completely unable to make sense of anything around me.

But if there is some sort of reason, purpose or genius behind the way things are placed, then I have the glorious task of unraveling the mystery.

Why do roses have thorns?

And why do bramble bushes have prickly parts that make it difficult to pick the berries which often inhabit their vines?

What’s the message?

Is there a need for us to be discouraged in the pursuit of beauty and nutrition?

Are we to understand that blessing is achieved, rather than guaranteed?

Is the Creator trying to separate the perseverant from the lazy?

Because plucking a rose is risking a prick.

And hunting for berries might tear at your skin.

Is there a message here? Or am I reading deeper thoughts than intended into an evolutionary mishap?

I’m not sure.

But I can tell you, the pursuit of wisdom never fails us … even if there’s very little information to be uncovered.

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Beat-up

Beat-up: (adj) a thing worn out by overuse; in a state of disrepair.Dictionary B

I found myself sharing a message that didn’t match my lifestyle.

I was moved to proclaim the idea “Life With Style” while I, myself, was somewhat impoverished.

It introduced the possibility of hypocrisy.

In an attempt to advertise my slogan, “Life With Style,” I had purchased magnetic signs, which I placed on the side of my old, beat-up car, towing a trailer which short months earlier had been rotting in a corn field.

It was what I could legitimately afford, and I did my best to bolster it with repair and frequent cleanings, but to the average onlooker who saw my vehicle and trailer pass by, the advertisement, “Life With Style,” was an enigma, if not a farce.

I became convicted that I was misrepresenting my own cause with my beat-up situation, bannered by such a positive, exuberant concept.

Because let’s be honest–we’re human.We can’t envision a life with style without a decent paint job. Life doesn’t have style unless we are visually passable.

So I learned that you can call people hypocritical, judgmental or mean-spirited for the conclusions they draw upon eyeballing your circumstance, or you can realize that since they are susceptible to hypocrisy, judgmentalism and a mean-spirited nature, it might be a good idea to give them as little evidence as possible … for a case against you.

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Answering Machine

dictionary with letter A

Answering machine: (n.) a tape recorder or digital device that supplies a recorded message to a telephone call and can record a message from the caller.

A “Duophone.”

You see, I even remember the name.

It was one of the first answering machines put out by Radio Shack in the mid-1970’s, for those innovative, upbeat, contemporary souls who wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls or commercial opportunities.

I had to have one.

I bought it and after about four hours of comprehensive attempts at understanding the directions, I successfully hooked it up to my over-priced AT&T phone.

I then spent another four hours deciding what message to leave, gyrating between a brief but officious speech and a more silly, fun-loving and comical greeting.

Worst of all, I decided to blend the two. I even remember what I came up with as the final product:

“Hi, there. It’s not really me, it’s my Duophone, which enables me to get your message so I can get right back to you if I end up being right back. Just kidding. I mean, not about getting back to you. About when I will be here to hear the message. Anyway, call you soon.”

Awkward.

Amazing, though–after you listen to something four or five times, one convinces oneself that it’s really cool.

The problem with my Duophone, other than the fact that it had a hit-and-miss quality to it, having been spawned from Radio Shack, was that one of my friends thought it was really funny to keep calling and leaving abstract, silly, or even profane messages until he totally filled up the space provided.

After a while, when other people got answering machines and it was no longer a novelty, the American public became perturbed with having to listen to a contraption instead of completing calls, so my playback upon returning was often a series of hang-ups or disgruntled complaints over my absence.

Mercifully, on one of my moves to another location, the Duophone fell out of a truck and crashed on the pavement and I selected never to replace it.

The problem with answering machines is that they really don’t answer. They just put off a much-needed conversation to a later and usually less fruitful time.

 

 

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