Deaf

Deaf: (adj) unable to hear

Yes, I have been at a party when depleted chip dip and a lack of musical choices has prompted a theoretical discussion, which everyone initially pretended to enjoy. And I quote:

“If you had to lose one of your senses, which one would you be willing to forfeit?”

We went around the room. Each person mentioned the rejected sense and briefly explained why he or she thought they could survive without that particular gift.

When they came to me, I was legitimately stumped.

Although many people before me insisted that if they had to be without a sense (and taste buds were not included) they would choose to be deaf.

Many of them cited that Ludwig von Beethoven was deaf—”and look at the beautiful music he made.”

Of course, we must realize—we do not know all the details of Mr. Beethoven’s situation, because he was somewhat unable to articulate his condition.

But when I considered all my senses, I realized how frightening it would be to be senseless.

What would it be like to drop a sense?

So my answer was kind of existential.

I proclaimed, “I choose all of them. For there are times that I cannot see, or I will become judgmental. There are occasions that smelling is useless because the present world around me is just one big stink-bomb. On occasion, I must withdraw my touch because it can be misinterpreted. And of course, I must needfully be deaf, or I will hear things that will cause me to remember too long and hold grudges. So to answer your question, I will practice living without all the senses—just in case one departs.”

I had two reasons for my exaggerated answer.

First, I thought it offered a profound point.

Secondly, since it was supposed to be a party, I was hoping that the threat of a philosophical discussion would get us back to playing more music …

… and buying more dip.

Deadline

Deadline: (n) the time by which something must be finished or submitted

Don’t.

Don’t use a deadline.

It will just leave you standing in line, waiting to be dead.

It is the worst idea that anyone ever came up with as far as human beings are concerned.

We are a species that will fret over nothing—so it is a good idea not to give us anything.

I will not take a deadline.

If someone insists on it, I make sure that they push it far enough into the future that I can easily and comfortably finish the project a week in advance.

There is no power in waking up fervently needing to get something done.

There is no rest in going to bed wondering if you should be allowed the luxury of sleep—since the deadline is looming.

Deadlines were created by people who now have enough money that they do not have to observe a deadline.

They like to be served by jumping monkeys and nervous cockroaches, who scuttle their way into completion, never totally joyful over the victory.

Even though all of us have the deadline of dying, God does not tell us when it is.

Can you imagine?

If the deadline was far enough away, we wouldn’t give it a thought.

If the deadline for our demise was coming up, we would try to be faithful—through an ocean of tears.

God, nature and our health snatch us when we least expect it and sometimes chaos does it earlier.

If it were any other way, we’d be bumblers—from our birth to last breath.

Don’t allow yourself to be at the mercy of a deadline.

And if someone demands it, make sure you give yourself enough room that you can get it done early—and spend the rest of the time taking deep breaths and carving apple slices.

Clumsy

Clumsy: (adj) awkward in movement or in handling things.

Sexual intercourse looks dumb.

It is so awkward and clumsy that when we first meet a potential mating partner we have to get ourselves all worked up–sometimes drunk--to participate in the ritual, and then, after several months or years of interacting, marriage often occurs, where no one is quite able to get as worked up again, so merely on the stimulus of doing the act, we often find ourselves embarrassed, if not unmotivated.

It’s clumsy.

What makes it even more clumsy are people who think they are adept, talented or professional at it. Then it becomes similar to a bull in the pen, bragging about his graceful ability to take a dump.

What truly makes sex significant and endearing is how clumsy it is. If both parties would submit to the stumbling aspects of the action, giggle a little bit more and listen to one another, it could continue to be pleasurable for a long time.

But we view it with a funeral-home grimness.

How can anything be important if monkeys can do it eight times in an hour? Really??

Is there such a thing as a sacred vagina or a sanctified penis?

It’s clumsy.

And if we discuss it too much as if it’s a pertinent issue, the clumsiness of it becomes ridiculous, and we, fools for approaching the topic with such gravitas.

I’m clumsy. I’ve never been with anyone who isn’t clumsy. Although some people insist they are excellent lovers, the truth of the matter is, they have an over-exaggerated sense of their own prowess, which is not necessarily shared by their bedfellow.

Let’s relax.

Things that should be clumsy, like sex, are regaled as great art forms. Things that should be meaningful, like concern for one another and kindness, are treated as lowly.

This would be a good place to start. Have a serious conversation with your love partner about how to be kind to your neighbors, and when you get done, run to the bedroom and have clumsy sex…and laugh about it.

 

Donate Button

 

Betrothed

Betrothed: (n) the person to whom one is engaged.

Dictionary B

The pride that we have over our sophistication is not only comical but often ill-placed.

We have the most intricate system for pairing people into committed relationships that has ever been devised in the history of bipeds with brains.

Yet we also have the highest divorce rate.

So do we question this system of placing the entire experience of choosing a mate based on the level of our interest and financial security?

No. We continue to chase down love haphazardly.

Simultaneously, cultures which pair off individuals in pre-arranged marriages don’t fare any worse than we do. Do you know why?

It’s because marriage has nothing to do with love.

Hell, if we’re going to make this planet work, we all have to learn to love one another. (But that doesn’t mean you’ll exchange body fluids with the population as a whole.)

Marriage requires three unique impositions:

1. “I’m not going anywhere.”

If you believe that separation and divorce are options in your relationship, you will eventually pursue one of them. There is a power in thinking that we possess the intelligence to solve our problems.

2. “I am not satisfied with myself.”

Although it is very popular to be self-satisfied, trying to sell this to another person who sees you every day is ridiculous.

  • I need someone to help me overcome my demons.
  • I need a friend who will see those demons and not run away in terror.
  • And I need a cohort who will not be too judgmental when I invite my demons back in for a one-night stand.

3. Be prepared to laugh all the time.

Most arguments begin because we decide to defend or discuss stupidity instead of laughing at it.

Humor is what makes sex excellent. Since it is such a silly little practice, which is accomplished just as well among the monkeys, we dare not view it as serious or overly spiritual, or we become notoriously foolish.

I don’t care whether you date for fourteen years or if you met each other fourteen minutes ago.

“I’m not going anywhere, I’m not satisfied with myself and I’m prepared to laugh” is what makes betrothal be-workable.

Donate Button

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

 

Beheld

Beheld: (v) past tense of behold: to see, look upon or gaze at

Dictionary B

You will always find plenty of what you’re really looking for.

Once you set your mind to believe that the world is filled with a certain substance or the absence of a precious virtue, you will convince yourself that your notions and convictions are accurate.

You will behold exactly what you want to see and then you will go off and proclaim what you beheld.

  • The racist always finds examples of stupidity among those he deems inferior.
  • The pessimist never lacks evidence that his or her philosophy is well-grounded.
  • The misogynist is never lacking a dumb blond joke.
  • And the angry feminist can tell you story after story about the abusive results of testosterone-driven maniacs.

There’s an old saying: to the pure all things are pure and to those who are defiled, everything is defiled.

It’s not an issue of optimism. Life is more or less like the zoo–even though the park offers snakes, lions, tigers, elephants and bears, if your favorite is the monkeys, you don’t ever have to encounter the other creatures.

Some people would call this ignorance.

I would disagree.

I would call it bliss.

 

Donate Button

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

 

Asterisk

Asterisk (n) :a symbol (*) used to mark printed or written text, typically as a reference to an annotationdictionary with letter A

I had to chuckle.

On one occasion, I found myself invited to write an article about a white supremacist organization that was just forming in the state of Louisiana.

Actually, I volunteered for the opportunity.

Where some people would find such rhetoric and prejudice to be intolerable, I have developed a sense of humor about all human activity, including my own.

If you think of us, as a race, as being comic relief to the mind of God on this stage of earth, then you’re much more likely to be merciful–and also prepared to discover your own flubs and dropped lines.

So as I listened to the keynote speaker of this organization espouse his defenses of their well-known bigotries, I kept envisioning that surrounding his entire mouth should be a collage of asterisks.

The purpose of these implements would be to refer you to an explanation–or at least an excuse–of why this person is saying these far-fetched things.

In other words, when he proclaimed that “black people were really monkeys,” I saw the asterisk next to his words, and went to the bottom of the page and read the explanation, which was as follows:

“This is a man who is very insecure about himself and his sexuality, who feels threatened by men with dark skin.”

It became quite a game for me.

I was able to discover the background, and even the bibliography, for each of his contentions, which always pointed to a sense of inadequacy he projected as weakness onto individuals of a different hue.

I think the leaders of the organization were surprised how jolly I was through the whole event, expecting me to become infuriated and walk out.

But thanks to my comical asterisks, which I used to decorate his speech, I was not only able to survive it, but was also completely prepared to ascertain the source of such hatred.

 

Donate Button

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

Arboreal

dictionary with letter A

Arboreal: (adj) chiefly of animals living in trees.

Intellectualism often frightens me because it is willing to be stupid for the cause of alleged progress.

To me, one of the ways this shows up is the penchant that the intelligentsia often has in placing the human being into the animal kingdom.

Matter of fact, if you are of a mind to be ridiculed, just walk into a party at a university anywhere in America and suggest that human beings were created instead of spawned from the jungle, hanging in the trees.

Let’s just deal with the arboreal. I’m not even gonna discuss our lack of a tail, our superior intelligence and our deep-rooted emotional and spiritual capacity.

Setting all of that aside, I remember as a child the idea of climbing trees with my friends. It was never very successful. There was always one small child (who might have actually been ape-spawned) who could scurry right up the tree and look down at us mere mortals (yet human) who were standing on the ground, terrified to take the first step.

Most of the people I knew who tried to climb trees ended up with a broken something-or-other. I may be speaking out of school, here–literally–but I don’t think monkeys fall out of trees very often.

Humans, on the other hand, are far more likely to choose that descent.

So based just on tree-climbing ability, unless we have attributed that to the Missing Link, Homo Sapiens have neither the footing, the tail nor the grasp to achieve it very well.

One of my chimpanzee-like friends actually built a treehouse. The rest of us took about two weeks to get up into it, and eventually devised a ladder to acquire participation.

I think it’s good for us to study science, discovering as many different truths as possible. But we also must deal with the reality and the distinctions that exist between us and the animal kingdom.

Then, rather than mocking one another … we can celebrate the blessing of our uniqueness.

 

Donate Button

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

Africa

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Africa: the second-largest continent, a southward projection of the Old World land mass divided roughly in half by the equator and surrounded by sea except where the Isthmus of Suez joins it to Asia.

I am shocked.

I sat down to write a clever essay on today’s word, Africa. when I dug into my Middle-America, middle-class, middle-intelligent and middle-conscience mind,  all I was able to conjure were images which I must be honest and tell you, seem quite racist.

Because when I think of Africa, I think of missionaries, cannibals, lions, monkeys, tribal rituals, Apartheid, jungles, Serengeti, antelopes being chased and killed, and people with black skin talking with extremely articulate British accents.

I thought about trying to come up with something different, pretending that I am cultured and aware of modern Africa and the progress the people have made. Or tip my hat to the notion that Africa is the “mother land of the whole human race,” but I realized it would be phony, and I would just be another American trying to appear that I am free of prejudice, when the truth is that, contrary to that fact, the continent reminds me of Tarzan and Jane.

I do not think we become better people by hiding our iniquity.

I do not think that I can fool you into believing I am a cosmopolitan world traveler who is free of my Central Ohio upbringing, and still walk away with a pure soul.

Here’s what I WILL say about Africa: most of what I learned as a child about this magnificent continent had something to do with either the zoo or the Zulu.

No one took the time to teach me anything else.

So even though I am grown and people insist that I’m set in my ways, I am unsettled enough to accept this meager representation of a great history and people. So I apologize for my lacking by trying to increase. Now that I have been alerted to my limitation, I will attempt to expand my borders.

We will never know what Africa could truly be today because it was invaded, attacked and robbed of its citizenry by white people who thought they were better.

I am an ancestor of such folk. For this I apologize.

But the best way I can express my contrition is by continuing to learn instead of assume.

 

ADD

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

ADD: (abbr.) attention deficit disorder

Ironically, I was thinking about writing an essay on how Thomas Jefferson, who penned the Declaration of Independence, was considered by many of his cohorts–those gentlemen we call “the forefathers”–to be a rather obnoxious sort because he was always bouncing from one idea to another, proposing several different drafts and considering every paragraph and line in his document, like some sort of nervous kid on a sugar high.

Oops. There he is again.

The fly.

He got let into the room yesterday. I HATE a fly in my room. Do you know why? They lie in some corner, dormant, until, in some fit of gregarious insect joviality, they join you for dinner, watching TV or sipping your coffee.

I want to kill the fly. Is that wrong?

Speaking of Thomas Jefferson, he had a tendency to question the silliest little words, wondering if they would be understandable to future generations, and what that generation would consider to be freedom and their concept of the Revolution.

Do you like that song by the Beatles? I’m talking about the song, Revolution.

Do you know what I once did? I was doing a television show and wanted to include the song, but every time I tried to edit the song in, it was distorted. So I bought myself a mixer to try to remove the distortion, and then someone pointed out to me that the first part of the song commences with a distorted guitar.

Which brings me back to Thomas Jefferson. I think he finally realized there’s no such thing as a perfect document, and the Declaration of Independence would have to be interpreted by future generations based upon our evolution in democracy.

Do you really think we came from monkeys? I was thinking about evolution. We’ve never really found the missing link, have we? I have met some folks worthy of study, but even they would not be conclusive to such a claim.

It’s not that I would mind being a monkey, it’s just that cooking with only bananas would get very old–let’s say, lose its “a-peel.”

Even though I suppose you could use plantains. Do you like them? Plantains? Do I really want a non-sweet banana? Do I need a potato substitute? Have potatoes failed me?

I like Mr. Potato Head. I was one of those weird kids who used to put the ear in the nose and the nose on the mouth…and then I would present it to people, thinking it was funny, and they just thought it was weird.

Yes, it was weird that Thomas Jefferson fussed so much about the Declaration of Independence.

Do you think maybe he had ADD?