Collect

Collect: (v) to bring or gather things

I collect.

I grab my basket and step into life, picking up things that suit my fancy, meet my needs or stir my soul.

From democracy I collect the value of personal freedom.

I collect a wisp of meditation from the Buddhists.

I collect tenderness, mercy and endurance from my sisters.

I collect devotion to country from communist China.

I realize the danger of eating too much pork from my Muslim brethren.

I collect the value of play from the children encircling me.

I collect my thoughts by rejecting my prejudices.

I collect the true history of my life by quieting the ideas I wish to promote.

I collect fruits and vegetables at a good price at Aldi.

I collect the power of the Golden Rule from my friend, Jesus.

I collect a searching, inquiring and probing mind from my atheist friends.

I collect a respect of science from God.

And I collect a respect for God from science.

I collect things that other people think are meaningless so I can have a personal treasure in my heart.

I collect a respect for things old, current and even those things which sniff of the future.

I stand in awe of Earth as I collect my trash and throw it in the garbage instead of allowing it to go “blowin’ in the wind.”

I collect my anger and force it into a small box, where it doesn’t think it is bigger than it actually is.

I collect those little boxes of anger and open them up in my private times to address the concerns.

I collect passion for my dreams.

And I collect dreams to welcome passion.

I am a collector.

Not much of what I collect has a dollar value.

Yet all of what I collect is valuable.

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Bust

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bust: there are many definitions, but everybody always thinks about breasts.

“Mixed company.”

It was a phrase I heard when I was a kid–always in reference to what you were able to talk about.

In other words, if the room were filled with men, certain subjects were available. Yet if one single woman appeared, the topic–especially the approach–had to be changed.

I completely understand this.

People have certainly learned it’s not good to do jokes about Mohammed in front of the Muslims. They don’t have a sense of humor on the subject.

Even though you may want to come off as relaxed when visiting your friend in the hospital, referring to cancer as the “Big C” is probably not the best selection.

And many men and women are quite uncomfortable discussing female breasts.

This is confirmed by how carefully we avoid using the word “boobs.” Yet even women call them boobs. Most ladies don’t particularly favor tits, but there are so many names for them that it would be impossible for me to go into the full extent of the vocabulary in this brief essay.

So even though the word “bust” is a generally acceptable term for, as we say, mixed company, it is not very good for romantic encounters. In the heat and passion of seduction, stopping to say “bust” might even tamp down the moment.

Now, I don’t know exactly what you can garner from my little observations, except to know that since America seemingly is in the midst of an emotional migraine–where people are pained by everything–it might be better just to avoid using any term whatsoever … and point.

 

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Busk

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Busk: (v) to play music or perform for voluntary donations in the street or in subways.

What is sacred?

Or for that matter, is there anything sacred?

Is Earth so earthy that everything is earthen?

Is there anything of heavenly quality on a miniscule planet orbiting in the midst of an immense Universe?

We certainly think there are sacred things–and it’s not limited to those who have a religious swing to their club.

No, everyone, in their own way, will make it clear to you what they perceive to be so important that it must never, ever be ignored, criticized or portrayed in an unseemly way.

The Muslims insist Mohammed is sacred. No pictures. No criticisms. No embellishment in any way, shape or form.

Some Christians are still that way about Jesus, but the Nazarene has certainly been allowed to tiptoe through darker halls of speculation.

Some people think money is sacred. Just ask them for some. They will explain in vivid detail how separation from finance is the true definition of being cast into outer darkness.They will walk by a musician busking on the thoroughfare and deem the musical effort to be glorified begging instead of allowing some humanity to dribble from them as they realize that this individual who loves music is merely trying to find a way to subsist while doing it.

The list goes on and on.

Motherhood.

Some people consider their sexuality to be sacred.

On Sundays in the autumn months, football is a sacred rite of passage in the United States. If you don’t believe so, factor this in–it comes complete with wings and fantasy leagues.

When I sat down to write this essay, I asked myself, what do I think is sacred?

I know the answer. But I’m afraid to speak it out loud for fear that people will accuse me of “busking” a foolish idea. Or worse, that I will be expected to revere my own assertion.

Yet I believe the only thing that’s sacred is the way I treat the next person I meet.

 

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Bedouin

Bedouin: (n) a nomadic Arab of the desert.Dictionary B

What is the difference between an Arab and a Jew?

It’s a question you are not allowed to ask in our day and age of politically correct diplomacy.

Even though there are many people in Israel who are white with blue eyes and blond hair, it is not the natural personification of a Jew.

The land was once a kingdom of Bedouins.

If you read the history of the Jewish race and that of the Muslims, you of course immediately find that they have a common father and a total disagreement over the issue of which son of Abraham should have predominance.

It is amazing to me that this rift between the Jews and the Muslims is viewed as a spiritual conflict, since there are so many sexual overtones to the story.

Abraham had Ishmael by Hagar.

Then he had Isaac by his wife, Sarah.

So immediately, the process is tainted by the introduction of the byproduct of genitals.

On top of that, it was decided that the Jews would become different from the Arabs by trimming off the tip of the penis, thus creating the circumcised and the uncircumcised.

So once again, we have a return to focus on the male sexual organ in determining Heavenly approval.

And then it is further complicated by who married who, who screwed who and whether they should have done that indiscretion in the first place.

So I guess the theory of Middle East politics and theology is that it doesn’t matter what you put in front of the grinder as long as your particular favored sausage comes out at the end.

 

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Aryan

Aryan: (adj) a member of ancient Aryan people who speak an Indo-European language and who invaded northern India in the 2nd millennium BC.dictionary with letter A

If you will allow me, may I introduce you to the Practix Scale? It is my own concoction, device and perhaps to some, over-simplification.

It is a meter I use to evaluate the quality, value, intelligence and spirituality of human beings.

Although some people insist the white race is supreme and others plug into “black power,” there are also those who favor Native Americans, Asians and Hispanics.

Quietly, we are taking culture and using it as a club–to thud our neighbors with our own importance.

I’m not so sure we learned very much from Adolph Hitler, who was completely enthralled with the Aryan race and decided to declare war on any other genetic order.

In today’s society, we have exchanged the words “superior race” with “culture appreciation.” After all, why would I want to learn your language or blend with you in a melting pot if I can maintain the beauty of my obviously enlightened ancestry?

So the Practix Scale is a historical look at what nations, peoples, races and even religions have done throughout the unfolding of time to promote or avoid killing, stealing or destroying.

I give them a number between 1 and 100 as the percentage of time that they have decided to devastate instead of build.

I humbly offer my concepts, realizing that yours are probably much better, or at least more merciful:

  • Rome: 75 (Yes, 75% of the time, the Roman Empire killed, stole and destroyed instead of enhanced.)
  • Greeks: 42
  • Jews: 71
  • Muslims: 77
  • England: 53
  • Germany: 70
  • France: 48
  • The United States: 62

Well, I could go on and on.

But as you can see, pandering to pander to certain cultures to make them feel important is not nearly as valuable as Mother Nature determining the death toll.

Even though I come from a Germanic background and would have easily fallen into the category of Aryan, quite frankly, I don’t give a damn.

Because the color of my skin, the cut of my jib and the shape of my chromosome makes little difference to someone when I’m killing 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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Allah

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allah: (n) the name of God among Muslims (and Arab Christians)

I got a Kentucky woman pissed off at me–and unlike Neil Diamond’s representation of Kentucky women, they actually can be quite vindictive.

I had the audacity, as a writer trying to be clever, to jokingly refer to God, in one of my books, as Larry. The tongue-in-cheek observation I was trying to make was that I really don’t care what name we use for our Divine Creator–as long as the results are productive in the human experience.

She was greatly offended by this notion, and decided to spread evil rumors about me. Of course, it didn’t last too long–and she’s living in Kentucky while I’m still traveling the country (with Larry).

But the truth of the matter is, I am not concerned with the nametags we place upon the breast of the Holy One as much as the character we end up attributing to His or Her nature.

It is my discovery that the Muslims call the Creator of us all “Allah.” I must be candid–the word leaves a bit of distaste in my soul because of how their Allah seems to view humanity and how He plans on making us righteous.

I have just never found that good is gained through restriction, meanness and commandments. It is unsuccessful in a species that struggles with temptation and inadequacy. Perhaps, as some of my dear Muslim friends may insist, this representation of Allah from the Koran is not true by those who stomp, scream and terrorize.

I understand.

But it does fall their lot to disprove the shouting voices of the angry horde if they’re actually going to continue to present Allah as a viable choice for us folks.

I think if you’re going to call someone or something “God,” it should have three definite attributes:

  1. Be a Creator, not a critic.
  2. Still be happy that it created, and not miserable with the decision.
  3. Have more mercy than judgment.

Because candidly, my dear friends, if God, Allah or whoever it may be doesn’t cut us some slack from His perfected perch, who would have a chance?

So until those who believe in Allah can convince me that their representation of God is still thrilled with human beings instead of angry with them, I guess I will stick with the three-letter version: G-O-D.