Cloak-and-Dagger

Cloak-and-dagger: (adj) characteristic of mystery

I suppose if I saw someone walking toward me wearing a cloak, I might be curious enough about their fashion choice to wonder what they were hiding beneath the bulky garment. I’m not so sure I would assume it was a dagger–more likely twenty unwanted pounds.

But maybe it’s the same thing. Since we don’t live in a time when people are stabbing one another with stilettos over grievances, a redefining of “cloak-and-dagger” for our period might be in order.

I contend that the cloak-and-dagger of our generation is the hiding the real truth of our abilities behind self-promotion. And the dagger which follows is an inadequate performance, leaving our fellow-travelers unimpressed.

Then too often violence ensues.

Because we should never have claimed to be more than who we are, we are inevitably going to fail, which will make us defensive and therefore volatile.

What would happen if we stopped lying about our abilities?

What if we decided not to chase big dreams?

What if we judged our talent on the response to our performance rather than what we think the response should be “if people weren’t stupid?”

Our society is still menaced with the “cloak-and-dagger,” because unless we praise the misguided claims of those around us, they just might turn on us and stab us with whatever is available.

So let me be the first one to take my cloak off and cast aside my dagger. I will do my best to tell you of the gifts I have, mingled with my weaknesses. If you find additional flaws, I thank you for saving me from the embarrassment of humiliating over-assessment.

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Bramble

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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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Blame

Blame: (v) to assign responsibility for a fault or wrong.

I’m always looking for a true definition of maturity.Dictionary B

Having rejected the possibility of “old, experienced, educated or powerful,” I have decided that true maturity is when human beings finally reject the futility of blaming.

Blame–the extra step we add in the process of allegedly solving problems while actually manufacturing a maze that takes us deep into the jungle of confusion.

We exhaust ourselves trying to find out why stupidity happens by generating new stupidity through the investigation.

  • Sometimes blame is obvious. Then mercy is in order.
  • On other occasions blame is shared. At that point, some candor would be nice.

But blame is often a mystery. As the great and wise Solomon said, “Time and chance happens to all.”

Yea, we all take our turn in the fast lane–and also stalled in the traffic jam.

For of a truth, maturity is when we finally realize that pursuing the source of the difficulty often hinders the solution.

And unfortunately, it also turns us into self-righteous, judgmental black holes.

 

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Belying

Belying: (v) to give a false idea of something

Dictionary B

What a cool word.

Because you could have a classical rendition of this particular term, phrased, “Beneath her explanation was a mistruth belying.

Or you could have a street rendition, “She be-lying.”

And in both cases it would be right.

But setting all that to the side, I do believe the greatest mystery of human life is finding a way to eliminate having a closet, attic or basement to store our thinking.

We should be so open and willing to be viewed by the public that we welcome a living room without curtains.

It scares the crap out of us to think about such a vulnerability–and we don’t offer this transparency to please others.

Rather, when we start tucking secrets away into private rooms of our memory, we become infested with ghosts and demons, which will not leave us alone.

And as difficult as it may be to survive trials and tribulations, it is virtually impossible to escape the belying grit and grime which accumulate in the corners of our mind.

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Below

Below: (prep) at a lower level

Dictionary B

It takes guts.

It probably shouldn’t.

Honesty, by its very definition, should be a statement of the reality that we presently know.

But since reality tends to scare us, we develop stories. We conjure excuses. And we fail to realize that our character–and ultimately, our popularity–is determined by how well we recognize when our efforts are below standard, and admit the shortage instead of denying responsibility.

How wonderful it would be if I could convince myself, and maybe therefore others around me, that the only way to be truly diminished is to insist that I never fall below the best.

  • We all do.
  • We all will.

And we all have an opportunity to be considered valuable by admitting this deficiency instead of covering it up.

It baffles me that I don’t know this. Why I pause before telling the truth of the matter is a great source of mystery to my soul.

Because when I am candid, the world rushes to my side to lift up my spirits and encourage me to do better.

When I lie, I make humanity around me turn into my enemies so they can honor the traditions of candor.

My efforts are often below the quality I am capable of achieving.

I have never improved my status … by lying about it. 

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