Circulate

Circulate: (v) to pass or cause to pass from place to place or person to person.

I have recently been accused of being anti-social.

The diagnosis was offered because I failed to attend a party. It was assumed that anyone who didn’t want to come to this social adventure
had to be out of his or her mind.

I was supposed to come and circulate among people whom I have known for years, and read about ever-too-frequently on my Facebook page. As a matter of fact, I know so much about these folks that I could probably write personal bios for them.

But they were convinced that I had sunk into some sort of despair because I wasn’t going to come and hear the same old stories while partaking of a dip with only subtle new inclusions.

I do need to circulate–but I need to do it among people who are not necessarily related to me or benefit from me personally or financially.

A great man once said that if you only love those who love you, what in the hell is so special about that?

For instance, I just came back from the grocery store. I encountered at least twenty-five people I have never met before.

I circulated.

I conversed.

I opened up my heart to the possibility that these were good folks and I would benefit from the exchanges. I suspect about half of them thought I was crazy for being so talkative. But the other half took a risk, jumped in and, well…circulated.

We do not circulate when we only hang around those who resemble us or are friends because we buy presents for them on birthdays or Christmas.

We circulate when we allow the blood of human relationship to mingle among castes, races, genders and ideologies.

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Chablis

Chablis: (adj) a dry white wine from Chablis, France.

Warning to all innocents and those easily influenced by the ramblings of raging writers. I am about to spew from my storage bins of persona
l prejudice, based upon my own experience. It is not racial, ethnic or gender-based.

It is an abiding distaste for wine. Or really, any alcoholic beverages.

When I was a young boy, I had bronchitis all the time–something my parents referred to as “the croup.” It produced this horrible hacking cough that sounded like I had run out of mucous and was banging the back of my throat with a ball-peen hammer.

The only medication the doctor recommended for my condition was Pertussin Cough Syrup.

It tasted terrible. It gagged me. Every time my mother threatened me with a spoon, bottle in hand, I tried to wrestle it from her, spilling the contents, in hopes that the family funds were too depleted to purchase another bottle.

So you can imagine how surprised I was when I went to a party with friends, and they asked, “Would you like a glass of wine?” I had seen people drinking wine in movies, and they seemed pleased with the taste, so I agreed.

Just imagine how shocked my friends were when I started to gag on the wine, insisting it was my old nemesis cough syrup.

They comforted me, saying that some people found red wine to be a bit strong, but that I would certainly like a white wine–a Chablis.

I didn’t.

Finally, at one party, somebody gave me orange juice with a little bit of wine and said, “Try this! It’s a spritzer!”

It was somewhat better–but still tasted like someone had left the orange juice in the sun for three days and was trying to pass it off as freshly squeezed.

Let us just say, I am not a drinker of wine, nor any kind of alcohol. I feel no self-righteousness about it; I don’t even think it makes me unique.

I just feel, if you’re going to taste something that rancid and foul, you better damn well be sick.

 

 

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Census

Census: (n) an official count or survey of a population

Every census is shortly thereafter followed by a tax. This began with Caesar Augustus in the Christmas story and continues today.

We want to find out how many people there are so we have some idea on how we should divide up the horrific amount of expense that’s involved in the process of us being people.

It’s a fussy way of reminding small towns that they’re shrinking and becoming less important.

The government can also determine where to send its money, and where the census tells them there aren’t as many voters, so no need to be nice.

It begins at an early age, when you plan a party at your house. The following Monday morning, after the party, the normal question is, how many people showed up?

Did you do a head count? Was the party successful because people had nothing else to do so they came to it?

No one asks if the chip dip turned out tasty. What flavors of pizza did you select? Was the discussion lively?

No. It all has to do with numbers.

We are a society obsessed with proving the value of our concept by collecting statistics on how many people are aware that we had a concept in the first place. We fear obscurity.

Yet no one enters the tomb with a companion–no census in the grave.

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Brussels Sprout

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brussels sprout: (n) a vegetable consisting of the small compact bud of a variety of cabbage.

I was thinking about tough jobs:

Being the promotion agent for O. J. Simpson.

How about this?

Social media guru for the Facebook page of Adolph Hitler.

Or …

The marketing representative for Brussels sprouts.

This is a vegetable that has a public relations problem at nearly every turn. (Or turnip, for that matter…)Dictionary B

It is often described as a very small cabbage–not that cabbage has a great following itself. So being deemed a smaller rendition of an “also-planted” vegetable is not a “heady” proposition.

Brussels sprouts are fussy about being cooked. Some people like to keep them crisp and others, well-done. For those who like them kind of soggy, crisp is inedible. Likewise, the crispers choke on the “softies.”

Brussels sprouts also suffer under the dubious honor of being healthy. It would be a wonderful world if people were actually concerned about their health. Most people become interested in their well-being just about the time they grab their chest with a heart attack.

So it becomes an issue of taste. It’s gotta taste good. To accomplish that, we cover them in butter. Butter can make almost anything taste good, including snails.

But the problem is, when you put butter on Brussels sprouts, it’s like sending a choir boy to a maximum security prison to hang out. That which was good will certainly be tainted. The butter turns the Brussels sprouts into liquid death.

Do I like Brussels sprouts? Yes.

Would I serve them at a party? No.

Why?

Because deep in my soul, I really like people.

 

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Brought

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brought: past participle of bring

It is brief.

A breath in time.Dictionary B

A question suspended in the air, seeking an interesting reply.

It often happens at a pot-luck dinner.

If you find yourself walking in with a covered dish, someone may ask, “What have you brought?”

At that point it is up to you, in as few words as possible, to explain your offering and make it so alluring that someone wants to dash off to grab a spoon and partake.

Much time can be spent preparing food, but it is more important to come up with a promotion for your entree which will cause the world to salivate.

I see people walking by me every day.

I sense the need inside them.

I can sometimes even feel the pulsing greed.

  • They want.
  • They yearn.
  • They expect.

But since we are not surrounded by a planet of waiters who are constantly inquiring, “What can I get for you?” we must realize that the common question from those we meet will be, “What have you brought?”

What is under your cover-up?

What have you decided to put together to enhance this party?

Often it is not the quality of our preparation but instead, the joy we bring in unveiling it.

What have you brought?

What delicacy can you present to the human tribe?

Have you decided how to feed the hunger in the hearts of human beings–or do you come weak, requiring sustenance yourself?

What have you brought?

The answer will often determine whether you’re accepted or rejected.

 

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Bier

Bier: (n) a movable frame for a casket

Dictionary B

If you want to creep people out, just start talking about death.

Matter of fact, in the pursuit of bizarre conclusions, I have even brought the subject up at a party, and watched the room go from appalled to reflective, culminating in depression.

There are three things that are true about death:

1. It is the only thing that is certain, that we are certainly unwilling to admit is inevitable.

2. Everybody talks about an afterlife, but no one is really in a hurry to get there.

3. All humans are scared shitless of it–even though sometimes we pretend we’re not.

Sooner or later, we get there.

  • If it’s sooner, we call it a tragedy.
  • If it’s later, we usually say something like, “Well, it was his time…”

Therefore, it’s best that we take a moment and consider the quality of our lives–because each of us will someday end up hauled away on a bier to a place where we will not return, to go where we are not acquainted.

So I guess the best way to end this little essay is to conclude that while we are waiting, enjoy each other … and have a beer.

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Anomymous

dictionary with letter A

Anonymous: (adj) a person not identified by name; unknown name.

Sometimes I stumble across an adage or poem that is particularly clever, insightful or even artistic, and at the bottom is the word “anonymous.”

Obviously, it’s not.

  • Somebody wrote it.
  • Somebody thought it.
  • Somebody did it.

Yet over the years, a strange transition has occurred.

Here’s my opinion on that process: some person without an agent or an ego came up with an idea which he or she shared freely among friends.

One of those people realizes how obscure their companion is and feels compelled, on a journey to a far-away city, to share the inspiration. They are surprised at how responsive everyone is to the piece, and initially give credit to the friend who spoke it.

But then they think to themselves that since this buddy is never going to actually be in this far-away city, what would be the harm in taking bows for the composition?

Likewise, someone else in the room, who travels even further, decides to repeat the same process, stealing the thunder from the thief.

After a while, at a huge party somewhere far away, three or four people hear these words, and attribute it to several different individuals, generating an atmosphere of confusion.

Since no one is certain any longer who actually came up with the idea, it is determined to call it a draw and attribute it to Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous.

It also occurs in our everyday life in America. We have a nation of laws, regulations and general compliance within the citizenry, and believe that this temperate climate is achieved by human effort, never giving any credit to the spiritual training and the moral grounding that has been infused over generations.

We choose instead to attribute to religion or politics, and everything good is a by-product of our thinking or the latest craze.

In case you didn’t know, loving your neighbor as yourself is not anonymous.

If you weren’t aware, telling the truth did not spring from nothing.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to trace back great notions to their source, and therefore sit at the feet of wisdom instead of crinkling your brow … and pretending that the power that makes life work springs from magical four-leaf clovers.

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