Clap: (v) to applaud

I have spent much of my human journey with two little toes in heaven and the rest of my footage on Earth.

Those two little toes did not go to market. They went to church.

It’s where I sang my first song.

It’s where I met my first girlfriend.

And it’s still one of my favorite spots for spontaneous dozing.

One of the things I discovered about the experience of “church attendance ” is that there is a wide range of opinions on many subjects.

Clapping would be one.

Some churches believe it’s sacrilegious to express appreciation, worship or excitement by striking palms. They find it Biblically and spiritually unsound.

Other churches clap so much that you can’t hear anything else going on. They clap for everything. It’s kind of a “clapping without ceasing.”

As a person who shares his talent in a church, I have to admit to myself that I am also a performer and an artist. (Although I think the word “artist” is overused–even by me.)

As a performer, I do have an ego. Ego is not a bad thing–it’s that little “Nancy-cheerleader” who keeps us from jumping off a cliff just because we had a bad day. (“It might get better tomorrow. Yea, team!”)

When you perform a song, come to the end, and receive silence, it is not golden.

It’s rather moldy.



I’m told I’m supposed to sing to the glory of God. But it was God who said, “Clap your hands, all ye people.”

If you’re afraid I’ll get the big-head if you applaud my efforts, then you should pray for me. Don’t snub me.

Until we understand that the Universe pushes energy one direction and there is supposed to be a push coming back from the other way, or else something is afoul, we may just continue to believe that God is so insecure that He is frustrated with anyone else receiving adequate appreciation for his efforts.

Since I wouldn’t even have lunch with someone who’s cantankerous, I choose to believe that when I perform, God applauds, the angels screech…and the congregation should follow suit.

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Bravo: (exclam) used to express approval when a performer has done something well


“Bravo” is more than a television channel of gay men going to art museums while discussing the perfect French croissant.

“Bravo” is a statement.Dictionary B

It has been meticulously segregated off from “nice job, you killed it, you the man and give me five.”

Rather, it is a highbrow declaration still unsullied by common culture, expressing devoted admiration.

It is unlikely that you will hear “bravo” spoken anywhere except among those who don tuxedos, over-practice their musical instruments and insist that their art is great because so few people appreciate it.

  • I have never heard “bravo” spoken at a football game–nor any sport, for that matter.
  • It is not commonly used at a hip-hop concert.
  • And though appropriate, an encouraging wife does not utter the word to bolster the confidence of her ever-learning lover.

No–it is reserved for uptown situations, where a certain quality deems it necessary for us to pretentiously speak our “attaboy” in a different language.

So what, in my environment, is worthy of “bravo?”

I don’t have to look very far.

Bravo for that sunrise.

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Box: (n) a container with a flat base and sides, typically square or rectangular

There are several phrases I do not like.Dictionary B

Actually I despise them so much that I scold myself when I use them.

  • “You’re stupid.”
  • “I hate you.”
  • “You don’t get it.”
  • “You’re a foolish asshole.”

Well, I could go on.

But one of my least favorite–a thought that makes my skin crawl–is when people turn to me and say, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.”

I know they’re really not interested.

I know they’ve sized me up and they’re trying to figure out what box they want to put me in.

They want things simple.So they have a system of storing people away so that their decisions are neat, tidy and final. If you don’t fit into one of their boxes they will decide that you’re a misfit or a rebellious anarchist.

They’re listening for buzz words.

About ten years ago, someone asked me about my occupation. I explained that I was a writer but also a performer. So they said, “Are you a teacher? A storyteller? A philosopher? Or an entertainer?”

Then they smiled, waiting for me to climb into their box.

My response was, “Well, really all of those and more.”

This was displeasing to them. They shook their head and walked away.

Mankind is ready to build a box for you.

They will encourage you, praise you, instruct you, guide you and applaud you until you get inside one of their pre-prepared cartons.

And once you do … you will never be heard of again.

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Artifact: (n) an object made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest.dictionary with letter A

Can it be an artifact if nobody’s interested in it?

As a writer, performer and general journeyman in the human stream of consciousness, I often become so self-absorbed with the value of my work and message that I fail to recognize whether it has any intrinsic worth.

I had a dream last night where I was confronted by my own inadequacy. I realize that some people would think that was a nightmare, but it was so enriching to my soul that I nearly wept.

The message in this night vision was simple: “You’re not as good as you think you are.”

Even though this revelation might make some people disconsolate or tear at the very fiber of their being, I found it relieving.

I’ve always had a deep sense of purpose in what I do, thinking that every drop of sweat that careens from my talent and drips to the earth needs to be infused with inspiration.

What a crock.

I am mortal–and therefore destined to die, but granted, in the meantime, an opportunity to leave behind some artifacts of my feelings, beliefs and attitudes. I know these will need to be sifted by future travelers, who will evaluate my work based on the current trends.

In other words, some things are going to last because they should and some things are going to pass away because likewise, they’re meant for the trash.

I am not discouraged by this.

I want my life to be an artifact. If people decide to reject my craft, I still want them to say, “But you know, he was a pretty cool, content guy.”

For when all the artifacts are collected, human beings still want to put a face on blessing.

I just want to make sure my face is sparkling with a countenance of joy.


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dictionary with letter A

Aria: (n) a long, unaccompanied solo for voice, typically in an opera or oratorio.

If human beings were not so pretentious, we would almost be fun. At least it would be closer.

Over the years, I have sung a song or two. Actually I’ve done much more than that–I’ve recorded, written songs and performed on stages all over the United States.

And after the show, folks will come up to talk to me, wanting to make some sort of personal connection.

Some people are just genuine and pour out their hearts with the present words that are floating around inside their minds. They are delightful.

Others feel the need to prove their intelligence and acumen by making a more specific statement, which is usually geared more to promoting their own resume than encouraging my soul. Two categories for these:

  1. “You sound like…”
  2. And “I can tell by your voice that you’ve been professionally trained…”

Concerning the latter, it is an amazing fact that although most people don’t like opera or favor operatic singing, they still use that particular style as a measuring stick for vocal quality. (It is similar to hating Chevys but making your Ford feel bad by constantly talking about the other product.)

I don’t know why we think that opera singers are better at their craft than some guy with a guitar in a coffee shop, intoning his anthem–but we do.

It really isn’t an appreciation for the aria or the performer, but rather, letting everyone in the room know that we are aware of this medium and to a certain degree, can even pronounce the unusual names associated with it.

This is why I got tickled when Pavarotti got a cold and couldn’t sing.

It was so human.

And then, another time, he had voice strain and had to cancel his promised aria.

When you remove all the fictitious ideas from the human race, you end up with a much smaller pile of knowledge.

But it actually all ends up being true.


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