Chromatic

Chromatic: (adj) a musical scale including all existing pitches

I have sung for decades.

This doesn’t mean I’m a good singer–and I’m not trying to be humble. Singing is similar to chasing a butterfly–because you may be able to
see what you want to capture, but it can quickly flit away.

Sometimes your voice is not in good shape. Humidity can affect it–and stubbornly insisting you are on pitch is the best way to be out of tune.

So one of the best exercises for singing is practicing the chromatic scales up and down. Moving your voice only a half-step teaches you precision–and exposes those occasions when you might find yourself rubbing up against the correct tone but not actually owning it.

Now, if you’ve never sung, this may not mean anything to you. If you’re a singer, some of this may not mean anything to you.

But the reason I continue to sing is because it’s a¬†wonderfully humbling chamber for the human ego, because there are three obvious realizations:

1. You’re at the mercy of your voice

2. There is no excuse for bad tone or bad pitch

3. There is always someone who will sing better than you.

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Arduous

dictionary with letter A

Arduous: (adj) involving or requiring strenuous effort.

Are you ready?

I’m gonna pitch you a movie idea.

Fade in:

Man wakes up in the morning, discovers he doesn’t have a razor to shave his beard. Rather than complain to his wife or go out into the world unshorn, he gingerly reaches into the shower, removing his wife’s Lady Bic, peering around the room cautiously to make sure he’s not observed.

He slathers his face with shaving cream and carefully runs the precious object across his face, freeing himself of jungle fuzz. He rinses the borrowed object with great intensity, placing it back into the shower, smiling into the mirror as he splashes his face with his favorite cologne, turning and heading out the door with a smile.

What do you think? Are you ready to invest?

Of course not.

No one would make this movie, because it is a tale of a human being finding a way to work things out without becoming exasperated, frenzied or completely debilitated by circumstance.

Somewhere along the line we’ve convinced ourselves that if our lives are not filled with arduous tasks, then we’re really not grown-up and we haven’t proven our mettle. With that desire to appear mature, we’ve taken things that should be simple and made them as painful as possible, whether politics, business, family life or religion. The more hot coals we can walk over, the more we are convinced of achievement.

If there is a line being formed by those who are looking for less arduous ways to approach life, I would like to get into it.

I’m never proud of myself when I become exasperated. I don’t feel manly swearing at traffic or frustrated because my hammer decided to hit my thumb instead of the nail. Cursing doesn’t strike me as a sign of strength, but rather, evidence of the little child that failed to die sometime after puberty.

There may be arduous tasks. Most of them are not what we perceive them to be.

The greatest gift you can give to yourself, or anyone else, is having a mechanism in your soul which sucks up problems that seem insurmountable … and spits out simplicity.

 

 

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

Aaron

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

1. Aaron: (in the Bible) brother of Moses and the traditional founder of the Jewish priesthood

2. Aaron: Hank (1934- ) U.S. baseball player, full name Henry Louis Aaron. He set the all-time career record for home runs (755) and runs batted in (2,297). Baseball Hall of Fame (1982)

What do these two guys have in common?

People don’t have to have things in common. It’s kind of fun if they do, though.

My understanding is that Aaron from the Bible had a really long beard. Hank Aaron didn’t. A beard might get in the way of hitting home runs.

Speaking of that, maybe there’s a tie-in. Hank hit home runs and Aaron from the Bible was always dealing with people who wanted to run home to Egypt. Matter of fact, Aaron was so weak that he built a Golden Calf for people to worship. That’s when his brother, Moses, came down, took the Ten Commandments and tried to knock the Golden Calf out of the park.

You see? Another connection to baseball.

Must have been tough to be Aaron–the Bible one. Because his brother stuttered or had some sort of speech impediment, he was selected to do all the talking in front of the Pharoah. That had to be tough. Moses whispered in his ear and told him a plague of frogs was going to be sent to the Egyptian people, but HE was stuck with saying it out loud. Tough room, huh?

Hank Aaron had the most home runs for a career. That’s pretty impressive. That’s no flash in the pan. That’s not like hitting seventy in one year. That’s like doing it year after year. So maybe the similarity between these two guys is how different they were.

Bible Aaron did fine when things were great and the pitches thrown his way came right across the plate. Hank, on the other hand, hit ’em out of the stadium regularly, no matter who was pitching.

I guess what we can learn from this is … absolutely nothing, which is often the end result of object lessons. A teacher will work very hard to make a point, which totally escapes the grasp of the student. The teacher becomes more emphatic and the student pretends to understand–to escape getting in trouble.

Peaceful co-confusion.