Deep: (adv) vast, profound or intense.

It was a brilliant piece of stagecraft.

Of course, at the time, nobody was fully aware of what stagecraft was, so certainly unacquainted with how to employ it.

But since it was a small room with limited beauty in its structure—and very few people were in attendance—turning all the lights off and hitting the center of the tiny stage with a spotlight granted an atmosphere to imagine any place in the world one might want to be.

They called them coffeehouses.

I suppose coffee was consumed but eventually, tea became the favorite, and somebody always brought along some sort of crunch or sweet to go along with the brew.

The goal was simple: to sit and listen to artists-in-training sing their songs, speak their verse or simply expound on thoughts while the audience remained silent, receptive and looking deep.

Yes—deep was a “look.”

It was a concentrated, fixed glance, eyes partially closed, suspended between focus and sleepiness.

We wanted something deep.

We wanted to be able to talk about it.

We wanted to seem deep, talking about deep things.

We were willing to come out to buildings which might need to be condemned, to sift through the illumination produced by the art around us and think about better ways to access untouched feelings, wishes and hopes.

As long as you didn’t take this “journey into the deep” for too long, it was delightful.

As long as you kept the lights low, it was possible.

And as long as there was someone up on the stage who knew four chords and a basic rhyming scheme, it was plausible.


Concoct: (v) to create or devise

I have discovered that I don’t need to concoct as often when I’m not afraid of being honest.

When I am afraid–terrified of reality–I will concoct a scheme to explain my actions, which I certainly hope is plausible to those who hear, or at least is so uninteresting that they will choose not to challenge it.

I believe that concocting is a covenant we make with one another, promising that if you will believe my concoction, I will not question yours.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Therefore, we will leave it all to luck–to establish whether we survive fiasco, or whether the plans we’ve made will get their just desserts and play out to a dark conclusion.

This does not sound interesting to me.

I don’t like to lose, but the best way to keep from losing is to fail small, so you don’t screw up big.

And if you fail small and catch it while it still has a pacifier in its mouth, you can keep it a baby problem instead of turning it into an adolescent rage.

But it does demand that you keep your “concoct” to yourself.


Donate Button

Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

(click the elephant to see what he’s reading!)

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News



dictionary with letter A

Amputate: (v): to cut off a limb, typically by surgical operation.

I have eight toes.

I started out with ten–a full complement. But when I got an infection in the big toe on my left foot and it spread to the next toe and threatened to become equally as evangelistic to all the surrounding little piggies, it became necessary for the doctor to come in and snatch two of ’em.

I was not favorable to this.

Even though the infection was threatening to go into gangrene, I had grown fond of having ten toes and considered it to be beneath me, as an intelligent individual, to trim down to eight.

It was explained to me that I didn’t really need ten toes–a similar conversation that young mothers have with their homely daughters when trying to point out the positive aspects of being plain.

I knew I didn’t need ten toes. (Well, I didn’t know, but I assumed that my feet would still work with eight.)

It’s just that I didn’t want to be weird.

I didn’t want to be that guy who was physically debilitated or weakened, making him seem a bit pitiful instead of powerful.

It’s not that a lot of people see your toes. Matter of fact, there are only certain occasions when such a revealing is even plausible.

But I saw–and my opinion matters to me.

But when it came down to a choice between dying or losing my two toes, I chose to bid farewell and bon voyage to the fellas.

It reminds me of an idea put forth in the Good Book: “If your right hand offends you, cut it off.” For it’s better to make it to heaven without a hand than to show up someplace else with a diseased appendage.


Of course, there are spiritual applications across the board–but I think one of the signs of maturity is knowing when to give up on things that are not working and cut them away before they taint and destroy everything else.

It’s never easy. After all, we grow accustomed to the face of our circumstance.

But as I sit here today–with eight toes–writing to you, I realize that it does not make a lot of difference.

Because even with eight … you can still keep your toes in the water.


Donate Button

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