Decontextualize

Decontextualize: (v) to remove from a context

Water.

What do we use it for?

  • We drink it.
  • We swim in it.
  • We clean with it.

Very simple.

This is the context for water.

So the young prophet shows up at the river and he wants to use the water to baptize people. Why?

Because it’s something we drink, we swim in it and it cleans us.

The context is clear.  Water is a symbol of life, joy and cleanliness.

What a great way to communicate a transition in our beings. Take us into the water, let us promise good things, let us believe better things. Then splash us beneath the deep and rise us up—cleansed.

Could anything be more beautiful than that?

Does it matter how the water is used?

Does the top of my head have to get wet?

How about my hip bones?

Is it less significant if my kneecaps remain dry?

Since we understand the context of water bringing life, joy and cleanliness, why must we decontextualize by insisting the style in which we enact this ritual is more important than the expression itself?

How shall we take our communion?

Should we use wine or grape juice?

How can we take the symbolism of the body and blood of Christ and trivialize it down to grocery store concerns?

Are you saved?

How do you know?

Did you confess?

Did you come to it on your own?

Did you do it in church?

Did you do it in public?

Do any of these things matter?

Is it necessary to take the context of something beautiful and change it to a complexity and make it nearly inaccessible?

How do you know when you’ve found something pure?

That’s easy.

When no one needs to explain it to you.

 

Deceitful

Deceitful: (adj) attribute of a person who engages in concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading

Top Three Reasons Given for Being Deceitful—A.K.A. The Sure, Pure, Cure Dilemma

1. “I was deceitful because I was not sure I was being deceitful, having seen other people do exactly the same thing. I was fairly certain I was on solid ground—until it was obvious I wasn’t. So I do not believe it’s right for me to be punished since I wasn’t sure, when other people have gotten by with it, most assuredly.”

2. “I was not being deceitful. I was merely looking for a cure for the situation. Everybody else was standing around or sitting on their hands, so I did what was necessary in the moment to produce a solution—a cure, if you will—and set in motion some relief from the drama and tension. How was I to know the way it would be interpreted or viewed by those around me? Does it not matter that my motivations were good?”

3. “There is no doubt—and you just try to find someone who can prove that my actions were not pure. But because circumstances came about that tainted my efforts, the purity of my mission was marred by decisions that were made in the moment, which ended up being erroneous, if not erred.”

These are the three positions that are taken by scoundrels who would like to walk away from their actions by averting your attention from what literally happened to what might have occurred if things had worked out better.

Left out of the explanation is the moment of clarity—when each and every one of us knows that what we set out to do has gone awry, and if we’re going to continue it, we’re going to have to lie and cheat to make sure that no one notices how wrong it has turned out to be.

It reminds me of the first time I made a cake in the oven.

It was going to be a special one. Why?

A. Because I usually don’t bake cakes.

B. It was a special kind of cake that needed to rise at just the right moment for it to be considered cooked correctly.

C. And it was a tribute for a very kind person who was worthy of our attention.

I didn’t tell anyone I had never made a cake before, but it quickly became obvious to me that I should not be the baker. Still, that didn’t stop me from trying.

When I didn’t have some of the ingredients, I walked into the room and warned the people that the cake might taste a little different than what they were accustomed to eating.

When the cake didn’t rise high enough, I explained to those around me that it was “my rendition” of this cake—that I thought it would look better if it were not so high and mighty.

Yet when it finally burned, I stepped out and said, “I fucked up the cake.”

I suppose I could have tried to sell them on the notion that burning a cake was a tradition offering great homage to the special guest.

I didn’t.

Somewhere along the line we have to admit that what we set out to do is no longer in play.

Otherwise, we are deceitful.

And the sooner we confess, the less we look like flaming assholes.

Crusade

Crusade: (n) any vigorous, aggressive movement for the defense or advancement of an idea or cause

During one December vacation from traveling on the road, I focused in on a seven-word slogan which I planned to use for the following year’s touring.

“No one is better than anyone else.”

I was so excited I could barely contain myself.

I couldn’t think of a better crusade to embark upon, to bring people together, point out our similarities and to hearken one and all to the commonality of humankind.

When it came time to go and do the production, to emphasize this beautiful seven-word crusade for human peace, I met resistance.

People didn’t like it as much as I thought they would.

To some, it seemed to be definitive and absent the possibility for discussion. (Yes—it is absolutely true. There are people on this Earth who feel the concept of love requires a debate.)

I was offended. I was defensive.

I found myself hoping that someone would question the beauty and integrity of “no one is better than anyone else,” so that I could argue with them—knowing, of course, that my stance was pure and holy and theirs most certainly had to be riddled with prejudice.

So rather than becoming a “repairer of the breach,” I succeeded in just making a more intelligent and merciful breach.

It upset people—to be common with others.

I was ready to do battle, like the knights of old—to climb onto my stallion and go into the Holy of Holies and establish the dominance of my particular edict.

Finally, one night I just sat down and came to two conclusions:

If you find yourself fighting, you’re not loving.

And whatever is written will eventually have to be rewritten.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Cock

Cock: (n) a male bird

How should I handle this word? You see, everything I mention will come across as a double entendre.

Even the dictionary definition is “a male bird.” Where did your brain go on that one?

Some words just don’t have permission to be uttered in public. I even giggle inwardly when I hear a storyteller speaking to young children utter the term, “Cock-a-doodle-doo.”

A pundit, becoming extremely pungent, might say, “Cock and bull story.” I’m sorry. My brain is off and away.

I am not dirty-minded. But I do have dirty laundry laying around. And because of that, certain words, phrases and ideas cannot be spoken in front of me without my brain doing a childish tap dance.

I am fully aware that being so vulnerable as to share this with you, I run the risk that some of you, when hearing the word “cock,” may actually think of a rooster. In that case, I do not know whether to congratulate you for being pure, or pity you for being absent a bit of noble naughtiness.

But as for me and my self, I shall not speak “cock” nor can I hear “cock” without becoming twelve years old again, always prepared to burst into laughter over the sound of a fart.Donate Button

 

Circuitous

Circuitous: (adj) of a route or journey which is longer than the most direct way.

Five minutes. Three hundred seconds.

It is the best time you’ll ever spend–because:

Only the people who don’t know how to parallel park think it’s hard.

Only the folks who never took the time to learn how to put together their dining room table by following the instructions insist it’s
impossible.

Only the rogue souls who are totally convinced that anything outside their own thinking is intrusion will ever benefit from the beauty of counsel.

I don’t care how sure you are.

I don’t care how pure you are.

I don’t care if you think you have the cure.

Take five minutes.

Go over your plan.

Use your three hundred seconds wisely so you don’t end up in the middle of a disaster because you forgot to bring the right parts.

Then you can avoid a circuitous route–where you spend way too much quality Earth time trying to explain why going around in circles was better.

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