Dali, Salavador

Dali, Salvador: A twentieth-century Spanish surrealist painter

I’m always baffled by the word “surrealist.”

Probably if I shared my life and journey with you, you might find it surreal. So surrealism is a judgement rather than an actual thing.

Salvador Dali painted landscapes which were infused with melting clocks. For his efforts, we categorize him as surreal.

But perhaps his message was that time does not fly, time does not slip away, but instead, time, by its very nature, melts down into an image of the effort we have expended.

Much of my life has been the slow elimination of days, months and years.

But I don’t remember the clock.

I don’t recall the tick or the tock.

Instead, my time is marked by events, creations and even the children of my pursuits.

Time melts down into whatever we want it to be.

This is not surreal.

It is surreal to think that we can do nothing, ignore our gifts, sit back, wait—and that our time will still be meaningful.

I’m not saying that Dali was looking that deeply into it. Maybe there was just a sale on blue, green and yellow paint at the local store.

But I will tell you–whether it was a message from his heart or an accidental revelation, there is a beautiful warning to one and all:

Make sure your human clock melts in a meaningful way.

 

Cunning and Cunt

Cunning: (adj) skill employed in a shrewd or sly manner, as in deceiving; craftiness; guile

Cunt: (n) the female vagina

If you didn’t know for a fact that the dictionary was put together by Noah Webster, not Nora Webster, you can certainly figure it out by some of the subtle definitions that sneak in to establish manly superiority.

Right after we have the pleasure of defining “cunnilingus,” we are reminded that “cunning” is associated with the female of our species. I suppose we might call a military general or a male spy “cunning,” but normally, we attribute that crafty, nearly sinister plotting, to women.

And if that’s not enough, the dictionary then incudes the insulting, debasing and ignorant use of the word “cunt.”

There is little in our society that we are as openly hypocritical about than alleged equality between the sexes.

Even those who insist that women should receive equal pay for equal work are not certain that women can deliver the promise.

Complicating the matter is that women often fall back on cunning. So bad boys call them cunts.

Sooner or later, the genders will have to admit that the games that are played in attempting to gain control steal the possibility of an honest appraisal and appreciation for one another.

So rather than offering this criticism, let me instead make a suggestion to men:

Search out the chauvinism in your life instead of pretending it’s not there.

And when it rises to the top because it thinks it’s cream, call it out yourself. Astound the room with the revelation that you are prepared to change—even if you have to monitor your own conscience.

Likewise, if you are a female, you may want to be on guard about the scheming and deceiving that you privately laugh about with your friends, which makes it nearly impossible to take your cosmetic approach to life at face value.

I am so determined to avoid gender bashing that I am prepared to look and listen when people tell me that I’ve crossed a line.

Likewise I call up my sisters to cease ducking into the shadows when it seems more advantageous to appear weak.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Bullshit

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bullshit: (n) stupid or untrue talk

Not everything is bullshit.

Matter of fact, one great step toward maturity is realizing that many of the things we believe today will change in the future, and maybe even disappear.

After all, ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but rather, the refusal to accept it.

All of us are ignorant in the sense that there are things we don’t know, but we will not be deemed ignorant in the future if we’re willing to step away from piles of bullshit and find the truth that has been proven.

Whether it’s our politics, our education, our profession or our faith, each one should be able to endure the evolution of new data, which further clarifies life on Planet Earth.

If your beliefs or your convictions need to ridicule an educated revelation, you are no longer a follower of truth, but a shoveler of bullshit.

Each one of us needs to acknowledge this, or we become either dangerous or obnoxious, or an annoying blending of the pair.

Many good folk in 1491, who were well-schooled and religious, were convinced that the world was flat. Several years later, when it was proven to be round, the truly intelligent rolled with the punches and realized that science was not destroyed by the revelation, nor was God shrunk.

The ones who continued to contend that the Earth was shaped like a cracker had to promote their bullshit ad nauseam.

How can you tell if you’ve become a bullshitter?

There is a tiny little bell that rings in the human soul when we hear something that resounds with the truth.

Stop muffling the bell.

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Boor

Boor: (n) an unrefined, ill-mannered person.

Personal revelations are risky.Dictionary B

You may think you’re being transparent or even clever–but others might find you to be a boor.

In other words, distasteful.

But at the root of all comedy–which is really the best doorway to mutual human understanding–is a certain amount of surprising revelation.

Yet there is a reason we disdain bathroom humor, even though we all take a crap.

So what can we share without people squinting and expressing their disapproval over our candor?

Tricky business, huh?

For instance, I could tell you that I enjoy farting. It is very true. But there is a certain amount of my readership that would assert that such a confession is classless. They would feel superior to me. Even if I explained that I try to do most of my farting under the covers, and not welcome others to visit, or that the relief it gives to my tummy has an almost supernatural-salvation sensation, I would still be in danger of being cast into the role of the boor, who must be segregated from the decent folk.

So to keep from being an outcast, I would never, ever admit to you that I relish farting.

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Behead

Behead: (v) to cut off the head of someone, typically as a form of execution.

Dictionary B

There are certain behaviors that foretell of tragedy.

In the moment the perpetrators may seem dominant, but they are doomed to be overthrown by the common sense and grace of history.

They are characterized by certain attitudes which lend themselves to the arrogance of superiority, leaving the executioners vulnerable to plot and mayhem.

One of the obvious candidates for this path of disaster is a culture which beheads human beings.

Although beheading is the final stage in a lunacy which is borne out through those who are moon-struck by stupidity, any culture will behead its enemies once it accepts three ridiculous premises:

  1. We are superior.
  2. God is on our side.
  3. It is our mission to rule the world.

If any group of people adheres to these three nasty tenets, they will grab the sword and freely eviscerate innocent people.

So instead of looking at the atrocity of beheadings, we should look at what causes all of us mortals to lose our heads.

Without this revelation … we are one excited idea from becoming murderers.

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Baffle

Baffle: (v) to totally bewilder or perplex.Dictionary B

I like to pretend that certain things baffle me because I believe it grants me permission to avoid learning something–but actually, I am baffled by very little if I am willing to sit down, listen and comprehend.

This leaves only one true situation which baffles me: lying.

I understand that people do it. I have even found myself climbing into the slimy pit of its confines. But upon deeper consideration, I realize that it never works.

Whether you’re caught now, later or never caught in that particular lie, but because you got by with it, you pursue a second or third adventure in which you are caught, it is a pursuit that always ends in failure.

Every day of my life, I remind myself that avoiding the truth is not eliminating it. It merely postpones the revelation, the admission or the punishment of the deed until a later time when the intensity will be greater because I put off the original sentencing.

Because above all else, primary in every human beings thoughts is, “I don’t want you in my business.”

So we foolishly choose lying, thinking it will prevent people from probing our stuff, when actually, it grants them a license later–a search warrant to go through everything.

Because once we are recognized as being a liar, it is assumed that we will never tell the truth again. Even if we repent and take on the purity of the flower, we will always stink like the weed.

So why do we continue to lie? Because we arrogantly have decided that we’re smarter than those around us.

But every smart aleck is eventually revealed to actually be a dumb-ass.

 

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Antiquity

dictionary with letter AAntiquity: (n) the ancient past, especially the period before the Middle Ages.

Every once in a while, a startling revelation will cross my mind, giving me a sensation similar to standing on the deck of the Santa Maria, spying the New World. Of course, as in the case of Christopher Columbus, nor is it to me.

Truth has been around for a long time and it always has three important ingredients:

  1. It actually works.
  2. It doesn’t hurt anyone else.
  3. It’s not ashamed of the failed experiments leading to greater revelation.

Often when I find myself in a circle of believers who are discussing the Good Book and stories of biblical proportions, my brain freezes, as I wonder why they think these individuals had any greater spirituality than we do.

Actually, if I found myself translated back to antiquity, I’d be walking around as a god with my level of knowledge, in comparison to the fear, superstition and incomplete hypotheses of their time.

If we really believe that spiritual evolution stopped on the Isle of Patmos with John the Apostle, or on the mountain with Mohammed, then we are negating hundreds and hundreds of years of scientific miracles and human growth.

I think the Good Book is exactly that–it’s a good book.

As a good book, it has plot twists, character development, elimination of villains, and the exposure of bizarre ideas, as the story line is pushed along towards what we hope will be a happy ending.

Even though our children have a difficult time imagining Alexander the Great or Cleopatra, when we parallel these individuals with updated versions of our own time–like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian–it’s much easier to see where we’ve come from and possibly where we need to go.

I am not of the belief that any good thing should be thrown away. Generally speaking, I don’t walk out of a movie once I’ve paid my premium price, even if the flick is not to my liking. I try to find something usable.

There is much we can learn from antiquity:

We can learn that superstition cannot shout down science.

We can learn that we are learning, and therefore should never be content in our own level of comprehension.

And we can learn that those who made the history books were once just clumsy, insecure flesh-and-blood creatures … who spent way too much time wondering if they were sexy.

 

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Analogy

dictionary with letter A

Analogy: (n) a comparison between things, typically for the purpose of clarification.

It’s like this.

Even though there are probably a small handful of human beings who welcome complexity and over-explanation to allow them a sense of importance and extraordinary intellectual acumen, most of us mortals welcome a simplification of ideas which somehow or another ties in with what we already understand.

It’s why I know that people are completely out of whack in religion when they begin to adhere to bizarre practices or memorize huge chunks of holy script.

This is probably why I call myself Jesonian–a follower of Jesus.

Much to the chagrin of the hierarchy of his day, he took very deep concepts and broke them down into everyday life experiences–analogies.

He called them parables.

It isn’t that we are admitting stupidity or denseness by wishing for this, but rather, looking for needful shortcuts.

And there are so many difficult concepts, relationships and beliefs for us to navigate that explaining them with different vessels makes the journey on the sea of life much less turmoiled.

Yes, I look for analogies in everything. Do I occasionally miss out on a deeper point that would enhance the comprehension? Sure.

But even if I sat around and tried to figure out the deeper point, I am just not convinced that the further revelation would bring me any great benefit.

 

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Amalgamation

dictionary with letter A

Amalgamation: (n.) a mixture or blend: e.g. a curious amalgamation of the traditional and the modern.

I love that word.

Matter of fact, I will go so far as to say that our society is an amalgamation of many amalgamations–some good and some bad.

I think the best amalgamations are when an obvious need is blended with a willing spirit, culminating in a needful revelation.

Let me give you an example:

People in our country are too cynical. One of the ways we’re cynical is that we think everyone has the right to disagree with the fact that the country is too cynical.

It’s not a vote.

Cynicism is obvious because we prefer to stagnate in unworkable ideas instead of pursuing risky options that might require greater commitment. So if we admit that we’re cynical, we can concur that we need a willing spirit to consider other options, rather than sitting over coffee talking about how miserable everybody is.

Minus that willing spirit, cynicism is no longer an emotion. It becomes a philosophy.

But if you have a willing spirit, you can develop a sense of adventure to try some new things and weigh them in the balances, to see what works and what doesn’t.

Otherwise, you begin to question whether the whole process of growing and expanding is really necessary in the first place.

Politics, religion and entertainment have sunk into a quicksand of cynicism, which tells them to remain very still because if they struggle they might sink faster. But here’s the truth: even if the best reaction to quicksand is to remain still, you will eventually have to get out of the mire, or your life will be useless.

We need an amalgamation in this country–recognizing our cynicism, repenting of it and welcoming new ideas, even if many of them seem ridiculous and without merit.

Because honestly, the funniest story that could be told: Thomas Edison sharing about the experiments that failed to work … on the way to the light bulb. 

Aloe Vera

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aloe Vera: (n) a gelatinous substance obtained from a kind of aloe, used especially in cosmetics as an emollient and for the treatment of burns.

My mother was obsessive.

I do not say that in a judgmental tone. Perhaps a certain amount of obsession is necessary to maintain maternal energy. I’m not sure.

But what she would often do was obsess over some idea, totally selling out her soul in that direction–until a new revelation made its way onto the horizon, which she embraced with equal fervor, although the past experience did not necessarily warrant such enthusiasm.

She went through an aloe phase.

She encountered someone who had an aloe plant and became so enthralled with the idea–that it was used in ancient times as a healing agent, and even appeared in the Bible, which gave it credibility and supernatural implications–that she decided to grow her own aloe plant.

It would be difficult to describe how much she fussed over the sprout. I thought she was going to expel a kidney in her anticipation of it completing its cycle and birthing the pods which contained the magic ointment.

Then–a problem. For you see, the aloe plant produces an ointment which is very helpful for treating burns or cuts. At least, that’s the promo. So once her plant had grown, she found herself in the uncomfortable position of hoping, at least secretly, that I would burn or cut myself, so she could try out her plant.

I’m sure she felt horrible to wish for such a difficulty to befall me. It may be my imagination, but I thought she left matches lying around more, and I can’t swear to it, but there seemed to be a few shards of glass near my toys.

But being a young boy, it wasn’t too long before I warranted treatment. Trying to mask her thrill over becoming an ancient physician of remedy, she expressed concern over my boo boo, and then broke off one of the pods from the plant and squeezed the gooey stuff onto my cut. Then, almost hourly, she checked the progress.

I cannot truthfully tell you that my finger healed any more quickly with the aloe vera than it did with some alcohol and a band-aid. But she was convinced.

Matter of fact, she brought me into the room in front of strangers, held out my wound for inspection and explained her mode of treatment. But like so many other things my mother pursued–and also due to the fact that it became difficult to plan enough injuries to maintain the enthusiasm about the aloe–she eventually dropped her care of the plant, and the poor little thing dried up and died.

We didn’t speak much about it after that. Matter of fact, she never used aloe vera again on any of my cuts. We were back to hydrogen peroxide and alcohol.

But I will never forget the first time my exuberant mother squeezed gooey-gooey from a plant onto my finger.

It brought her joy.  So I offered an obligatory smile.