Constellation: (n) a group of stars forming a recognizable pattern

Christmas: when the nays and yeas get together to discuss a baby born in the hay.

To me, It is the only wearisome part of the season. One group tries to convince the other group that the Christmas story from the gospels of Matthew and Luke is not only possible, but also historical.

The other contingency works really hard to dismiss the whole, ridiculous notion of a virgin birth, a Star of David and “angels we have heard on high.”funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I take a different approach.

I like to consider what the world needs and what the Earth craves, and then find things in the perimeter which feed that urgency.

The world desperately needs all of us to become human instead of men, women, gay, straight, family, country and culture.

So I flip to Christmas: “We bring you tidings of great joy. Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.”

The Earth also desires respect. Yes, we are a bratty species which thinks the environment is our personal roll of toilet paper.

And then we have the story of the Star of Bethlehem. Somewhere out there in the constellations there emerged a star. The popular belief is that this would have to be a huge star–not necessarily true since the people who followed it were star-gazers, and would not need to be “star-struck” in order to be intrigued with a particular heavenly body.

The elements of the Christmas story are concepts that we, as humans, would have to pursue even if there was no God. For example:

  1. Be prepared to do what is unusual, or expect the usual results.
  2. Don’t expect everything to come the way you predicted it. Maybe a woman will be the hero of the tale.
  3. Look to the stars. Look for some light. Look for some hope. Follow it.
  4. Listen for the better angels, who tell us to try to get along.

My only regret at Christmas time, as an author, is that Matthew and Luke beat me to the publisher.

Because I’ll tell ya’–I would write that story any day of the week, knowing that it was not only needful, but destined to be a hit.

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

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Closet: (n) a  wardrobe, especially one tall enough to walk into.

Coming out of the closet has become synonymous with revealing one’s sexual preference. Yet an earlier mention of the closet was offered by Jesus: a location for prayer.

He was concerned that people would pray in public to be heard, using flowery words and long sentences to make themselves appear

Jesus recommended a closet.

So when coming out of that closet after prayer, the power of the experience should be the energy offered and the optimism initiated. It was to be a place of reflection, empowerment, personal humility and discovery.

Much has been achieved by encouraging humans to come out of the closet, offering revelations on their personal status. No doubt about that.

But we are human. Ultimately our main concern is not whether someone is gay or straight, or whether they pray or not, but instead, if they’re going to be cooperative. It’s not the status of male or female, but instead, an evaluation on how well they are able to evolve. Also, it’s not if they are Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Jew, but rather, a determination about the comprehension on how Planet Earth really works.

So to some degree, we all need to come out of the closet–after a sweet time of contemplation, consideration and prayer.

And hopefully, when we do come from the closet, we will arrive to promote acceptance and unity with those around us.

If we do, then our time in the closet was well-spent.

If we don’t, we feed the suspicion in others that our choices are selfish and rude.



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Cage: (n) a structure of bars or wires in which animals are confined

Even though Maya Angelou seems to know “Why the Caged Bird Sings,” I, myself, do not.

I believe in the power to overcome negative circumstances, but such an endeavor always takes a toll.

A loss of simplicity.

A leaking of faith.

Some intangible that departs the soul because we struggled too much to maintain normalcy.

There are three cages.

Undoubtedly, one is the cage we build inside ourselves to limit our passion while justifying such a move by having lengthy explanations to quantify our fears. We’re never able to adequately interact with others or fathom why they would be interested in any person like us–locked up.

There’s also the cage right beyond our space–a barrier we’ve created that says since we’re a father, mother, religious, addicted, black, white, brown, gay, straight, male or female, we are not going to be able to cross the bars of that enclosure and enter into a larger hemisphere of fellowship. We try but we pull back in horror, fearing that the barricade is electrified to discourage our noble effort.

Then there’s the cage that is somewhere out there. We don’t know where it is. We can’t see it. It’s the boundary of our limitation. We don’t speculate on what it may be, but instead, explore all terrain until confronted by the wall. Perhaps we can avoid it. Yes, maybe we never have to reach the edge of our understanding and ability.

So in the meantime, we can pretend that we’re powerful.



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Asexual: (adj) without sexual feelings or associationsdictionary with letter A

Tommy was a dynamo.

He was one of my friends from high school, who was constantly interested in making out with girls, and was willing to go almost anywhere to do so.

Compared to the other guys in my class, he was a firecracker, and to some degree or another, the rest of us–fizzles.

He had boundless energy for any romantic activity with women.

I, on the other hand, was poised among the emotions of terror, intrigue, lust and intimidation. If you’re wondering what you get when you stir those together, the best term would be “stalled.”

Matter of fact, I wondered if I would ever actually have physical contact with a woman. What made it worse was that I frequently drove along in the car with Tommy, to have him pull over at some park where there would be a young lady waiting for him. He told me that he was going to fe back in a few minutes. They would spread a blanket not even forty yards away and I sat there for fifty minutes watching them make out.

There’s nothing sexy about that at all.

Truth of the matter is that human sexuality is not nearly so simple as “gay” or “straight.”

Some people seem to have huge libidos, which they use at will.

Other people are anxious to get married so they can carry on a once-a-year sexual calendar.

I suppose those who are hungry for love think the other people are asexual–but actually, we all, in our own way, have an interest in sexuality, and it varies so much that it certainly should not be a matter of debate or scrutiny.

As it turns out, I wasn’t asexual at all–just lacking in opportunity.

Tommy also settled down and married the least likely woman you would have thought such a Don Juan would pluck.

Sex is weird stuff.

Not so weird that we want to avoid it–just weird enough that we need the mercy of understanding from ourselves and others.



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by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abloom: adj. covered in flowers.

I like flowers.

What I don’t like is pretending that I’m uninterested in flowers because if I stated in public that I was, I might be perceived as gay.

With all the necessary and valuable discussion going on about human relationships and civil rights–including equality for the gay community–it has heightened people’s defensive nature concerning what is gay and what is not.

So if you’re a guy, you can be nervous about going to a movie with another guy, feeling the need to worry about whether the appearance of two dudes together sends the signal that you’re sharing more than a bucket of popcorn. If you happen to be the kind of person who just enjoys good movies and doesn’t believe there’s any such thing as a “chick flick” or “macho films,” you can be seen as a borderline case–ready to jump into the rainbow coalition.

If you know your way around a kitchen and like to cook, you have to make sure that you have a beard, spiked hair and talk gruffly about things like motorcycles and football–or people might wonder if your delicacy is Twinkies.

It’s horrible.

I would love to walk outside and see a field abloom and be able to discuss the colorations and sheer utter magnitude of the vision without wondering if people thought I also had a poster of Judy Garland hanging in my boudoir. Is it going to be possible to actually become more open-minded, when we attribute certain levels of appreciation to a sexual preference instead of just plain human enjoyment?

  • Do I like Broadway musicals? Some of them.
  • Do I know how to decorate a room? Yes–even though I welcome other people’s opinions.
  • Can I say that the “fields are abloom” without people thinking that I am queenly? I fear not.

I will know we have grown as human beings when we talk more about human beings than we do about men, women, gay and straight. To me the whole thing is similar to our fourth grade obsession with cooties. Guys really liked girls but weren’t sure whether we were supposed to or not–and because of the eyeballing of our friends, we pretended that touching one of these females would cause multi-legged insects to infest our bodies. Let me be the first to say it: cuties don’t give you cooties.

And reporting that a field is abloom does not make you Anderson Cooper.