Coloration

Coloration: (adj) a specified pervading character or tone of something.

Maybe Paul Simon was right in his song, “Kodachrome.” Everything looks worse in black and white.

That certainly was in the mind of those individuals who started adding color to movies.

I remember the first time I watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” with color enhancement. I don’t know if I was in an obsessive mood or if the hues were not true, but
during the final scenes, I kept wondering why Jimmy Stewart (Mr. George Bailey) was wearing a lavender shirt.

I tried to keep my mind off of it, but there was a portion of me that just believed that a mauve color on that character was odd.

In like manner, when I watch television and they talk to me about “color commentary”–adding coloration to the news–it always surprises me that their choices are orange, crimson and fuchsia.

There was a certain warmth to black and white movies–the sniff of sincerity. Maybe it was the simplicity of believing we were getting the truth handed to us in black and white.

Sometimes color is just color–and not enlightening.

And often coloration is a fear of taking something that might seem drab and energizing it with joy.

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Colander

Colander: (n) a perforated bowl used to strain off liquid

The key is in finding the secret.

For instance, the secret to good lasagna is the cheese blend.

The secret to good pizza is a toss-up between the crust and the sweetness of the sauce.

The secret to good sex is to make sure the woman has an orgasm before the man pursues his.

The secret to spirituality is to read less, be more.

The secret to politics is to tell the truth.

Which brings me to the secret for spaghetti. (You may not see any particular clarity in the path I’ve taken, but here we are.)

The secret to spaghetti is the colander.

Some would insist it is the texture–preferring al dente–but spaghetti can have perfect texture, but still cling to too much water, making the sauce ineffective.

The colander allows you to shake off the extra moisture, which puts the spaghetti on your plate drier and more able to make love with the cheese and tomatoes. Anybody who has ever tried to make spaghetti without a colander always finds that at the bottom of the pan is a whole bunch of liquid that hangs around to steal the taste.

Sometimes I wish I could be thrown into a colander and shaken around–just to get rid of all the extra meaningless residue. Of course, I would never fit into a colander, and the shaking would probably kill me.

So I shall not do that. I promise.

 

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Cohort

Cohort: (n) a group of people banded together

I have a son who’s convinced that I am becoming more conservative as I get older.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Age has done one thing and only one thing for me–it has insisted that I be practical.

It stands over me, often in a threatening pose, barking in my ear that the plans I had made to do something beyond my physical abilities are not filled with initiative, but rather, reek of stupidity.

I become more and more astounded with the simplicity of the statement, “Those that are not against us are for us.”

Therefore, mankind is my cohort, and I, its.

I am looking for reasons to enjoy the people around me instead of tagging them as enemies to be avoided.

Every time I read something, I find one little tiny nugget of valuable common sense. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Bible or the Communist Manifesto–each document has a golden gleam which makes its writing valuable and worthy of human hearing.

But also, each document is chock-full of filler–statements thrown in, sometimes as afterthoughts and often in ignorance.

So when a Republican talks, I listen for sense. Likewise, when a Democrat shares, I probe the speech for reasonability. In the process of doing this, I find myself making more friends and being far less critical.

Recently a friend asked what I thought about a song that was being touted on the Internet. I replied, “They started on the same beat, didn’t miss a lyric and ended in pitch.”

There’s a lot to be said for that. It is a fine beginning for discussion. But often, humans will find one word within the body of the poetry which they consider distasteful, and relegate the entire presentation to being hellish nothingness.

A cohort of critics.

How boring.

How boorish.

How stubborn

How meaningless.

I found out some time ago that the world never gets anything right. Celebration occurs when the effort comes close.

 

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Coherent

Coherent: (adj) a logical theory

A common weakness in those who take pen to paper (though there actually is no pen or paper anymore), who fancy themselves to be writers is the tendency to become exasperated with the reader when he or she pulls up mentally lame–incapable of grasping a deep point or drooling over a clever turn of words.

Actually, to become a good writer, you must “de-brat” yourself. In other words, have the brat removed without losing the childlike quality of simplifying human truth to concepts which are easily grasped. Therefore, don’t put too many steps in your process.

Yesterday I saw an article that advertised “31 Things to Do to Make Your Life Better.” I, for one, am overwhelmed with the notion of Baskin Robbins having thirty-one flavors, let alone remembering them in any sequential order.

Coherence also demands that we use understandable language instead of historical wording. Some words, phrases and ideas are dead. I don’t know if they will ever be resurrected, but presently they are stinking in a tomb.

Just don’t use them. Avoid getting angry with the populace because they’re unfamiliar with your jargon.

And being coherent certainly requires the grace to adjust your thinking when someone finds the flaw in your figuring. No matter how good you may think you are when putting together a respectable thesis, there will always be something you forget.

Rather than losing your cool over being challenged, warm yourself to the idea of learning from your mistakes.

Coherent is when smart meets flexible and they have a child called wisdom.

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Close

Close: (adj) not separated by distance, or a family member

When I am close but fall short, I immediately decide to find the person who is close to me.

Here’s the truth: close is not good enough.

Doing your best rarely fills the need. Attempts to rationalize only bring about comical excuses which generate private laughter from your
critics and too much sympathy from your friends.

If we’re going to live lives where we “come close,” then we need someone to be close to. This person needs to tell us the truth. They need to praise when we achieve our purposes, and point out when our cowardice, laziness or procrastination send us to the end of the line, to try again.

We are part of the human race. “All have fallen short.” So says the patriarch.

Since we are guilty of failing to make the edge, we need someone edgy in our lives, to help us discover how to do it better the next time. Otherwise, we do it again, but with less vigor because of nervous energy, or we develop a reason not to attempt a second effort.

We will be close so we need someone close.

That’s as simple as life is.

And if for some reason, we’re unable to hear the tender suggestions of that friend, then we will spend all of our time wallowing in a self-satisfied nothingness.

Let’s not do that.

Come close? Then draw close.

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Clergyman

Clergyman: (n) a male priest, minister, or religious leader, especially a Christian one

All the mistakes I’ve made in my life were caused by me thinking that what I had to offer was not enough.

Whenever I calmed down and realized that the stash in my duffel bag was the total subsistence of my life and journey, I was fine.

But when I allowed myself to be intimidated by forces around me which deemed my offering to be meager because it lacked some
certification, I always ended up either a fool or a liar.

I wanted to help people.

I wanted to use my art to do so.

I wanted to share a message that had humor, hope and heft.

But I also once was very young, and contended that I needed some title to punctuate my adequacy.

Since I did not go to college, I wasn’t allowed to be called “a Reverend.” Therefore I could not be a clergyman.

I don’t know why I wanted to pursue such a position–I guess I just wanted folks to be impressed when they heard the full extent of my resume spoken in a word: “minister.”

So I lied. I manufactured higher learning. And eventually I just called myself a “Reverend” even though I didn’t have any pedigree to bark out spirituality.

It took me many years to escape the foolishness of my insecurity. As soon as I did, I realized that being a clergyman was actually to my disadvantage, because my music, writing, dramatic pursuits and screenplays were much more effective tools for reaching my brothers and sisters than climbing into a pulpit and emoting.

I often think, what is it I’m doing today that’s equally as stupid as my pursuit of being a false cleric?

I don’t know. But I keep looking.

Because if I catch it early, maybe I can avoid some of the embarrassment that occurs when people finally find out the truth.

And…

They always do.

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Citrus

Citrus: (n) a fruit from a citrus tree

Ignorance is the life of the party, bringing a full keg of beer, until knowledge shows up with pizza.

Most of us are completely satisfied to sip on the beer of ignorance. Why? Because the initial explanation is very satisfying to us.

To push beyond that would mean we might discover something that is less fulfilling–which we have to consider because it’s right.

Some years back I got a cold. I was doing a concert in 72 hours, so I needed a quick remedy to get rid of my common malady. This was during the phase in our society when we believed that Vitamin C was the secret to overcoming the “snoots.”

I decided I was going to be very aggressive in my treatment. I went out and bought nearly a bushel of citrus: oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, tangeloes–everything that had an orange or yellow peel on it. I ate one of these things after another, insisting to myself that I was treating my condition and improving my situation.

After several hours of consuming citrus, I started feeling more sick and logy. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I thought perhaps I wasn’t eating enough citrus, so I chomped more.

My limited understanding of Vitamin C prompted me to eat so much citrus that I just didn’t want to get out of bed.

Now, years later, I understand that all the sweet from the citrus raised my blood sugar, and in the process actually made me feel more ill. (You see, cold germs like sweet things, too.)

It actually took me longer to get over that cold because I aggravated it with a sugar rush. A little knowledge arriving at the right time might have convinced me to change my diet, limit my sugar intake and thereby increase my possibility of recuperating.

But honest to God, if the truth had walked in the door wearing a crown of righteousness, I just might have chased it away.

 

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