Christofer spent 10 years in family counseling. Later he obtained a Psy. D.. His focuses: Health, History, Astrology, Politics and Fables
There Are Singular Words and Images That We Remember --- "If You Know What I Mean"
It's Not the Meaning of the (Bummer, Tragedy, Whammy, Ruination). It's What You Call it, Inside Your Head!
A curious look into a Thesaurus will give a person a real broad honest look at the abundant list of “ills” that we as the Divine’s Children, as humanity must deal with. Mind you, this is only a sampling, but in this plague filled world of 2020, it behooves all of us to confront all of the “essence” of this terminology, the vastness of the nomenclature, and simply face what it is we face every day of our lives.
In compiling this list, I remember a story from years ago that stated that there is one word that we can use, “inside our head” to face all of these calamities. Here is the Sampling.
car crash (informal)
train wreck (informal)
act of God
The story begins in a time and place about 60 years ago; and the world was getting ready to become exceedingly complicated; and so were the problems.
My first struggle, as a 12 Year Old in 1961 in gang infested Newark, New Jersey.
Our family had just moved to Newark and moved into “The Colonnades”, a new urban renewal apartment to the west of central Newark. But I had to go to the school in Newark. I was the “new kid in town”, an innocent country boy white kid walking by Italian groceries and bars with 99% “Iti’s”. I got lots of looks. I guess I just stood out.
The Black neighborhoods and the Italian neighborhoods surrounded the Junior High. So, my first day, I tried smiling a lot. Then, in Science, a big round smiling black guy comes up to me and said “Hey, I’m Joe White!”
“Hah, Joe White?” I grinned.
“I know, I ain’t white! He smiled that big smile, I still remember.
“Well, I’m Chris French. I paused for a second. “And I’m not French, I’m Irish.”
We became friends immediately. We talked and shared stories day after day. You could say in “modern terms”, we performed “high saturation cultural education”. Then his “counter intelligence” info came out about an enemy I didn’t know I had.
“Chris, I been hearin’ “bout an Italian guy that hates your guts! His name is Nick De Benedetto. He’s been following you for blocks after school, sayin’ lots of garbage about you. Me and Jones and McGill have been walkin’ you up to your last stretch, cause that’s where Nick goes home and turns right.”
“I never met him. I don’t know if we have any classes together. Maybe I can meet him.” I was too innocent, for sure.
Hey, French, I Been Watchin’ You! You Know What You Are?...
“The next day my three black escorts were walking through the thick of the groceries and bars. I could hear a kind of cackling as a group of five rushed in front of us, and this short muscular kid jumped right into my face.
He shook his right index finger in my face. “Hey, French! I’ve been watching you! you’re kissing up to the blacks. “You hear me?”
Me and the 3 just kept walking. Nick stopped, but just kept yelling that I was a fag, as the sound of his voice diminished and then silenced. We kept walking. When my 3 friends let me go, they were chuckling. “Didn’t know you was all wrong did you?” Big laughs rolled down the sidewalk.
I stopped laughing, looking down at the sidewalk. I was embarrassed. “I didn’t have anything to say. I mean I knew he was mad and hated me. But honestly…I didn't know being a friend to Joe White was gonna be trouble."
“If I had known, maybe I would have thrown a punch.
"Don't Forget You Been Kissin' Up To Them Blacks"...
Joe white puffed up his chest and lifted his voice like a Preacher. “And don’t forget you been kissin’ up to them blacks! All 3 laughed and pointed mocking fingers at me.
I could not laugh, but Joe White was very entertaining.
Joe and I were best friends for that entire year until we moved the next summer. Nick called me names from afar, but he never started an actual fight. The real lesson learned came from my lovely, philosophical mother.
We were living on an old farm. We were renting. We were all excited to be leaving the Wisconsin woods and moving to New Jersey. Then my Mother delivered an order.
“Before we move you have to clean out the filthy Hunting Cabin in the Woods, now!”
“Mah! I looked in their once 6 months ago. There’s dead creatures in there. It stinks to high Heaven. There’s creepy crawlies everywhere. Spiders, mice and crap. Encrusted crap. Stuff that has been in there for years. I know we have never used that old cabin. Why do we have to clean it?” I was pleading.
The Landlord asked if we would clean it. He has a new renter who has already paid. He even gave us a break on the last month. We have already agreed! Dad said, “Get Chris to do it.”
“Dear boy, I am going to give you a word that you can use for the rest of your Life.” That was the way my Mother talked. She was an actress, religious and could quote Shakespeare all day long. “Life is hard and full of woe. It is painful at times, and sometimes excruciating. But many make it harder than it has to be. The Divine does not intend for us to suffer like we do. We are down here to learn lessons, work hard and meet challenges---on a daily basis. There! That’s your word. She spelled it. “C, H, A, L, L, E, N, G, E, S.”
“Mom I know how to spell.”
"This is a Challenge That I Will Face This Way!
“Every day, every hour, as each icky, negative, crappy thing comes your way, say to yourself. “This is a challenge I will face this way.” She smiled with a frown, like she wanted to cry.
“Mom, you never say “crappy”! I wanted to make her feel better. I knew I was going to clean the cabin. “OK, my Mother has started up with ugly language. I will face this challenge by gently reminding her that she has 4 children under 12.”