Sketch.  A police composite from witnesses.  A preliminary drawing of a plan.  Incomplete details.  An artist.  A young person’s description of a risky area or a suspicious person – “that’s pretty ‘sketch’”.  Dope.  A non-pc description of intellectual level.  Personal information, as in “get the ‘dope’ on that guy.”  A drug.  A young person’s reaction to something exceptionally nice or an event that was outstanding to attend.  Jam.  A sweet treat bread spread.  Several musicians creating on the go.  A tight spot.  Shoved into a tight spot.  Confused, as in ‘jammed up’.”  Having fun with recordings, as in ‘jammin’ to the tunes.” 

The English language and its blend with slang, especially in the modern world of techno geekisms and texting word tendrils with all sorts of connotations, offer a myriad of manifestations that must infuriate old school grammarians. Like school.  Kindergarten, grade, junior high, high, tech, college, grad, home.  Building.  Defeated by a supposedly lesser talent – ‘got schooled’.  Old, as in the referenced ‘old school’ – outdated or opinionated based on aged teachings.   Even as I sit here, the window offers view of shwirling, twisting snow in the sunlight of bitter cold.  Blow.  Gust of air aimed at candles.  Wind.  Cocaine.  Full of oneself, i.e., ‘blowhard’.  A strike to the head.  Lies, as in ‘blowing hot air’.  For a person like me, our language offers a playground, a joyful place of teeter-totter word plays and swings filled with opportunity to twist a noun into a verb or rhythmically run-on to create a breathlessbreakless menagerie of rethink to find meaning in metaphors and onomatopoeia on a page of imagery.  And sometimes, once a reader comes to know my paged play, I just right, er, write for the sake of picture making. As another interruption brushes breathlessly across the pains, er, panes, I think of


A Lot, er, lot’s been done with that One.  All fears became one.  Nature became a myriad of them.  Temples and tombs were built for them.  Wars were fought for, and blamed, on various ones.  Horrible things were done in the name of…  Genocides.  Arenas.  Furnaces.  Sacrifices. Crucifixion. Deep and dark cults – the Celtic Druids.  Perhaps the Native Americans had it right in many ways. In general, all the various tribes’ beliefs lack a distinction between the spiritual world and the natural world. Their “spirit” with them in all aspects of life.  As is God with us through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  Native American myths include tales of a “great flood” and a few chosen people surviving in “reed boats” (Hopi belief).  Another claims that a man angered the sea god, triggering a flood that covered the world. This man was saved by a goddess riding in a boat with pairs of surviving animals (Ottowa belief).  Cheyenne legends say a medicine man stretched a white buffalo skin between mountains to protect the people from a wrathful divine rain. When the primary god saw this and stopped the rain, the skin shrank and became the rainbow.    Most Native American religions include some kind of a divine creator. In many cases, this is a single deity, often referred to as the “Great Spirit.”  And European settlers named all the tribes “heathen” and justified destroying their civilizations “in the name of God” and for a myriad of other reasons.   

Judge.  A jury’s duty.  A man or woman on a throne, er, bench, passing a sentence.  A bias or prejudice resulting in a stereotype.  A stereotype that results in a generalization, i.e., “they’re all like that.”  But judgement, that’s the business of God, not us.  Our mystery of multiple synods, faiths, and sects all claiming the right way to salvation has created a world of judges.  And love, i.e., compassion for, and acceptance of differences, has and is being lost.  I am a tad sketch in my growing faith, feel a little dope-ish in the study of the Bible.  But I have one solid truth.  In all the wordiness of the world, in all the duplicity of meaning, I have a sure and constant syntax and structure.  Faith in Jesus Christ, the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the assurance that God’s house will be my home – and my homie, bro.  submitted by Dave Smith