Dirty feet, no guarantees and love

By Don Rush
By Don Rush

The past week was one for reflecting, sharing loss, and for sending love through time and space to those who need.
* * *
A Clarkston family lost their little four year old child. Suddenly he was gone. Their lives forever changed. Sadness. Anger. It ain’t fair. Numbness. The little guy was a bundle of energy, inquisitiveness, with a twinkle in his eyes all bound together with a smile that was both genuine and infectious.
There is really nothing that anyone can do to make it “right.” But, it was heartwarming all the same to see people come together and try to make things a little bit better. From a far I watched a candlelight vigil and watched a community of friends take this grieving family in their arms. Adults hugging high, kids hugging legs.
The little boy was truly loved by his family and he truly shared that love with all those he met.
There are no guarantees, I reckon. Today, after you read this, stop. Count your blessings. Turn off your computer, TV, radio, or other gadgetry. If you live with your family hug each and everyone of them. Let them know you love them. If you live alone, call some one you love and let them know you do. Be in the moment with them.
* * *
Growing up my dad always made me cringe when he’d say, “I am not going to be around forever . . .” or, “One day you are going to wake up and I will be dead . . .” and then follow up discussions (albeit one-sided) of things he thought I needed to know and think about if I were to become a good man as an adult.
I think my boys cringe when I say the same sorts of things to them.
* * *
Recently ran across a poem or essay (?) by David Whyte called “Hiding.” I think it speaks to contemporary life and I found it both timely and  intriguing. It goes like this:
HIDING is a way of staying alive. Hiding is a way of holding ourselves until we are ready to come into the light. Even hiding the truth from ourselves can be a way to come to what we need in our own necessary time. Hiding is one of the brilliant and virtuoso practices of almost every part of the natural world: the protective quiet of an icy northern landscape, the held bud of a future summer rose, the snow bound internal pulse of the hibernating bear.
Hiding is underestimated. We are hidden by life in our mother’s womb until we grow and ready ourselves for our first appearance in the lighted world; to appear too early in that world is to find ourselves with the immediate necessity for outside intensive care.
Hiding done properly is the internal faithful promise for a proper future emergence, as embryos, as children or even as emerging adults in retreat from the names that have caught us and imprisoned us, often in ways where we have been too easily seen and too easily named.
We live in a time of the dissected soul, the immediate disclosure; our thoughts, imaginings and longings exposed to the light too much, too early and too often, our best qualities squeezed too soon into a world already awash with too easily articulated ideas that oppress our sense of self and our sense of others. What is real is almost always to begin with, hidden, and does not want to be understood by the part of our mind that mistakenly thinks it knows what is happening. What is precious inside us does not care to be known by the mind in ways that diminish its presence.
Hiding is an act of freedom from the misunderstanding of others, especially in the enclosing world of oppressive secret government and private entities, attempting to name us, to anticipate us, to leave us with no place to hide and grow in ways unmanaged by a creeping necessity for absolute naming, absolute tracking and absolute control. Hiding is a bid for independence, from others, from mistaken ideas we have about our selves, from an oppressive and mistaken wish to keep us completely safe, completely ministered to, and therefore completely managed.
Hiding is creative, necessary and beautifully subversive of outside interference and control. Hiding leaves life to itself, to become more of itself. Hiding is the radical independence necessary for our emergence into the light of a proper human future.
* * *
Like most of us around these parts, this past weekend, I got out of hiding in the house and out into the light. Tee-shirt, shorts, no socks, no shoes. It felt good to feel the sun’s warmth on my now red nose, cheeks and forehead. I felt phenomenal to feel the grass between my toes and was wonderful to wash off my mud-caked feet. Renewal. Life.
* * *
So, got a few comments from “Jesus pooped” column, might as well share ‘em.
From Brian P. . . I remember when The Clarkston News didn’t need idiotic columns like this.
From Jamie R . . . Hi Don! I just wanted to tell you that I think your latest column on the “controversy” over the Christmas Poop was fantastic. I think you dealt with that beautifully.
And, from Bob C . . . Dear Don – Had to laugh at this story. And no, I was not the least bit offended.
Send your thoughts Don’s way via e-mail to, Don@ShermanPublications.org or connect via Twitter @DontRushMeDon

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