Archive for November 8th, 2009

Today was a perfectly beautiful day with unseasonably warm temperatures, bright sun, no wind whatsoever, and a chance to just drive and explore.

While visiting one of our usual haunts, I went into the restroom followed by a man and his young son. As I stepped up to the sink, the young man, who was next in line for the stall, headed into it with some urgency. But he first paused and firmly, clearly, and at the top of his lungs (with an audience of four or so other patrons), counseled his father: ” Be patient. I have to poop and this is going to take some time.”

Clearly embarrassed, his father simply said “ok” in a subdued and mortified tone of voice.

Catching the eye of another man who was smiling, the father said with a nervous chuckle, ” Kids – you never know what they’re going to say.” The other man knowingly replied: ” Well, the one thing you can surely count on is that it won’t be anything like what you’re thinking or expecting!”

“Really?” I thought.

Isn’t it more that the child gives voice to things we’ve since learned to hide. Either way, the moment was adorable and a small parable in its own right. The child was 100% there, focused on what he’s about, and his unfiltered comment was something to feel good about and certainly not something about which one needs to be embarrassed.

How swiftly we teach the very young to create a faux self that will meet with the approval of the greatest number of people. I don’t mean to argue for completely unfiltered speech, but we should take care that this doesn’t generalize to the point where young people hold their own experiences and  thoughts suspect, and grow reluctant to speak their truth.

I recall as a child in art class being told repeatedly to draw within the lines.  I asked why and was told: ” That’s why they put the lines there.” Add to this persistent instruction on how to best hold a pencil, what colors go with what objects, and to speak only when spoken to. It is a tall wonder we have creative souls at all.

Out of the mouth of babes was delivered a gift of reminder to live, to be, and to untangle the knots that make us crazy.

© Brother Anton and The Harried Mystic, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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