I can’t believe I’m going to write a blog about farts, but I’m going to because I can’t get this thought out of my head.
My mother once told me that I could fart sunshine.
A strange thing for a mother to say, I know, but she was trying to tell me that she liked that I was constantly looking for the positives in any situation. I think I was in Basic Training with the Army when she told me this and I’ve held on to it ever since.
Generally speaking for the last 30-35 years I’ve tried to do exactly this: toot a little cheer into any situation. I’m nearly 50 and have found that crop-dusting some brightness into any situation life has thrown my way has been quite effective.
But it’s not very honest.
Choosing to only see the bright side of things blinds me to seeing less cheerful things that, although not fun or happy, need attention. I’ve become aware of that as I’ve aged and have largely been able to appreciate life in all its splendor, whether sunlight or shadow.
And I’ve learned to appreciate farts.
No shocking surprise, I suppose. I’m a male, and like most males I know we don’t ever really mature much past being 13. There are some things we never get over: boogers, farts and fire, especially.
When I look back over my life I realize, however, that some of the most honest and genuine bonds I’ve formed are with people who could feel free enough to break out the trouser trumpets. Brothers, friends, fellow soldiers, Scout buddies… all of them.
Thinking back to my teen years the people I was closest to were my Scout friends. It was easy for me to make friends in school, but most of them were just acquaintances. The deep friendships were with friends who spent many a night camping in the Arizona desert looking at the starts and laughing at the saber-tooth crotch crickets. We were close because we could drop all the facades and be honest and genuine and comfortable.
My Army days were the same. You can put a bunch of soldiers in a group and call them a crew or a squad and they can even work well together, but nothing quite brings a team together like spending many a night in a tank or a tent listening to the Thunder from Down Under caused by eating only T-Rats or MRE’s for a week or more. Rank took on a different meaning than what was worn on a soldier’s collar, but we were close because we could be honest and genuine.
I certainly don’t mean to imply that we should drop all pretenses of social decorum and start letting them fly at work or school or the mall, but I do think we would be well-served to look for ways to be honest and genuine. I know that’s hard, because it requires vulnerability, but I think it’s worth it.
The tightest bonds and deepest friendships lie on the other side of letting ourselves be who we truly and fully are.
I believe that deep in our hearts we all long to be truly and fully known and accepted:
For our triumphs and our toots.
For our successes and our scars.
For our wins and our wrinkles and our warts.
And I know that having a child made me a father, but I wasn’t really a daddy until my son pulled my finger.
“A happy fart never comes from a miserable ass.” – Martin Luther