BY: Brian Newman
Have you ever had the unshakable feeling when you look around you that this Country has lost something special but you could not quite put your finger on what it was? I have been struggling with that feeling of loss for many years now, every time I leave my front door it haunts me, every time I turn the dial of my radio or my television, every time I log on to Facebook I notice it’s glaring absence but the world goes by as if nothing had occurred that was noteworthy. What we have lost was once so familiar, such a comfort, such a daily reassurance that no matter what happens we would all be okay, that we took it for granted and we lost it like losing a loving grandmother. But some of us, some of us that knew it intimately, didn’t lose her like the grandchild who had only a fading memory. We lost her like the grandfather whose hand she had held her hand through good times and bad times, through poverty and prosperity, through wartime and peace, through sickness and health, through seeing children born and raised and off on their own. We see her like the one man who can’t understand how his or anyone else’s world can or will go on without her, while his own children recall her fondly, and his own grandchildren recall her only vaguely. The children of strangers and neighbors however just read a well written obituary to a kind and dedicated women known simply as “Sacred” who meant something tremendous their parents and grandparents but not themselves. We feel like that old man who would all love to introduce them all, so they could see what they missed and what she had to offer. But she is already gone and even if she were not, they would all be too busy to visit and learn about the old ways, how people live and spoke and dreamed and interpreted the world before the whole world seems to have lost its mind from watching a box full of moving pictures that told them what to love and to hate and what to buy and what to sell themselves to become.
I am only 34 years old, so perhaps I feel this lost in a way that more resembles this son of “Sacred” as opposed to her husband. One who knew her love but had never delved into her soul. I do have memories however, memories of her from the most meaningful times of my life when the sense of her was introduced to me, there to guide me, with the meeting arranged by those who knew her well. My mother introduced me to her sitting in a car parked on the side of highway waiting on a funeral pass by with headlights dimmed and when she took the neighbor kids in to our mobile home to share the meager spaghetti dinner we had so those children could eat as well. My birth father introduced me to her when he made take my hat off at the Thanksgiving table and when he mowed the lawn of our elderly neighbor for free. My adopted father and Ninjutsu Sensei taught me her ways when he instructed us to take our shoes off before entering the dojo and only use the skills we were taught in the service of others. My grandfather helped me become acquainted when he took the flag down off his porch before it rained most likely recalling the brothers he had lost storming the beaches of Normandy right by his side.
She also became my friend through a Baptist Preacher who gave me a Greek-English New Testament when I was 14 that showed me the utter Holiness of the Words within, and my 8th Grade Teacher who came to our filthy log cabin to scrub the floors after the death of my mother that same year and presented me with my first English Bible which prepared me for the preacher’s gift. She drew me closer to herself through my Drill Sergeants’ in Air Force basic-training every time “taps” was trumpeted, and she reached out for my heart through the Concentration Camp I visited while living in Europe, and the untold human suffering I learned of earning my History Degree. She has been growing closer to my heart in recent years, and these days I rejoice to find someone else who remembers her, so few knew her closely.
My deepest desire is that my children would know her as well, that they would sit for a while with the Sacred and learn her ways so that she can guide in their journey. They are pulled by so many voices, voices that have never known the Sacred yet still they mock her. Voices from boxes of pictures that are not real people but pictures made to be pretty for the boxes, words from books by uneducated writers writing books for which they have letter behind their names to write but no wisdom in their soul to share, voices from advertisers that want to sell them who they are instead of cultivate who they are, and a constant tugging away from the rocking chair where Sacred Sits pulling them 90 miles an hour down dead end roads.
If you have walked with Sacred, teach your children to walk with her as well, and pray that children everywhere will learn to walk with her, together, so that they will never walk alone… again.