I met man named “Rawry” once in Montevideo, Uruguay. Incidentally, he was the rawest man I’ve ever met. Knocking back vodka and sprite in rapid succession. Irish! Fifty-plus years old, but as strong as an ox. It must have been around 11am. Hot as hell. “Hey you speak English don’t you?” Rawry slurred. “Yeah, what’s up.” And so ensued my conversation with Rawry.
Every five or ten minutes, Rawry shot off another overly-assertive and direct order for more vodka and ice. Each time, the waitress gave me a look as if to say “why the hell are you speaking to this Irish drunk?” But his candor was refreshing. Truth poured freely from his lips. He had no time to have a nice conversation, but an honest one.
We went through the usual “hot girls” topic, then onto carpentry and architecture. This seemingly insane drunk bastard began to unfold intelligence like a blossom greeting the sun. His style was raw and crude. His wit was of a poet and character of a stone. He knew how to hold his space, even when those around him wished him gone.
Yeah, he was loud, drunk, and tended to yell out random information at any given moment. I could see why the entire cafe wanted his ass out of there, asap! But how quick we are to judge! How fast to cut someone down at the first sight of discomfort. Does the muscle not need pain to grow? The severed branch doesn’t yield several next season?
Like an iron cast, we’re set in our ways to our own detriment. We rebuke a challenge with ease. Run from a healthy debate. And discredit those that fall outside of our comfort zones. Otherworldly tones. How many Jesus’ have gone unnoticed? How many people on the street that sought your help did you brush off, due to your prejudices and fears? How much gold has been sieved through the gaping holes of your oversized judgements?
As Rawry continued to speak, telling me about his several entrepreneurial ventures, and how he loved to travel, I came to see that there’s a gem in every one of us, even the roughest and toughest and most extravagant. The finest always resides in the roughest and rawest, because it has undergone the most smoothing-out and conditioning. Like his clothing, his spirit, too, was well-worn. The rocks are the shiniest after the storm and all beach glass is brilliantly smooth and soft to the touch.
I was inspired by this man. I saw a lot of myself in him. Thinking back to all the conversations and encounters I’ve had with people, oftentimes leaving the tables hurt, offended, or enraged… then only to see them again with a thankful smile and a “thank you” for exposing myself, in spite of the malaise of manners, courtesy, and adherence to the status quo. There’s no time for such fakeness! Too much slips through the cracks with every false smile and disingenuous tone. Go home, Brutus!
We gain nothing from conformity and everything from truth. Those things we accumulate from “being nice” and “staying in order” remain on weak grounding and are of the weakest of substance. I want to meet people of stone that I can hit, and receive hits, and grow stronger in the process. Let each man expose himself to the wildest of storms, continually.
The other day after watching a film with a friend, she asked me if I had liked it, I responded “no, not really.” That seemed to upset her. She loved the movie and I didn’t care for it. To further expose my devilish departure from her superior judgement of films, she spent several days tellings others, while in our presence, how “David did not like the movie!” as if to say “see… you’re wrong for not agreeing with me. I liked the film and so do all these people…so please come to your senses and join the club. Step back in line of the majority, fool!”
We’ve become so mechanized into the system of conformity, that even the slightest skip over the line is deemed evil-spirited. Blasphemy! Traitor! Non-conformist! But I say, hold steady on your beliefs. Keep a hold on your Nature, no matter the texture. You’ll be happy that you did. Accept dissenting opinions no matter how much they rock against your beliefs. The rough man in your company that is strong-willed and has something to say with dire and passion will be as a needle piercing your skin to deliver an antibiotic: it’ll hurt at first, but in time you’ll always benefit.
How squeamish we’ve grown to the opposer. To the loudness. To the crude and rude. If every rough patch was smoothed-over, our lives would be textureless. The country would be flat and tree-less. The sun would dare not rise to such an insipid and stale day. The moon would be offended. The stars would escape the low velocity of our characters.
Rawry sits in my mind as a mantlepiece of unhindered, free-flowing, expression. I saw the same in Basquiat and Pollack and Thoreau and Emerson and Parker and Merton and Whitman. They expressed without stoping to think about those that sought to silence their art. Knowing that their expressions weren’t always well received, they resolved to carry on and keep their candles light. I would image that they, in return, extended such curtesy for those wild ones they met along the path.
No related posts.