This morning after hiking up Crowder’s Mountain and before practicing a little yoga at the top, I noticed that someone had tagged the mountain near one of the exceptionally beautiful areas with ‘D. Russ 4-17’. 

My initial reaction was negative. I had a difficult time understanding why someone would want to cave man up the mountain with spray paint.

After I started doing yoga on a particular ledge that I like for just that purpose, I moved into a prayer twist with my right leg extended behind me and my arm resting on my left knee, almost have my shoulder on my leg, maybe another couple weeks of this.

My drishdee fell square on .Russ 4-17.

As I write this it is April 5th. I realized a few things.

  • D. Russ must have just been here.
  • I might have passed D. russ coming or going up the mountain yesterday even
  • D. Russ is probably in a rough place in life and needed to have his or her existence recognized
  • Maybe D. Russ didn’t even tag the mountain, maybe someone that loved D. Russ had chosen this as a memorial 

I had lots of thoughts of lugging a pressure washer up here somehow (not practical because of the water required) or painting over it or sandblasting somehow. I do not know how mountain graffiti is cleaned off.

Then I had thoughts of leaving it a bit.

D. Russ for whatever reason needed to leave that mark to get through another day.

I recognize in myself an inability to fully empathize with tagging a piece of nature like this. However, as I hinted above, cave people have been doing this for tens of thousands of years.

It is a very human type of expression. next to foot prints in the mud, it is one of the oldest types of expression.

Far more tried and true than my own form of digital written expression, which might not survive a decade, a century, let alone a milennia or ten.

So I would like to invite each of you to reach down and conjure up a little empathy, sympathy, prayer, love, boost of energy or recognition for D. Russ. 

I hope that their tagging this week gave them the boost they needed to hold it together, to get through another day being bullied at school, working a soul sucking job, caring for a family member, staying alive, avoiding a drug addiction, staying healthy, finding happiness somewhere, letting something painful go and moving on, hiking back down the mountain putting this incident behind them so that they can go on to do something wonderful in life at best and at least maybe filled with a little less negativity to avoid doing something that D. Russ or any of us might regret.

D. Russ may you live in peace. 4.5.17

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