JOURNEY TO WHOLENESS
When the World is Mud-Luscious
By Jude LaClaire, Ph.D.
E.E. Cummings in his poem, in Just, calls the spring world “mud-luscious” and “puddle-wonderful.” Little children are playing marbles, dancing, playing hop-scotch, and jumping rope. But there is the “little lame balloonman” who is also old and perhaps poor. Today, my world seems a lot like that. There is the beautiful world of spring flowers, children’s sidewalk drawings, and many people walking with children and dogs. I am also reminded daily of those who are less fortunate. They may be sick, hungry, without jobs, financial security, or feeling the pain of mental illness.
In this new reality, it is important for us to be aware of the beauty, the love, and the other wonderful things, while also acknowledging the pain, the suffering, and the needs of others. We are called to contribute to the greater good.
When difficult things happen, it seems that many people show their best qualities, while others appear to descend into their darkest selves. Sometimes, we vacillate between those parts of ourselves. As I listen to news, I hear both the facts and the fictions. I see and hear of brave and amazing deeds, along with acts of selfishness, rudeness, and greed. I choose to focus on the positive, while acknowledging the negative.
The many brave and tired health care workers are on the forefront, helping people who are sick, suffering, or dying. There are so many stories of these thousands of people. One local story is of two young nurse practitioners, both moms, who are going to New York, volunteering to work where they are desperately needed. Others are going to New Orleans. There are those who are feeding the homeless, preparing lunches for school children, delivering meals to the elderly , and working in grocery stores.
Jennifer Garner and Reese Witherspoon started an initiative called Save with Stories. They are raising money to help children affected by coronavirus school closures by live-streaming readings of popular children’s books. We know that stories, art, music, and other creative activities help people of all ages in challenging situations. Other celebrities are creating special musical programs to encourage and entertain.
We can be grateful for those making and distributing masks, or those who are making protective equipment with creative approaches, such as 3-D printers. Others are working tirelessly in animal shelters because they recognize that our furry friends still need us to protect them. There are many generous, creative, and thoughtful things being done by many selfless, caring, and creative people. Look for those opportunities, and do what you can.
Sadly, there are those who recklessly endanger others and take advantage in greedy, selfish ways. Be aware and be safe. We can protect ourselves and others by being proactive, but not living in fear.
A message from White Eagle, a Hopi indigenous voice, tells us, “This moment humanity is going through can be seen as a portal and as a hole. The decision to fall into the hole or go through the portal is up to you.” He reminds us that if we are consumed with pessimism, we will fall into the hole. If we take the opportunity to look at ourselves, rethinking life and death and taking care of ourselves and others, we will go through the portal.
Indeed, this is a time to dig deep, find our better selves, challenge our growth and determination, and see this as an opportunity for greater good. Use the tools you have. Acquire more tools as you need them. When we face our fears, our difficulties, we get a new vision of the world.
White Eagles says, “What world do you want to build for yourself? For now, this is what you can do: serenity in the storm…and sing, dance, resist through art, joy, faith, and love.”
I encourage you all to do this each day. Encourage one another. Work together. We will all be better for it.
Jude LaClaire, Ph.D., LCPC, is a counselor, educator and author. For counseling appointments, seminars, training, speaking engagements or information on Neurobehavioral Programs or Imago Couple therapy call 913-322-5622. For more information about Jude LaClaire or the Kansas City Holistic Centre go to