Marvin Repinski: To dance bare feet in the grass

Published 5:03 pm Friday, October 14, 2022

“This has turned for me my mourning into dancing. Thou has loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.” (Psalm 30:11).

The title of this essay is comprised from words I quote from the book by Toni Morrison, “Beloved.”

“Here,” she said, “in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don’t love your eyes; they’d just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off, and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face ‘cause they don’t love that either. You got to love it, you!….This is flesh I’m talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved.”

We as a nation, as in many nations, are experiencing trauma, reversal, pain, destruction, revenge, and doubt like most of us have never witnessed before. The globe and outer space are also in change that seldom occur with such force and tremor. Tranquility is for many, only found in locating a place to sleep and pulling the covers over one’s head!

The gigantic nature of the solar system was recently brought home to the world. Within this universe is a belief in God and a devotion to Jesus as Savior making sense? Please, with me, claim and live out of the faith that our Creator has placed in your heart. I am pleased with the disciples of Jesus, who not only risk all, but find peace and share their peace.

The planet Mars moved closer to the Earth than it has in the past 60,000 years. It was quite an event for sky watchers. The planet will not be so close to Earth again until 2287. That’s not for another 284 years. What will our earth look like then? What will things look like in 284 years? What will people say of this generation? What kind of monuments will be built? What life will we live today?

Today I want to bring to the surface of my living a renewed sense of the companionship of friends that I have neglected. Emails, phone calls, notes and letters will again touch the lives of some of the once close friends, a few pastors, and loyal members of past churches I have served. Will you join me to reconnect with a few people and families that once graced your life?

An old adage comes to mind. “The Fathers have eaten sour grapes and the teeth of the children are on edge.” (Ezra 18:2). Maybe you recall this verse from lessons taught in a synagogue, church, or a class at Riverland on World Religions. But now, now is the time to share sweet and luscious grapes!

The nine years I was a member of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board was a time when never far from my thoughts, were the needs of people who required more adequate places to live. To have a roof over one’s head, as my home-life was able to provide, is a fundamental human right. Studies have revealed that crime, abuse, and unemployment are reduced when employable training, self care, schooling, humane treatment of children, self-confidence, and health are addressed. Also the humane demeanor is all related to the housing that is part of a person’s and families’ lives. Please be understanding of this large picture people who own rental properties are to be congratulated in their satisfying upkeep of those properties and making the sacrificial effort at charging reasonable rents!

My suggestion has, at times, pointed to people with special survival needs, to consult the Human Services agencies and seek out the number of thrift stores like the Salvation Army. The newest store that welcomes donations and prices goods very reasonably, is located just west of Highway 95 on Oakland Avenue. The volunteers meet you with a smile and create a smile on youngsters’ faces! Why? There is something for everyone. And sometimes, only for the cost of a quarter!

Second Act Thrift Store, a part of Matchbox Children’s Theater, is off and running at their location on West Oakland. Proceeds from the store support the activities at Matchbox located at First United Methodist Church.

They are currently in need of winter wear. If you have extra household necessities, please bring goods to the store or church. They are open Thursdays from 2-7 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Within, it seems, every horizon there is an approaching storm cloud. Yet, are we so different from people of every age?

“Sing to the Lord a new song. His praise is the assembly of the faithful! Let them praise His name with dancing, making melody to Him with timbrel and lyre” (Psalm 149:1-3).

May I add that maybe we can dance as Ms. Morrison writes, in the aisles of the concert hall accompanied by the Austin Symphony Orchestra?