Everybody has one. We inherit large parts of it from our parents, whose parents passed theirs down, etc. Life experiences add mass and odor as we grow up. It sits squarely in the middle of the house of our existence. For the most part, we simply live our lives around it, walking past every day, careful not to knock any pieces off. The surface gets dry and crusty; we grow accustomed to the smell. No big deal.
Once in a while, something moves us to start digging, like that sudden urge to clean out the closet. We quickly learn that sh*tpile insides stay fresh and painful, like unhealed wounds when scabs suddenly get torn off. Our eyes water, our senses are overwhelmed, and we want to escape, and fast. Maybe we avoid that room for a while, or we come back driving a tank to flatten the pile, to the destruction of other property. Maybe we get so disoriented, overtaken by the sheer mass and stench of sh*t, that in fits of rage and confusion, we start flinging. Unknowingly we pelt innocent passersby, or even friends and family, just because they live closest and walked into the line of fire. Exhausted, we step out, try to clean up some of the mess, shower, and long for the pre-poop-flinging state of things.
To live a truly conscious life, though, we know we need to revisit the sh*tpile regularly. It’s not good or bad, it just is–everybody has one. Maybe each time we come better prepared. We call up our gardener friends, and invite them to the hardware store with us. They help us choose the right picks, shovels, and wheelbarrows for hauling sh*t out. They stick with us through the dirty, ugly process, because they know us for more than our smelly piles. We may pick up some books or otherwise learn about cultivating with manure–what tools we need, what to expect in the process. We start to envision a flourishing garden. Maybe we enlist professionals–landscapers–to help us bring the vision to life. Slowly, we may even find a whole community of gardeners, tending their own sh*tpiles, one crumbly corner at a time.
Parts of the pile will always remain. It’s not good or bad, it just is. We pass them onto our children, much of them long before we die–multiple sh*tpiles in the same house, imagine that, whew! And hopefully the kids also benefit from the beautiful gardens that grow from our best selves–play in them, feel safe in them, and see that excrement is just a natural product of living a full life.
One day we may become exactly the gardeners who helped us first. Then we can compassionately help others shovel their own sh*t for the better. Or we can just start now.