Rust can mean a lot of things.

My granddaddy was a pipe welder. He had a shop full of rusty pipe, rusty tools, and rusty equipment. He had an old rusty truck parked way in the back of the property. The bed of the truck was flat, and it had a bunch of old, rusted devices, that had been welded on it to serve as some sort of work truck. My brother and I used to play on the bed of the truck and pretend that we were on a war boat. The old, red and brown pipes would hinge around and could be imagined into cannons, or lasers, or whatever we needed them to be. The various pieces of old, welded metal could be steering wheels, safety handles, or the wheels of safe containing a lost treasure.

I doubt that my granddaddy’s old, rusty truck was ever intended to be a prop for a make-believe battlefield, but maybe it was never intended to last as long as it did. Who knows what it was originally intended for, what’s important is that it was put into use. Someone, at some point, took a risk, and invested some time in creating something with the intention of being useful. With the investment of time, the reward was something that served at least some purpose, on some level, for some people, for some substantial period of time- well after the intended use had been served. That’s the beauty of endurance; that’s what comes with longevity, and that’s what comes with rust.

For something to rust, it would signify an attempt to be useful. If something has accumulated rust, then it has taken a risk. In order to rust, at some point, the object would have had to crawl out of it’s comfort zone and brave the elements.

The creative process involves rust. It involves the leaving of the nest, the trying, the obsessing, the attempting, the failing, the wearing, the rusting, the cleaning, and the trying again. Rust is the working man’s Velveteen Rabbit. It shows that something has been useful, helpful, needed, and believed to be needed again, somewhere down the line.

The critical man remains polished. It’s easy to be shiny if you never brave the cold. Any fool can remain unworn as he stands under the umbrella and tells the risk-taking levee builder how to better stop the flood. I place more trust in the rusted, worn, tried, and true, than I do the polished, kept, and untested. You will never rust without risk. Being vulnerable is to be exposed, and exposure involves risk, and risk invites rust. The grind involves the grit, and the hustle demands the risk.

Grit never gets in the gears of those who don’t take chances.

Make yourself useful. Get out from underneath the safety of the umbrella and take a few chances.


Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,