Sunday, October 4, 2009

the sound of silence

A friend of mine asked me the other night why I always seem to stay away from stories that air on the darker side of this too shall pass.  My first thought was "have you ever read my rage post?". But he was right, I suppose on some level I'm trying to remind all of you about how precious every moment is in life and to also show that "this too shall pass" can and does have positive meaning.  (For instance, my one co-worker that told me this week that the first time she saw my tattoo she thought to herself: wow, what's this girl all about? is she ready to kill herself?)  WTF?!  Pardon?

I'm not sure if after recently talking about the 'darker side' of this sentiment, watching the movie "The Soloist" was simply topical or purely coincidental.  But it struck a dark chord (pardon the pun). Why? Well, I heart true stories and because my biggest fear in life is being homeless.   

Some might say that this is an irrational fear, but I beg to differ. I remember years ago my girlfriend Rita told me that one of her biggest fears was a tsunami. It was a fear that I felt was completely ridiculous and irrational, until the two of us spent Christmas together in Mexico and when we were getting ready to hit the beach we heard the news. CNN was our only English channel, and it made us aware of a tsumani that swelled in the Indian Ocean that morning - it would soon report that it was about to take the lives of 150,000 people. I looked at Reets thinking, well...not so irrational after all.  So, after witnessing my first recession as an adult, I feel my fear is also completely rationale.  Sure, I'm of sound mind and body but that doesn't mean we all can't fall upon incredible hardship. Perhaps it's because, as a middle-aged woman, the responsibility of having a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in and food to eat falls solely on me.  This is not intended to be a pity party, it's simply where the fear is rooted.

I cannot tell you how many times over my life where I've had a heated discussion with individuals that believe you shouldn't give homeless people money.  Sure, there are likely thousands on the streets that created their own self-demise, but there are so many that don't stand a chance from the moment in which they were born. And so many more suffer from an incredible mental illness that we cannot even begin to understand.  So, my point for years has been why bother painting them all with the same brush?  Imagine if you were the one in their position, I'm sure a smile or say hello goes so much further than any quarter or dime in your pocket.  So I often extend the gesture of human empathy.

Where my home today is my safe haven, I can totally understand why four walls may seem like a prison for a lone individual suffering mentally.  So given that they choose the streets as their unconfined home instead of an apartment or shelter - is that really a choice after all?

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  1. Wow. Don't know what's bigger – your personality, your optimism or your heart. We all fear something. Many, the exact same thing as you.

    Truth of it all is, it ain't gonna happen to you. And if it ever did (which it's not) you've got a tight safety net to catch you between family and your many, many friends.

    I felt like posting this song on FB last week, but for some reason I didn't. So, this link is for you:

    Ain't nothing gonna break-a-your-stride.

    PS. I saw The Soloist a few months ago. Jamie Fox will win the Oscar. Hands Down.


  2. please find a new fear to control your life. You must know that you will always have a home with your parents or with us if the situation ever came about. It may not be where you choose to be at that time, but never turn your back on a safe harbour. Just like Rita fearing a tsunami is only valid if she lives in an area where they occur (does she live in TO). My great fear is drowning, but if I don't put myself in a situation where that will happen I'll be okay. Problem solved.