Monday, September 10, 2007

August Just Posts

justpostaug2007

He stumbles in haggard stopping short of the counter. I can smell him, the funky smell of unwashed hair and dirty socks. He looks up, one blue eye muted by glaucoma looking slightly past me and the other, a light and beautiful blue looks me right in the eye. His skin is weathered, deep ruddy skin with wrinkles around his eyes and a sallow jaw. His red t-shirt is tattered, there are holes and a decidedly large brown stain down the front. He could use a belt, the edges of his worn brown pants drag on the floor. He drops his bulging trash bag and starts to mutter. A defensive mutter, if there was such a thing. He's been sleeping in a parking garage and was hoping he'd find a place to shower and a bed for the night, just enough to offer a small panacea from the utter aloneness of his life.

I often think in moments like this about the lifetimes that brought him to our door. He may be somebody's father, brother, grandfather, or at the very obvious least someone's son. Somehow he's evolved into a grizzly, a man who survives and lives along, hardscrabble for every meal. His posture reflects his position in the world, an achy teetering on solid sort of posture that seems it could expire at any moment and yet in reality will probably outlive us all.

He wanders this world alone, dodging fancy SUVs and BMWs people rushing most hurriedly to their next very important thing. I wonder how many even see him except to avoid him, his lack of comfort must be discomforting as they sip their lattes trying not to spill.

There are thousands more like him in the United States. Tens of thousands of people without a place to live, who use dumpsters for restaurants and alleys for sleep. And while I wish that this was everyone's issue, the one thing they chose above all else I know the competition is strong. The rational part of me knows that AIDS and trafficking, child abuse and our environment are just as worthy and as such we split the difference on where we choose to focus and what we choose to fund. But for me it is this. And I will forever refuse to concede that this is anywhere near the best we can do.

The Writers

Bon at Crib Chronicles with Blessings
Crazymumma with If I'm going to talk the talk...
Cecilieaux with blogging last word, who is anglo, people of 1066 and portal for billionaires
Jangari with more on squandered funds and stuart highway robbery
Maypole with false hope and i know what it means to love
Denguy with boyo man
Jen with what a long strange trip it's been, national news and side by side
Alejna with some of my best friends are republicans
NoMotherEarth with about a boy
Urban-Urchin with disposable people
Emily with miscarriage of justice
Kevin with Jena 6
MBT with What you'll get nekkid for
Vera with dominator tentacles
Packaging girlhood with increased suicide rates among teen girls
Lex with compassion
Kitchen Fire with postscript
Aliki with disparity
Gwen with feed your head
From the Front Lines with philanthropy thursday
Flutter with the morning commute and What Should Flutter Cook?
Stumbling and Mumbling with you know you're a conservative when and the tangible harm of inequality
Izzy with forgive my bluntness but i hate george bush
11D with bob herbert morphs into david brooks
MOTR with enough
Janet with my grass roots are showing
Eden with some animals are more equal than others
Acukiki at Sticking to the Point with Follow Your Dreams
African Fragments with Sisters Can Do it For Themselves
Christine at Running on Empty When I Grow Up
Ewe with Baaaaad Party, Baaaaad Party and A Sunday Not-So-Funny...
Fortune and Glory with What fills us up makes us whole again and Today as I hold my head...
Gary with Homeless
Gettin' it wrong with Twisty Slides, Twisted Logic and Olivia
Jen with Teaching Fish to Swim, I Was Interviewed by National News, side by side and What a Long, Strange Trip Its Been
KC with Colorless, II*
La vie en Rose with It's the body...always the body
Latoya Peterson at Racialicious with 4th Generation Racist: Can you be racist if you're anti-white?
Lia with Pensioned Serenity
Maddie at Persisting Stars with Someone with sky and birds in his heart
Nina Smith with Books Review: On My Own Two Feet
Open Synergy with Darwin's Jihad-A Luta Continua
Snigdha Sen with Streets Are For Walking, Stop Stalking
Suzanne Reisman with The Real Story: Attack Of The Predatory Lenders On Single Women Homeowners
Susanne at Creative Mother Thinking with Housework for Children and Being Sick Shouldn't Make you Bankrupt
Thailand Gal with Katrina put me over the edge, Repeat ch-ch, repeat-ch-, and Your silence will not protect you
Tired Mommy with Learning what we live
The World's Yours To Live!! with The World of Peace
Wayfayer Scientista with Seasonal Goodbyes and Working against cultural biogotry

The Readers

Jess
Thordora
Cecilieaux
Chani
Alejna
KC
Christine
Catherine
Aliki
Sarah
Karen
Mad
Jen
Hel
Susanne

We've gone global this month and added two new hosts to our Roundtable. Hel and Susanne have joined Mad and I and have brought with them some fruits from other parts of the world. I hope you'll swing by their places before you go as we work together to incorporate more global voices at this little table of ours. It's a wide reaching social justice bounty this month, each and every one of you making a difference in your writing and in your living.

We can and do make a difference. Thank you for joining us this month.

111 comments:

Mad Hatter said...

Jeez Jen, you sound so weary. So very weary. I hope that all this work pulling this writing together helps to hold you up when you seem to be in such a precarious place. Godspeed.

Kyla said...

On the way home from the pediatrician's on Friday, there was a man out my car window in need of money. I don't keep much on me, only change...but my wallet was heavy with the accumulation of it. I dumped it into my hands and in turn, dumped it into his and drove away. It was nothing really, not even a drop in that great big bucket of need...but every time I pull out my wallet and feel its newfound lightness, I think you him and of you...because without you, I might never have thought to open my wallet at all. It isn't enough, not nearly, but it is something, something that might not have been offered if not for you and your beautiful heart, friend.

Christine said...

jen your heart is as big as this world, and your work will not go unnoticed and unappreciated in the long run, friend.

thank for all the links--time to check some out. . .

mitzh said...

I hope you're OK, Jen. As I have said before as long as there are people willing to give their all to make this world a better place, we never should stop believing and hoping that someday it will be a world that we all wish and pray for.

Beautiful links, thanks for sharing them.

Have a good week ahead and take care! ((hugs))

crazymumma said...

and again darling, thank you.

acukiki said...

I'm with Kyla, without you honey, I would have been another person walking on by, but most assuredly spilling my latte, wink. Thank you again, for sharing this man's story. It makes me remember to think beyond me.

KC said...

Look at this long list, growing longer by the month. A very, very good thing. xo

deb said...

Thank you for reminding me that we all need help, that we all live here, that the suffering of one man should make us all suffer and work towards ending that suffering. We are all connected, whether we realize it or not. Sending you a hug but no more awful jokes:)

slouching mom said...

I'm astounded by the length of this list. That's gotta be a good thing, no?

Take care of YOU, jen, my friend. Please?

carrie said...

What a delicious looking feast of global goodness!

I can't wait to dig in.

Hel said...

Your post made me cry for this man and for every one who has to live without a home and a family and sometimes without hope.

For me this is one of the saddest things in the world.

My heart is with you tonight. Cheering you on, scolding you to rest more and look after yourself, telling you that you inspire me to try harder and singing about a future where we will all reach out to hold the hands that need holding.

I love you my sister. Take care of you*

Janet said...

What a great reading list. Thanks for putting it together.

And Jen? Your seemingly endless ability to care is part of what keeps me coming back here to read your words and remind me of what matters.

Sorrow likes to throw its weight around and steal all of the covers. Take care not to let Sorrow hog all the room in that lovely heart of yours.

Amy York said...

Thanks for sharing this!

nomotherearth said...

I think the thing that will keep us grounded and connected, the thing that will keep us from looking away and avoiding, is to remember that this person was someone's son, or someone's daughter.

Thank you.

Laurie said...

Oh honey, that was so sad and so touching. I hope you are well and taking some time for yourself. The world needs more people like you.

Mrs. Chicky said...

So much good reading to do, so little time.

And you? BIG hearted.

Blog Antagonist said...

I remember when you first started doing these Just Posts. There were I think, 7 or 8 winners. Look how that list has grown!! That's amazing. You are reaching people. Keep up the good work, Jen. I look forward to reading this month's batch of Just Posts.

painted maypole said...

I am honored to be on this list with these amazing writers and their posts. Thanks so much.

Jennifer said...

Thank you, for refusing to concede. It matters. It helps.

And thank you for the wonderfully long list of new reading. I look forward to digging into these lists every month.

Julie Pippert said...

As always...so, so moving.

And my bad for not getting in my stuff. But what a FANTASTIC list!!!

Thanks for these.

Julie
Using My Words

Momish said...

What an amazing list, it is mind blowing and wonderful.

What you wrote hit home. I get so overwhelmed sometimes over all the very valid, very worthwhile, very necessary causes and movements that are out there. It is hard to sit in my comfy home and feel like I am making choices about who to help, what cause to further, as if I am choosing what matters more or what is more important. I hate that feeling and the limitations and restrictions that make it seem so.

It is at times a very daunting realization that this is what we are doing when we write a check or volunteer our time. There is too much need and I am just one person, one income and one voice.

But as you prove again and again, one can make a difference.

FENICLE said...

I love when you write about things such as this.

Thanks for the list of good stuff to read through later tonight.

flutter said...

I echo Mad with concern about you. You do sound weary. I thank God you are there, doing what you do. Love you.

Wayfarer Scientista said...

hey jen ~ thanks for that list. You are awesome for finding the energy to put it together. Oh, erm, I don't think my "Seasonal Goodbyes" was a Just Post, but "The Changing Alaskan Arctic/ Sub-Arctic" and "What we can do" were. My fault - should have sent them to you!

Oh my dear, meant also to post on your previous post about workplaces - it does indeed sound like we are in similar precarious situations. Let's remember to breathe deeply and not to take it all too personally. A big hug for you from me.

Cecilieaux said...

I've been thinking about you all day because I think I have one answer to your very difficult questions. Stay tuned ... it's coming.

thailandchani said...

I think you are so right about focusing on one thing and not allowing yourself to be pulled in too many directions. Working with homeless people is your "thing", it's what you're good at, and keeping that encapsulated somehow will probably keep you sane.


Peace,

~Chani
http://thailandgal.blogspot.com

theflyingmum said...

My God, that is quite a list! My head is spinning, but I may try to get into some of them.

meno said...

Well, i know what i will be doing the next day or so. reading.

It seems like this one of the punishments for mental illness is homelessness. You are right, we can do better.

Mommy off the Record said...

Thank you so much for the award. I am honored to be mentioned.

Mary Alice said...

Beautifully written reminder to remember that are those who struggle daily, as we obsess about play dates and how hard it is to find jeans that showcase our asses to their best advantage.

I wondered why I was getting referrals from your site. Thanks for the link. May we all continue to "notice" and create a just world.

Mary Alice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mamatulip said...

I think the same thing when I see someone in that situation -- this person was once a baby; this person is a son and perhaps a brother and a father and an uncle...and it makes my heart hurt to wonder how it ended up like this. You know?

Aliki2006 said...

It is a feast and a wonder to me to see all these words and caring hearts out there.

Her Bad Mother said...

Mind-blowing, amazing list. Now, go get some sleep.

ewe are here said...

Wow! This has to be the longest list of Just Posts ever!

Lawyer Mama said...

My heart is breaking. Because of the enormity of the problem and because I know you take so much of it squarely on your own two shoulders.

I am thrilled to see how many posts there are this month though. Thrilled!

The Expatriate Chef said...

You are a lovely warrior of the heart. You remind me that I can be a better person, and I need to be.

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