South Carolina state senator, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of 9 slain at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC
“Could we not argue that America is about freedom…” South Carolina state senator, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of 9 slain at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.
I’ve been nominated by Geralyn of Where My Feet Are to take part in the 3 days, 3 quotes challenge. This is my first ever nomination for anything ‘blog’ related, so I’m tickled pink to participate. And also sobered by its timing. Thank you Geralyn.
The rules of the challenge are:
1) Thank the person who nominated you.
2) Post a quote each day for 3 days.
3) Each day nominate 3 new bloggers to take part.
Forty years from Barcelona
Playing her life in Arles.
No regrets. No regrets at all.
note: my sister-friend Susan and her husband are playing gypsies traipsing throughout Spain and southern France this month. She keeps my e-mail inbox filled with wordy treats describing eats and events of their day, including occasional photos that wow my (he)artistically starved eyes. This photo is posted here with her permission.
This post marks the closing of what I consider to be the first part of my Giving Voice series. While I have several more relevant articles in various stage of readiness to post, I think it’s time to take a break. Because Giving Voice is an ongoing series, I intend to resume its ‘focus’ after an undetermined period of time.
Instead of composing some sort of summary post, I thought I’d ‘re-post’ a Swimming with Swans vignette I presented here on the blog in 2013. Written at the close of our first stay in Las Cruces during our between homes journey, I think it speaks to the issue of ‘street people’ stereotypes in a positive and personal manner.
In doing this, I am also engaging in a blog experiment that I’m not sure will work! Please bear with me. Both this wind-down post and the archived vignette-post are presented in ‘sticky note’ fashion. Theoretically, this first time published post will be ‘sticky-ed’ first and The Prophet and the Gift should follow without changing its original blog posting date. We’ll see.
Thank you for the many responses I’ve received during this first part of my Giving Voice series via personal e-mail, face-to-face discussions, and of course in the comments section.
One day, years ago, Amy-next-door came to call. She often came to visit with her two little girls in tow to play with my youngest two kiddos as they were all around the same age. This time, she stood holding two paper grocery bags.
“Look what I found!” Amy said as she thrust the two bags into my arms.
Feeling light as a feather for all their fullness, I immediately knew they were filled to the brim with fabrics.
“I found these at a garage sale for $0.75 and I thought you might like to use them.”
More than just neighbors, Amy-next-door and I were enablers…always on the look-out for each other’s vices: she and her buttons, I and my fabrics.
As I began rummaging through the brown paper bags, I noticed they contained more than just scraps or random cuts of material. There was a huge piece of white cotton flannel, a stack of pre-cut 10 ½ x 10 ½ flannel squares, a handful of 3 ½ x 3 ½ ones and miles of uncut flannel fabrics of varying designs and colors.
Someone once said that we all, each and every one of us are at most only two tragedies from homelessness. It could be a family illness coupled with a job loss or any number of similar situations, including fire, earthquake, storm, abandonment, death of loved one, mental illness, service in war, or simply a landlord deciding to use his property in a different manner as the Beamans found out. Also we all know that foreclosure is forcing hundreds of thousands out of their homes. Couple that with another unfortunate event and many of these will be homeless. Unexpectedly and unwillingly homeless through no fault of their own.
Combinations of these unexpected events can push almost anyone into homelessness at any time. Not drugs, not alcohol, not laziness, not gambling, not any of those things. Think about it. Many of the homeless in the woods near your neighborhood are just plain people like yourself that have hit a couple of speed bumps in their life too many.
Homelessness, and by association Joblessness, has become the biggest non-discriminatory segment within the American population. While this group has always encompassed fringe members of our population, its reach has expanded considerably to include veterans, families, all ethnic & racial groups, spanning multiple generations and social spheres and as many slices of diversity in mainstream society as one can imagine. To further complicate the stereotypical profile, a full 25% of the homeless are actually employed, and 44% have done some sort of paid work during the past month.
In short – this ever-growing community encompasses: Everyday Americans…living a Third World existence in the land of freedom, opportunity and great wealth. Continue reading →