Maybe your country is only a place you make up in your own mind. Something you dream about and sing about. Maybe it's not a place on the map at all, but just a story full of people you meet and places you visit, full of books and films you've been to. I'm not afraid of being homesick and having no language to live in. I don't have to be like anyone else. I'm walking on the wall and nobody can stop me.
Most human beings strongly believe that money is way less important than the life of a human being, but in reality five hundred, fifty, or even five dollars are way more important to the lives of most human beings than the lives of most human beings.
Getting through life without a lot of money, possessions, and/or friends is admirable, especially if it is by choice.
Let my silence grow with noise as pregnant mothers grow with life. Let my silence permeate these walls as sunlight permeates a home. Let the silence rise from unwatered graves and craters left by bombs. Let the silence rise from empty bellies and surge from broken hearts. The silence of the hidden and forgotten. The silence of the abused and tortured. The silence of the persecuted and imprisoned. The silence of the hanged and massacred. Loud as all the sounds can be, let my silence be loud so the hungry may eat my words and the poor may wear my words. Loud as all the sounds can be, let my silence be loud so I may resurrect the dead and give voice to the oppressed. My silence speaks.
She tried to remember all the times she had spoken to him. She replayed every moment she could remember at the beach last week. Not once had she led him to believe that she liked him improperly. And yet, last night, he had appeared as if she had invited him. She had given herself so willingly, so lasciviously, that he must have thought she had desired him all along. Perhaps she had, or perhaps she had not realised how pleasurable intimacy could be.
You yearn to stay in this in-between place, where the beauty of the times you have freshly bade farewell to is still alive and vivid in your mind – almost real – and the reality of your new circumstances has yet to fully sink in. You listen to the familiar melodies that had accompanied you on your journey, and allow the music to evoke landscapes and scenes in your mind. The songs caress your sub-consciousness and fill your being with an airy joy. You are both here and elsewhere. Or perhaps you are everywhere and nowhere.
Moments later, I was climbing nervously into the back of the car. The driver wore the archetypal expression of an antagonist. No words were exchanged beyond the brief lines uttered to this nameless stranger, whose inclinations remained unclear. The car sped along empty roads and traversed dingy alleyways. Music blared from its speakers. I did not remember exhaling throughout the entire journey.
Sometimes it's easy to walk by because we know we can't change someone's whole life in a single afternoon. But what we fail to realize it that simple kindness can go a long way toward encouraging someone who is stuck in a desolate place.
Let your love be the kindness to make a homeless person believe that a soul needs something more than just four walls and a ceiling.
The image titled “The Homeless, Psalm 85:10,” featured on the cover of ELEMENTAL, can evoke multiple levels of response. They may include the spiritual in the form of a studied meditation upon the multidimensional qualities of the painting itself; or an extended contemplation of the scripture in the title, which in the King James Bible reads as follows: “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” The painting can also inspire a physical response in the form of tears as it calls to mind its more earth-bound aspects; namely, the very serious plight of those who truly are homeless in this world, whether born into such a condition, or forced into it by poverty or war.
While there are millions of hungry people all around the world, while there are thousands of homeless people in every country, while some continents are in a horrible poverty, while there are not enough schools, not enough hospitals in the entire world, building churches, mosques, synagogues or temples or spending money on guns, on war industry are the greatest treasons to humanity!
Transparent tubes divided Phil’s blood into shades of red, fading to straw colored plasma. I watched his fluid swirl past his shoulders and disappear into machines. He offered himself to blood banks all over the city, his plasma rushed to hospitals where it would circulate through other people’s bodies. The map of my love’s tapped arteries would look like a bloodshot eye over the city of Albuquerque. His blood bought us dinner. I dreamed he was my mother, and I nursed his arm. I wrote a poem about it, how I suckled his arm dry like a sore teat.
Sometimes I'd see my father, walking past my building on his way to another nowhere. I could have given him a key, offered a piece of my floor. A futon. A bed. But I never did. If I let him inside I would become him, the line between us would blur, my own slow-motion car wreck would speed up. The slogan on the side of a moving company truck read TOGETHER WE ARE GOING PLACES--modified by a vandal or a disgruntled employee to read TOGETHER WE ARE GOING DOWN. If I went to the drowning man the drowning man would pull me under. I couldn't be his life raft.
I saw the bruises, the burns, the cuts— I knew which ones had been done to you by someone you thought you could trust. Someone you thought loved you. I knew which ones you gave yourself.
One's sovereignty over the land is expressed most powerfully in the act of banishment. Perhaps the first eviction recorded in human history was Adam and Eve's.
This capacity for living easily and familiarly at an extraordinary level of abstraction is the source of modern man's power. With it he has transformed the planet, annihilated space, and trebled the world's population. But it is also a power which has, like everything human, its negative side, in the desolating sense of rootlessness, vacuity, and the lack of concrete feeling that assails modern man in his moments of real anxiety.
Home was never a dream for homeless people as they used to have their homes. Living in a home was their reality. Now we need to help them to find the lost-reality again.
Today's society is wanting in such a way that Honor, Integrity, Trust, Compassion, Empathy are left for the homeless and their pets.
We used to talk and smile seven days ago when I was wearing a suit. Now I'm dressed in a beard and smell of dog shit I don’t even get eye contact. I ask her how her week is going, and she looks to her friend behind the counter as if to say: I think this creep is hitting on me. Shall we call the police?
Join us. Play the game. It will bring you an untold number of rewards and you will finally have some direction and purpose in your lives. Take control of yourselves and those around you. Bend them to your will and all worldly pleasures will be yours...
Nothing is ‘wrong’ with me, Dan. What’s wrong with you? she said in the same eerily quiet voice, dark eyes fixated on Dan, as she breathed heavily.
The slick concrete reflected the facades of the work weary - grey, cracked and old,but more importantly, trodden upon.
I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.
I wasn't going to have enough money to pay for a Good Lifestyle, which meant I'd feel ashamed, which meant I'd get depressed, and that was the big one because I knew what that did to me: it made it so I wouldn't get out of bed, which led to the ultimate thing—homelessness. If you can't get out of bed for long enough, people come and take your bed away.
One in two recently evicted mothers reports multiple symptoms of clinical depression, double the rate of similar mothers who were not forced from their homes. Even after years pass, evicted mothers are less happy, energetic, and optimistic than their peers. When several patients committed suicide in the days leading up to their eviction, a group of psychiatrists published a letter in Psychiatric Services, identifying eviction as a “significant precursor of suicide.” The letter emphasized that none of the patients were facing homelessness, leading the psychiatrists to attribute the suicides to eviction itself. “Eviction must be considered a traumatic rejection,” they wrote, “a denial of one’s most basic human needs, and an exquisitely shameful experience.” Suicides attributed to evictions and foreclosures doubled between 2005 and 2010, years when housing costs soared.
Some days I am the flower beneath the machine. And the machine rolls slowly on, blocking the sun, without a care for what it tramples beneath.
The Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing tells the story of the gangster leaders who carried out anti-communist purges in Indonesia in 1965 to usher in the regime of Suharto.The film’s hook, which makes it compelling and accessible, is that the filmmakers get Anwar —one of the death-squad leaders, who murdered around a thousand communists using a wire rope—and his acolytes to reenact the killings and events around them on film in a variety of genres of their choosing.In the film’s most memorable sequence, Anwar—who is old now and actually really likable, a bit like Nelson Mandela, all soft and wrinkly with nice, fuzzy gray hair—for the purposes of a scene plays the role of a victim in one of the murders that he in real life carried out.A little way into it, he gets a bit tearful and distressed and, when discussing it with the filmmaker on camera in the next scene, reveals that he found the scene upsetting. The offcamera director asks the poignant question, “What do you think your victims must’ve felt like?” and Anwar initially almost fails to see the connection. Eventually, when the bloody obvious correlation hits him, he thinks it unlikely that his victims were as upset as he was, because he was “really” upset. The director, pressing the film’s point home, says, “Yeah but it must’ve been worse for them, because we were just pretending; for them it was real.”Evidently at this point the reality of the cruelty he has inflicted hits Anwar, because when they return to the concrete garden where the executions had taken place years before, he, on camera, begins to violently gag.This makes incredible viewing, as this literally visceral ejection of his self and sickness at his previous actions is a vivid catharsis. He gagged at what he’d done.After watching the film, I thought—as did probably everyone who saw it—how can people carry out violent murders by the thousand without it ever occurring to them that it is causing suffering? Surely someone with piano wire round their neck, being asphyxiated, must give off some recognizable signs? Like going “ouch” or “stop” or having blood come out of their throats while twitching and spluttering into perpetual slumber?What it must be is that in order to carry out that kind of brutal murder, you have to disengage with the empathetic aspect of your nature and cultivate an idea of the victim as different, inferior, and subhuman. The only way to understand how such inhumane behavior could be unthinkingly conducted is to look for comparable examples from our own lives. Our attitude to homelessness is apposite here.It isn’t difficult to envisage a species like us, only slightly more evolved, being universally appalled by our acceptance of homelessness.“What? You had sufficient housing, it cost less money to house them, and you just ignored the problem?”They’d be as astonished by our indifference as we are by the disconnected cruelty of Anwar.
Our current contempt for poverty stems from information overload--this is the enabler---our over education as privileged people-- perhaps the real culprit--and our secret assurance that we ourselves owe no one anything beyond the exhausting daily round. We will defend our lack of idealism to anyone and be horrifyingly well received in this age. Indeed, many so called financial philosophies are in fact nothing more than elaborate justification for one petty selfishness after the next.
To those who are struggling. To talk about a struggle, you're likely to forget about it. To be shown a struggle, you're likely not to forget it. But, to live through a struggle, you'll understand it.
We are homeless enough in this world under the best of circumstances without going to any special effort to test our capacity to be more so.