Monday, January 19, 2009
There is something I always notice during our winters...and that's the homeless people trying to keep warm during those cold January days.
This shot was taken last Saturday at the park next to Pike Place Market in Seattle. There were quite a few homeless people on the benches that afternoon - catching the rays from the midday sun. Even though this gentleman looked content...I only wonder what his sleepless nights are like, in the darkness and dangers of the city that surrounds him...a short prayer is said, as I walk away towards my warm car.
I'm adding Deborah Secor's comment below on this post. Deborah is an artist friend of mine, and is a feature writer for the Pastel Journal and other art publications. Deborah and her husband Dan are a big part of the Ministry for the Calvary Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
"David, as you know I've spent so much time with guys like this one...and your photo shows a man who appears to be content in his circumstances. He's apparently well fed, relatively clean, and has the clothing appropriate to the climate--a sweater, coat and hat. Without knowing, I suspect he's chosen this lifestyle. Many of the homeless men we've worked with tell me they really LIKE "living free", with no one to tell them where to go, what to do or when to do it.
Like anyone, they develop life skills that are remarkable. You and I might try a night or two on the streets and be lost, alone, cold and hungry, where street dwellers know the ropes. They know where to go to find some safety, if needed, where to 'camp', gathering together for comfort (and shared drugs, alcohol or whatever!), where to go to get warm (the missions, the heating vents, the parking garages), and food is readily gotten if they plan ahead to get it. Most of these men are thin because they have to walk all the time! They may have a bus pass, but most of the time they have to keep moving to keep from being cited for vagrancy.The majority of them get a monthly disability check of some kind, and a lot of them have a cell phone and a debit card, believe it or not...
So I guess I see a guy here that looks like one of the 'winners' (of that sub-culture, that is), in that he's snoozing, not dead drunk or stoned, and seems to have what he needs for the moment.
It's a strong shot of a guy who is probably doing what he wants, his way!"
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