Monday, January 19, 2009

Winter Daydream





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!"

© PhotosAndFineArt. com

Make sure you click on the image for a larger detailed look.

11 comments:

Diana Moses Botkin said...

This is such an interesting, intimate peak into this stranger's troubled face, even in sleep. I like this portrait very much, especially his hands.

George C.Martins said...

Once more you suprise me with your photos...

This photo reminds me of Rembrant's paintings, that precise moment capturing an action, a thought, an emotion felt....then reflecting them to the vewier....
Although we can imagine the dangers outside, surrounding the homeless, we can't imagine what they feel, think, starv or beg, if we want to...even for one day...its emotionaly difficult to step away for a 24 hour day and leave our warm home, confortable bed, full meal table, a roof, the light....we can't imagine without understanding and we can't understand without "walking a mile on his shoes"...

David, its simly a beautiful moment...thanks

TSL said...

Like George said, we can't imagine unless we've been there. Very poignant photo.

Deborah Secor said...

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! Thanks for sharing...

Deborah

Cheryl Jeske said...

You have captured something very unique~~It makes one count the blessings in our lives. Very Special~~Love, Cheryl

MANPOLO said...

Beautiful ...beautiful. Wish I a copyright of this photo. Love to paint this gentle soul.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I really like the music with this very poignant post and photo.

José said...

Hi,

It wouldn't look the same if you'd taken a colour photography.
So....now you're a paparazzo...:-)

Take care,

José

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks for posting this one, David - and for Deborah's comments.

Sometime I'll trade Seattle vagrant tales with you. In the middle of some sadness, I have a dozen funny stories to relate.

Seattle is hobo heaven, with the mild climate and access.

Carolann said...

I think you should try painting this one. I did one of a homeless man in pastels from a photo. It's interesting to have a go. Its on my blog.

Carolann said...

See February 09. Thanks for dropping by on my blog.