Here is an older entry
from my diary. It was written in Germany on April 11th 2005.
asked me capture my whole "view of life" in a photo.This is it.
I know what you're thinking. "But Clarity, That's just some homeless person ..how depressing
Since this isn't your standard picture of a beautiful butterfly or a rainbow to represent life, I guess I need to explain.
Last week I was in town during lunch break and I decided to stop at the Potato Kiosk and buy some wedges with sour cream and Asian salsa to go. It's a little treat I like to give myself sometimes. The wedges are warm, crispy on the outside and soft inside. The sauce is amazing and it comes with this snazzy little colorful fork.There is always a long line to wait on because it's a popular spot.
I sat down on the bench in the center of the city and just decided to enjoy the warm weather while eating my meal.
This homeless woman came up and started rummaging through the trashcan to the right of me. She was searching for food and mumbling to herself quietly how hungry she was.
I was in the middle of taking my first bite and the wedge was only inches from my lips. I gazed over at her and then at my wedges.
I felt this tug on my heart looking at her going through the trash. She glanced over at me briefly and I saw that look of real hunger in her eyes. It was a look I have never had on my own face. I've never seriously gone hungry before in my entire existance. Even when we were broke, we always had some
kind of food. (Even if it was only Ramen noodles). I also know that if things ever got really bad, my mother is only a phone call away. She would wire me money at the drop of a hat. I wouldn't have to search through a garbage can, averting my eyes from the stares of passerbys.
This woman didn't have that luxury.
I handed her my potato wedges. "here, you can have this..
", I told her in German
She took it gratefully. "Oh god bless you. You have many wonderful things heading towards you in life. I see this, you know. I see this.", she said smiling. Then she walked over to a little spot next to the staircase leading into the underground tram station. She sat down and began to scoop the wedges rapidly into her mouth, barely stopping to breath.
I returned to the office because I couldn't afford to buy more wedges and compared to her..I wasn't that hungry.
Today, I was in town again heading to the post office to send out another card for Colleen when I heard
"Blond girl!! Blond girl!!
I turned and saw the homeless woman sitting in that same spot. She was gesturing for me to come over.
I approached her and she pointed to the camera slung around my neck. "You can take a picture of me", she said.
"I don't have anything to give you today", I said regretfully. "I'm sorry..My pockets are empty"
"No no..it's free. No money", she said brushing my last sentence away with her hand. "I want you to take a picture of me..for other people to see. You understand what I mean, don't you?
But I nodded anyway.
I snapped 3 photos. She started to laugh and then began to sing softly. She seemed so happy in that moment..
The sound of her singing followed me when I waved goodbye and continued on my way to the post office.
Now you could just dismiss this woman as your average "crazy Schizo homeless bum"
But I think it goes a little deeper than that. She was singing and she was laughing despite her circumstances. She has NOTHING and she's still smiling. She's appreciating life and she's in the moment. Some of the wealthiest people in the world can't even do that. She figured something out, a secret that she's privy to. The meaning of life, the meaning of happiness. Life is fleeting and you have to just be happy whereever you are right now. Even if it's not the life you imagined.
Also My view in life is to give as much as you can, whenever you can because whatever you put out there will come back to you in life. Sometimes it's hard to suspend judgment, sometimes it's hard not to get caught up in a drama, sometimes it's frustrating to stop for someone in need because you have somewhere to go. Sometimes it's scary to give too much.
I don't have much money or many material items to give. I just have myself, so I open up and share that here. Sometimes that's scary, because I'm opening myself up for judgment and putting myself out for others to see my flaws. That sometimes leaves me feeling very vulnerable. But when someone leaves me an E-mail saying that their friend is also suffering from Lupus, they have a loved one in jail or a relative overseas in Iraq, that something I said they could relate with or made them feel less alone in their own struggles. Then I realize it's worth it.
I would be writing this even if noone were reading because I've kept diaries all my life, the difference is that this one isn't wedged inbetween my mattress but out there for the world to see. You can read it if you choose to, if you don't agree with my views..you have the choice to stop clicking on this journal link.
I keep thinking back to that encounter with that woman today. I remember turning around and seeing her smiling. People were moving past her rapidly with tense expressions and wearing business suits. They were in a rush to get back to the office from their lunch breaks, looking stressed and unaware of their surroundings. There she was in the center, without a home and surrounded by trash..but she was singing. She was in the moment.
I think I understand what she meant now.
Here is her picture, I'm posting it in my diary.."for everyone to see
(This was taken a moment before she burst out laughing.)
Look into her eyes. That's
my view of life.