Wednesday, July 12, 2006
My View of Life
Here is an older entry from my diary. It was written in Germany on April 11th 2005.

******

Nightmare54 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?"

I didn't.

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.

 
posted by Clarity25 at 4:34 PM |


20 Comments:


At July 12, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous 

I just found your blog in a search. Your writing is beautiful. Best wishes to you.

At July 12, 2006, Anonymous TickTrix 

This post made me so happy because I've been really worried about you. I'm glad to hear that your coming out of the slump.

At July 12, 2006, Anonymous Janet 

Hey, it's nice to hear you check in every once in a while. I'm glad to still have this glimpse into your life. I understand why you need the distance but just know that you are missed. I hope things are going better for you... much love from California.

At July 13, 2006, Blogger MsDemmie 

I found you via Micheal at Ripple me this .... what a wonderful blog and an amazing post in particular.

I will be back to visit soon X

At July 13, 2006, Blogger Stacia 

It's amazing how much power books can have. I'm glad you have such a good friend. That post from Germany was one of my favorites.

At July 13, 2006, Anonymous Amy 

That is so wonderful that your friend gave you that book! I read it last week. I got it from the library since you have talked so much about how you like it. It was a quick read but so good.

At July 13, 2006, Anonymous Jenn 

I'm glad you're feeling a bit better! I've been wanting to e-mail to check up on you but you said you needed space and I didn't want you feeling bothered or anything. I'm glad you're okay, though.

That post about your view of life - that was the post that got me hooked! Poopie linked to it one day, I clicked through and got completely hooked.

What a nice gift! Kent got me a 1st edition of my favorite book for our second Christmas together, I know how much things like that can mean. You have a great friend there.

Also... I miss you! Take care! ♥

At July 13, 2006, Blogger Kathleen 

I love that Germany post just as much today as when you first wrote it.

Thanks for posting, I was getting very worried about you. You were missed, my dear.

I hope you know you don't have to rush on my pictures. Whenever you get them done will be fine. You do what is best for YOU!

*hugs*

At July 13, 2006, Blogger Brandy 

She lives!

Hope things are getting easier and better, I hope you can see the horizon.
If your not already doing so I highly suggest going for a long walk with Eric once a day, it will help clear your head and lift some stress.
Hope both you and Eric are taking care.
Hugs and highfives.

At July 13, 2006, Blogger Nightmare 

one of my favorite entries. And not because I asked the question but because of the answer you gave. Still warms my heart.

At July 13, 2006, Blogger Octavia 

Ah, I remember this entry!
Your future kids have got to read these entries, because they really are amazing.
I agree with what "Anonymous" said, in that your writing is beautiful.

I hope you feel better soon about things =)

At July 13, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous 

Great entry! I also like your artwork! I wish I could draw like that!

At July 13, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous 

clarity
only you would find the meaning of life in a homeless person...lol...just kidding everybody.....the weird thing is ...in this homeless person you were able to find hope,peace and contenment.....i just get scared...i see myself thirty years from now dirty, cold and alone!!!! maybe that is why most people look the other way when they see homeless people..because that ,for most of us, is only one pay check away...which is a scary thought!!!! i am glad you and karen where able to get together...that is karen...one minute she is making ou laugh and the next minute she says or does something that moves you to tears!!! i guess that is why we have put up with her all these years..lol..i would say glad you are feeling better and that i had been worried but since you do not call ever i did not know you were feeling down!!!!! i guess call me!
love,
michelle

At July 13, 2006, Blogger Crystal 

I have been thinking about you and wondering how you're doing. I'm glad to hear you're starting to get back to yourself. Trust me, me of all people, can relate to how you're feeling. Keep your chin up.

At July 13, 2006, Blogger Bernice Sequin 

Hey sweet Clarity. Just thougt I'd write to tell you I have a new online home. I'm going to leave Ladybug up, but will probably be spending most of my time at Gallerina (url posted at the end).

Anyhow, come and visit me!!

Hope everything is working out in New York like you'd hoped.

At July 14, 2006, Anonymous nikig 

Wow! This is has touched me and brought me back to the path of reality that I have been searching for. Thank you for this touching and intense story.

I am back...hi! I hope to catch up with your life...mine has been a bit like Alice in Wonderland...I am finding my way back to reality now...

Thank you for this story Clarity...its beautiful. :~)

At July 15, 2006, Blogger MamaKBear 

What a wonderful and precious gift your friend gave to you! I can't really recall receiving a gift that made me cry, but I do remember giving one to my sister a couple of years ago where she reacted that way. My nephew had been born not too long before and I had made a crosstitch baby birth announcement with his name and stuff on it...put it in a frame and gave it to her, and the look on her face was priceless and I'll never forget it!

I remember that entry from Germany! I bet that lady had some stories to tell. :)

At September 20, 2006, Anonymous Christina 

This is such a powerful entry. I started checking out more of your archive. I like your photographs and your words.

At September 21, 2006, Blogger Neil 

Clarity,

This story shows how well-named you are. It was a moment of absolute clarity that you experienced. The photograph of the woman sitting amongst the trash, with the soda cups, and half a McDonald's sign does capture what has become the essence of modern life. It shows disparity and indulgence, gluttony and also hope.



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