I am mindful today of the words of Maezumi Roshi: "Have good trust in yourself -- not in the One that you think you should be, but in the One that you are." I seek to strip myself of my external distractions, so that I can gain a clearer understanding of who I am, how I am called to walk in the world and how I can be a part of God(dess)’s work in the world.
I am enjoying the freedom that I have found on the streets: I get to walk slower, when I have no where in particular to go; I have only faith to rely on that I will be given my daily bread; I get to take the time to let others serve me (wash my feet), though it feels so much easier/better for me to serve others; I can do what I want at anytime, because I have no deadlines or people expecting anything from me (except maybe that I write in my blog every day); I can sit at the fountain at UN plaza and read a book; I can drink wine out of a paper bag in front of the church; I can do all the things that I am normally too dignified to do in my professional life (like pee outdoors); and I can lie in the sun with my bare toes in the grass and take a nap in the middle of the day.
I wonder why I don’t do these things all the time? Some of these things are wonderful bits of self care. Some of these things aresimply not done by “civilized people.” The real answer is that it all comes at a cost. I could do what I wanted anytime I wanted, or I could trade in my freedom for a (false) sense of control and a few comforts (like a warm bath, a soft bed, a back that doesn’t ache, the ability not to have to carry everything I own, the ability to be indoors and not get sexually harassed when people see that I am female, to not be considered a threat when people see me as male, to drink a warm soy hot chocolate).
If I eat dairy, I will get sick. So, thank God(dess) for Food Not Bombs! They serve vegan food that is yummy and healthy and I know that it will not make me sick. At their food line in the middle of UN Plaza they bring the food in big white buckets that are toted on the back of bicycles. They say there are not a food line, they are a protest to the way that the government spends its money. They have been around for decades, but their message seems particularly poignant today – particularly since the money that goes to food banks, welfare, librarys and other programs that feed the hearts, minds, Spirits and stomachs of the American people have been slashed in light of the war spending.
Food Not Bombs gets all the ingredients for the food they cook by going into the dumpsters of posh supermarkets, where they only put out the produce that are 100% beautiful and charge people 100% more for them. All that waste. Then Food Not Bombs takes the discarded, imperfect food to the discarded, imperfect people that have been cast out of society – our human litter that we call home-less.
What would happen if at the snap of our fingers the first would become last and the last first? What would happen in the home-less were suddenly home-blessed? Would things get any better? Would we have a world of more compassion? I guess it depends on if we REALLY are longing for the day when pain and suffering ceases and we are all able to eat at the same banquet/communion table? Do you still beleive it's possible?
Today I think of all the homeless that are eating at the Welcome Ministry today and remember that today I am called to be with them in a new way as I join them in the breadlines and as one more warm body on the cold concrete. I pray also for the homeless around the world, those in the Holy land, refugess, those ravaged by war and natural disasters, those who have lost their beloved, and who have lost hope.