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Rose petals

they just don't get it

Ki wrote that "they just don't get it" in her LJ as she witnessed well-dressed businessmen calling out to the homeless in doorways that they should stop being lazy and just go get a job, here in downtown Olympia. Among the last photos she shared with us were portraits of those homeless. That was nine winters ago now, the persons have changed, the doorways have not.

Well, I'm at least a temporary visitor in that world, last night there were 23 men in the room next to me sleeping on mats. I'm in the Medical Section of our local Salvation Army shelter, lucky enough to be assigned a bed. While all kinds of social service agencies try to find me a more permanent place to live. Along with my own efforts.

Amazed to find the range of birthdates on the sign-in sheets last night: homeless, all the way from 22 to 65-and-a-half years of age.

I think it really is quite hard for anyone who has not spent months (or years) in the homeless world to comprehend with their hearts (more than just their heads) just what that life means, day-to-day. That goes for legions of social workers with letters after their names who are great at shuffling papers and big flops at dealing with people.

And from Ki's perspective as an Evergreen first-year student: sure she had a "home", it was her tiny room in an dorm-apartment on campus, barely big enough to hold the two of us. Her family home was not there, it was half the world away in Israel, and her boyfriend's family home almost as far away in Breda, Holland.

I think it's a stretch for us to conclude Ki thought herself homeless, but she certainly felt more and more alone, dissociated from the world in general (she told us that, using exactly that word dissociated, and "I don't feel like I'm really here..."). I think that part of her artistic excellence was to express their hopelessness and despair, and humanity, as something shared by assault victims, in her case children, expressing it as her wish "to illustrate human rights violations in Cambodia", "to help kids who're like I was, living on the streets, thinking there's no way in the world that anyone loves them..." and to do this by making videotapes and volunteering in an orphanage in Southeast Asia that summer.

As someone with a personal history of a tortured path, she understood completely. With her heart.

<=> <=> <=> <=> <=>

I've been up and down these hills these two months, through the forests, to campus, back to downtown, reverse. There is a lot of spirituality here that speaks to me, embodiments in the undergrowths and overgrowths. Were you here, it would to you too.

There's much that is the same here, after April 2008, and much that's different, these years later. In an hour, going on a photoshoot outside the libe, will post pics next time.

Blessings Be from Brad/Silverplate88 === Memorial Journal Co-Mod with Otter

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