I'd intended to share pics of iceboats this weekend at the river or maybe to celebrate the snow that's been falling all day, but instead...
This story has been heavy on my mind and heart all day. The victim was nameless when the story first went to press this morning, but later in the day he was identified and I recognized a connection to one of my clients and before the workday ended I found myself meeting with a policeman to share next of kin information.
I'm bothered by the things I left unsaid last week in my rant about the homeless. I spoke mostly from a place of frustration, rather than from that place in me that works everyday with the poor and that sees the things they really lack.
A job, a home, a purpose to their day... society can provide for those things in some form or another, but...
There's no way to counter the lack of a loving family to go home to or someone that smiles just to see you come in.
There's no way to replicate the feel of a warm-mittened hand in yours on the walk home from school.
There's no way to know what a kiss in the morning, coffee brewing and the newspaper waiting might do.
I'm not foolish enough to believe that love is the only answer. I know enough about the circumstances that lead people to find themselves in this situation. I understand about addiction and mental illness and the kinds of holes in a person's spirit that a job or a handout can't fill.
But we can try, can't we? To take better care of the people we love? To look out for our neighbor? To hand over a dollar or two for the man begging outside the coffee shop, without worrying that he'll use it, instead, to buy a bottle?
The need is overwhelming to those of us who stop to consider it, rather than just shutting down, or shutting it out entirely. It's easy to forget, I think, that the answer needn't be yes or no, all or nothing.
It's painful to see the need of others; even more painful to be helpless to fix it. Admitting to that is the first step, I think.