Litkicks Message Board Archive

sometimes is a choice

Posted to Poetry and Politics

where you can't not do what you do. i can't see walking away from these folks - there was a scene in the book St. Maybe by Anne Tyler where the character looked at his dead brother's kids in the car with him and thought about leaving them in a ditch - but he couldn't, even tho they were pathetic and sad and silly young 'un's.

of course it's a choice for most - with no condemnation from me as to those who help us and those who don't. with me, this is a culmination of all i believe in politically, and all i cherish and strive to represent as a visibly religious person in my community - tho i have my doubts as much as the next person, especially as i witness the good and the bad that forms the comedies, tragedies and drama's of our community.

tfire used a word i've erased from my dictionary: enabling. if i have a neighbor next door who's sick, i help without hesitation. what if that neighbor lived about a mile away in the woods in a tent. he/she is still my neighbor, still needs help. here's a tough one: what if someone has the dt's real bad which could lead to a seizure or worse - is it a good or bad thing to throw 'em a buck so they can buy a breakfast beer, settle down and then go to work. that's where nothing in my work is black and white - you just have to use the best judgment and instinct you can...

we've had a fella or two that most folks would consider in a classic sense to be just plain lazy. i don't have an answer for that. i know that our shelter is the last stop on the road - there is no facility willing to take in the folks we do. all of our folks are already at the bottom. though there may be mitigating circumstances for some. i just attended a lecture on brain injuries - how a blow to the head at any time in a person's life could cause what is not a very visible long-term psychological condition. it's possible to be just lazy - but it seems like those fellas get a lot of approbation from everyone around them - it doesn't seem a desirable position to be in from what i can see... and maybe there's an underlying cause that we can't see on the surface...

and tfire - i was just using art as a focal point. you're right - there's really no direct connection. i know that dorothy day retreated to the loft in her hospitality house and read the classics - Dickens, Dostoyesky - i'm sure as a way of comprehending and sythesizing what she witnessed amongst the poor. even today in the Catholic Worker newspaper, i think the best section is about the comings and goings of their communities - the stories of their lives - and i don't even know them personally! one day i'll endeavor to write the stories of the folks of our community ... it'd be a gas!