You know you take the good with the not so good, the beautiful and pleasing with the not so beautiful and pleasing.
This is an old traffic structure in my neighborhood a couple of days ago and if you look closely there are a bunch of tents under there. I have seen a few encampments in this area over the last few years but this is the biggest one to date. Everywhere I go I see the orange caps of hypodermic needles on the ground. In case you hadn’t noticed folks, we are smack dab in the middle of a drug epidemic.
These people have families; and they are families of a sort. In my area we are not seeing children at least. I am hearing people saying they are feeling less safe out and about and I know I am.
For me this is not some news story or a comment by a friend of a friend, this is in my face every day relentlessly, particularly as I walk to the yoga studio and home. The last few weeks there has been this recessed area behind the downtown Safeway that has one of those continuous U bike racks that groups of folks living rough have started setting up camp behind… say like last night with a blanket thrown over it and they meet and greet and share drugs quite openly, literally on the sidewalk.
It is like something out of a dystopian novel.
As it is dark and wet and cold out it is a challenge to keep one’s mood in positive territory.
Oh and speaking of the yoga studio, I received an email from the young man that sublets it to me on Sunday evening that he was unable to come to terms that are agreeable with the building owner and he has lost his lease for that space. This means I am out of a place to teach in two weeks.
Not a lot of notice there Mister.
I was able to share this with my students that were in class last night and an email is going out to the rest in an hour or so. I am looking around for a space to rent close in so that I can keep everyone together. But you know, it is the holidays and many people are off or on a limited schedule. No one I have reached out to about alternate space has responded yet.
This might explain why this morning after donning my rain gear and walking 20 minutes in the drizzle up to a work meeting at another building that is usually in our building but was rescheduled there because someone forgot to put a place holder on the calendar and our regular room was snagged by another group and found that no one was either available or willing to let me into the area where the meeting was being held that I got, ummm, well, angry. Very angry.
I could have called into the meeting. That is I am sure what most people did but as these folks usually come down to our building I wanted to return the courtesy (and get some steps in during work hours).
As I turned around and walked back I thought about what Alan Alda was saying about effective communication and the practice of trying to imagine the other person’s perspective or situation. I did that. And was able to contact the meeting organizers later in a non-judgmental way.
It all made me tired though. All of this had made me tired.
And not tired in a languid pouty fashion model way.
We had a big storm last night and there is a flood watch out today but at least in isn’t icy or snowing or treacherous out right now.
May we all find the rest and warmth and freedom from craving we all need to have a respite from concern, and a shared moment of laughter as we all hang on just a bit longer for the return of the light.
And may we all have faith in our metaphorical ability to fly. Comfy as the nest is, for each of us the time comes to make the leap and start to learn how to use our wings.