Thursday, September 8, 2011

Of One Kind and Another

Some hours burst with inspiration to the point I feel quite immobilized.

And again it started with coffee…
Followed by a string of really great blog posts from strangers who appreciate art and beauty. My Avett Brothers Pandora station helped too.

What do you feel when you are overwhelmingly inspired? I feel like sharing. It's most unsatisfying to see something beautiful when you're the only one who sees it. It's such a natural tendency in us to want to share experiences and emotion. So, I call someone, or blog about it, or just write it down so that there's at least a possibility I can share it later.

When this kind of inspiration comes over me I panic a bit because I know how fleeting it is. It's a gift and I want to be a good steward, ya know?

My first urge is to be productive and squeeze every bit of juice I have into something that will somehow be profitable. I have an addiction to being productive and often feel a moment should never be wasted. But as I get older I'm working on just enjoying or letting it be. To sit still and savor. I realize that moments are intrinsically valuable and don't need to be productive in order for it to be worth something. I see a great need in myself to let go of productivity. I'm sure it's useful and makes me a great employee and teammate. But not always a good mom or wife or friend. Just be.

*     *     *     *     *     a few hours later     *     *     *     *     *

The fleeting moment did pass. Inspiration of one kind left and another arrived. A very different kind. I went downtown with the UGM writer and my office roomie, Barb, to take photos of this homeless couple she interviewed over the weekend. Sammy and Amber are young and have lost all rights to their children. Their childhood pasts aren't pretty at all. They use meth to numb their pain. It was so good to be down there talking to people. But it was hard. Their story is tragic; their plight not very hopeful. I did get some photos, although it was awkward and they were nervous and I rushed the process. So not very many turned out. I hope I have at least one I can use for our next newsletter. Barb and I left feeling a lot of despair for them and for homelessness in our community as a whole. It's a lot to carry. It's a huge story that needs told on a regular basis. But we don't have a perfect solution. UGM can be a solution for some people, but many who are on the streets won't or can't be helped. But maybe we can help others see the homeless as people like you and me. Barb shared a link with me about a photo project on homelessness in San Diego and I was inspired by what the photographer said:

"I think that making that connection is the first step. Then hopefully more people will put pressure on our city leaders, more people will volunteer, more people will donate to some of the great service providers in the city."
"…it was clear that we have to listen to individual stories if we're to understand homelessness in our community."
 So, I'm re-inspired to be a part of a movement in Spokane that is helping the homeless. Pain can be inspiring, and I experienced that today. I'm inspired to help Barb tell their story and I hope I can do it justice. I'm praying a lot because I'm scared out of my mind that I won't do it right and I don't feel worthy to communicate such an important message that is so close to God's heart. I know a little how Moses felt when God said:

"And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the 
way the Egyptians are oppressing them.

So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the 
Israelites out of Egypt.

But Moses said to God, 'Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring 
the Israelites out of Egypt?'"

And this is how God responded: "I will be with you."

I wrote a poem (kind of) to express my experience in some way. I used some of what Sammy said today and some of my own thoughts when I put myself in his worn-out shoes.


Look at me.
I'm under a bridge, but I'm not hiding.
I don't trust nobody, but I'll face ya.
I'll look ya in the eye.

At least for a few seconds.

"Don't wear your house shoes in the yard."
Ya never know when you'll have to run.
Every day is a bad day and I'm scared to go to sleep.

I don't wanna take your money.
But I need a place to stay. A place to clean up every day and shave so I can go to work.

I wear out a pair of socks a day. I need socks.
My feet hurt.

At least I have her. We're all each other has.

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