Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lucky enough

Are you lucky enough to live inside? Sometimes living in Berkeley is humbling. The lifestyle of people in this strange town varies as wildly as any place can. I sometimes cannot tell those who chose their lifestyle here between those who fell into it unwillingly. I encounter a higher percentage living on the streets than I have seen in any other American city. This is not a large town. But to walk down a standard residential street and see a man curled up in a secluded spot between two bushes, it throws me for a loop.

Here I am, shopping for apartments right now, squeezing every ounce of satisfaction from the process, certain that I will find a place that is in a safe neighborhood, is a comfortable apartment. I will not settle for less. How privileged I am. How incredibly lucky enough must I have been to be born into this life with my parents, my opportunity. I may have some issues, but not many. And you know what, I am most struck by the lack of privacy these homeless endure.

I have quirks. I have strange behaviors, I have need and desire for privacy to hide myself from the world at times. I am not only that which you see, but that which you do not see. And hopefully those two inform each other in positive ways. We should all be lucky enough to have that privacy. Yet there are those who do not. That is sad. I cannot imagine what it is like to go home and for that home to be a flat space of dirt in between the sidewalk and a parking lot. To go home and find only the privacy of one's mind.

We have so many problems in this world. We always have had these problems, and it would not be crazy to assume we always will. So what problems need to be addressed? What should we focus our energy on? What should my role be? This guy who draws, how does he change the world?