Today while driving to an appointment, I noticed a red beetle bug car broken down beside the road. Four or five miles up the road, there is another red beetle bug car broken down on the side of the road…how weird. Maybe people with that type of car should stay home today. Or make sure their cell phone is charged so they can call for assistance.
I also notice two red Priuses driving one behind the other…I see Priuses all the time but not two red ones in a line. I kept my eye on them to gauge which lane was actually progressing faster…and considered jumping in with them to form an impromptu informal red Prius parade since I drive one also…. I wonder if other drivers would notice and be like “Hey it’s a red Prius parade”…or if that’s just me because I’m weird.
I’m seeing pairs of identical red cars…what does it mean? Anything? Weird thing, not meaning “something”.
There is a homeless person I see every weekday on my way downtown. He is right off the exit I take where I turn left on Madison. I have been seeing him there for almost a year. Sometimes I feel compelled to give him whatever cash I have on me…most days I do not – I just silently wish him a happy day or send positive energy. When you see someone almost every day, you kind of feel like you maybe know them a little. If he notices it’s me driving by, sometimes he smiles, sometimes I get a “four finger lift” – like “hey” or “Hi”. Out of curiosity, I have watched to see if he does this with other people driving by…he does not. He feeds the pigeons extra bread when he has sub sandwich or sometimes sunflower seeds. I sense he is a nice person. I believe he is a Pacific Islander. He keeps his corner tidy…ties a garbage bag to the overpass railing to collect his own garbage while he’s there and his suitcase and bedroll are always neatly pulled together and parked against the railing. Sometimes he has a spiral bound notebook and is busy writing. I wonder what he writes…poetry? goals? observations? I don’t think he is on drugs or drinking. His eyes are very clear – our eyes meet often. If I feel compelled to give him money, I do…everything in my wallet…I figure I am a conduit for the Universe and if I sense I should – then I should. I did yesterday. Today he has a brand new spiral bound notebook and a green drink. Namaste sir. I kind of figure if the Universe puts someone in my path…especially regularly…there is a reason. [Update: today he pointed at me, smiled real big and gave me a full on wave…like yes, I do say hello to you because we are all connected and you “see” me. It cracked me up…it was almost like he had read the blog post…but I am quite sure he did not!]
There was a homeless person I used to see daily when I lived in West Seattle. I used to buy food for him. He used to stand in the meridian by Highland Park and W Marginal Way SW. We were in lock down due to COVID, but I was out working. I gave him money a couple of times, but what I sensed he needed more was food – since there is no food near there and I knew he slept in a tent next to the old post office just up the way. So, I would buy him food. I would think to myself as I went through a drive-thru only for him, “If he isn’t there, I will just find someone else who is hungry (I know where more homeless people are) or I will tell my daughter she is having 6 cheeseburgers for dinner.” I don’t have a ton of money right now…but the dollar menu is affordable. The first time I did it, he was shocked. He said, “I was just thinking about how I hadn’t had a burger in a long time, and I wished I had one – you are a fucking angel”. Other times he tried to give me a joke or an interesting quote as payment for the food – LOL. When I moved, I was a little worried about him but decided the Universe would provide…just through a different conduit. I have been over there a number of times since for work, always kept an eye out for him and haven’t seen him. I wonder where he went. And then there was the lady with the dog too…I don’t know where she went.
One time I was a passenger in a car and on as we left the freeway on an off-ramp, I instantly somehow locked eyes with a homeless man on the side of the ramp. In that moment I knew I needed to give him the $100 bill in my purse. But we were already gone. I had felt his energy and had a glimpse of his soul (gosh that sounds corny). I explained to my partner that it made no sense, and we couldn’t really afford it at this particular moment, but I needed to give this man that money. He said, “If that’s what you know, then that’s what we need to do.” It involved turning around, getting on the freeway in the opposite direction, getting off, turning around and getting back on in the original direction so we could take that exit again. It was record breaking heat…and here we were riding around in air conditioning while he was suffering. When we approached him again and pulled to the side, my partner handed him the $100 bill. As he took it, you could see his entire body relax a bit. His eyes welled up and he said, “Man…you don’t…you just don’t know”. My partner interrupted him and said, “Yeah brother – we do.” They shook hands, wished each other well, and we drove away. I’m sure some people will read this and think I’m nuts and foolish. But what if we all showed compassion for one another?
When I was 17, living alone in a studio apartment just outside of Boston, I used to take the “T” into Boston and walk around on the weekends. I would go to art galleries, bookstores, anywhere that looked interesting…just walk around by myself and explore. The Harvard Bookstore is where I bought my first piece of real “art”. It spoke to me. It felt really expensive, but I really wanted it – so I bought it and they wrapped it up in brown paper tied with twine and a nifty little carrying handle. I felt like a “real” grown-up. That is when I first noticed there were homeless people. I started talking to them (inquiring minds…). I shared a PB&J I had in my backpack with a couple of them and started asking questions…why were they homeless? How long? What were they going to do? What did they want from their lives? Where did they sleep? We visited all afternoon. When I went back to work on Monday (I worked at a software company), in the breakroom some co-workers were talking about their weekend and wondered what I had done with mine. I explained…I bought real art and talked to homeless people and what are we going to do about the homelessness issue…they freaked out. I mean freaked out like I had told them I was handling poisonous snakes! They told me I should never do that again…these people have mental health issues and drug problems! I explained the ones I talked to did not seem to have those issues, they were nice people who couldn’t afford life…and by the way they would rather you pretend not to see them than feel pity. Compassion is fine – but not pity. They told me I was too young to be doing that and I had to promise them I would not do it again. They were so genuinely upset, I did promise. We then talked about other ways I could help them instead…like buy an extra meal in a separate bag and leave it for them on top of the garbage can and just holler to them that it was there for them…it felt lame and silly – but whatever. I still have been known to do that in Pioneer Square on occasion when I eat at a nice restaurant – I get an “extra” …
I have genuine compassion for homeless people. Maybe some do have mental health issues or raging drug problems – but maybe some are just good people who went a little too far out on a limb and it snapped, or maybe they had a series of misfortunate events or made a few bad decisions they are trying to recover from. It feels like we have more homeless people than ever. Sometimes I think as I drive by the tent camps, about the people who live there…which one has the best or worst view…which spot would I choose if I had to (hoping that never ever happens, but I have scoped out the best spots around Seattle – LOL). I DO understand I can’t fix the problem – or make their problems mine…but I can do little things to say “Hey – hang in there – it’s an abundant universe”.
Don’t we have a responsibility of some sort to acknowledge their inner light (even if it seems a little dim at the moment) and spread some love?
Anyway – these are my random thoughts today…