In my blog and review of Race Matters by Cornel West, I quoted the author, "We have rootless, dangling people with little link to the supportive networks—family, friends, school—that sustain some sense of purpose in life." [page 9] Professor West perceives an "eclipse of hope and a collapse of meaning" [page 19] and describes "Nihilism [as] ... the lived experience of coping with a life of horrifying meaninglessness, hopelessness, and (most important), lovelessness." [pages 22-23] In my blog and review I continued by saying he could be talking about almost everyone affected by what's politely called "economic downturn," the folks who find themselves less structurally connected than they were, and especially less able to reconnect in ways that help rebuild a recognizable identity and reclaim a place in the world. Two years after posting that review, I'll say it out loud: that describes my situation well.
Cornel West says there's "...a crisis of too much poverty and too little self-love." [page 93] When I lived and served in the inner city I observed ways people exist in many kinds of poverty, economic almost being the least, albeit often becoming the last straw. My financial situation is close to scary, yet as I told my deacon from Former Church maybe three years ago, "this isn't about $$$," and she replied, "I know. That would be so simple."
A few months of Faith, Order & Witness meetings ago a regular participant told us with amazement he'd recently learned how social order and structure emerges "among the homeless;" I replied, "Yes, of course. Why would it be otherwise?" I'm still dangling in free fall, without organic or structural connections to organizations and individuals who can help provide me with opportunities and help resurrect my humanity.
mayoral candidates debate
Thursday evening during the local mayoral candidates debate someone suggested we and they and everyone need to stop talking about the past and concentrate on the future. However, in real life the city needs to start right here and right now, where past and future intersect and so do I.
imagining my future
Support system sounds technical and abstract, but I need something with components, parts and pieces that work together and function as a whole and despite what I often imagine, I'm not quite starting from zero. J and J are friends in the complex where I live. There are people at Church up the Hill, though I don't know how many of them would be interested or able to figure out where I am. There's J from Former Church. A few days ago I was sorting through, throwing away some of the miscellaneous paper of every kind that collects and at first thought the notecard from Nick I found was from autumn 2008 but it was from autumn 2003. Nick's handwriting is plenty large enough and clear enough; my error was wishful thinking. Do I try to reconnect with him? How and why did we get disconnected? Partly because my own scratch for life situation makes sustaining relationships overwhelmingly difficult and partly because of Nick's lack of a computer at that time. A few blogs ago I mentioned being at the end of the "optimal - balanced - strained - burnout - breakdown" taxonomy and I'm at the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy, too. You cannot change what you do not acknowledge, and what do I imagine for a future? At this stage needs and desires are about equivalent.
Ten years ago at this time I'd almost finished the Community Economic Development certificate at Big State University. I researched the classmate I collaborated with for my affordable housing final project and she's now - or recently was - a poverty scholar at A Famous Seminary in NYC and was nominated for Scholar in Residence. Comparing people and situations is such a terrible idea, but as the CED program director told me, though every year they admitted at least one person without the requisite undergrad degree, former classmate was highly unqualified but they pushed her through and apparently she already had enough [historical] connections to get kicked upstairs afterward. Despite my initially hoping for a lifelong friendship with her, she spit in my face a few too many times so I made no attempt to stay connected. I could retrieve and recite the too many times she considered me a threat and acted rudely because of it but won't right now—or at least not in this public forum. Right now I need find ways to reconnect and especially to have the first good summer since 2002!
You cannot change what you do not acknowledge, and what do I imagine for a future? At this stage needs and desires are about equivalent and they're a subject for the next blog in this "life stuff" series.
It's almost Easter 3 and my life cries out for resurrection!!!