Walking. With Georgia.

It was Sunday morning. 4:50 a.m. 68° F. Morning Walk @ Cove Island Park. 432 consecutive days, like in a row.

My “observations” from my Sunday walk led to yesterday’s Monday Morning Wake-Up Call post — a quote from Janwillem van de Wetering, about being proud of his awareness, proud of his awareness of his pride, being clever to know that he is stupid, etc. etc.

The quote landed. My cup of awareness (I thought) runneth over, and I have a vice grip on all that I don’t know.  But this observation seemed to bottom out.

This spring, with the increase in seasonal park traffic, garbage cans were planted throughout the Park — electric pink — surely colored to encourage patrons to dump their sh*t in the can. I did notice the green cans, but they seemed fewer in number. And for 100 straight days, I walked by these cans, tossed trash in these same cans, and zero light bulbs turned on.

Until Sunday morning.

They were wearing headlamps, lights bobbing up and down as they approached.

Her head was down, averting contact.

His head turned to me in response to my “Good Morning”.

“Good Morning, Sir” in a Spanish accent. There we go again. Another human being calling me ‘Sir.’  Respect? Or do they see a Retiree? Either way, de-stabilizing.

They kept walking. I took a few steps in the opposite direction, stopped, and turned to look back.

Ah, Pink Cans.

He was in one. She in the other.

The garbage bags could hold, what 200 cans each?

5¢ each. ~$10 per bag. $20 take-home pay. Maybe $30.

I turned away, and kept walking. Feelin’ heavy.

And while I walked, I took inventory. iPhone: $700. Apple Watch: $300. Shirt, Shoes, Pants: $250. Backpack. $100. Camera and lens. TMI.

…amounting to 75 Sunday mornings of can collection. 75 Sunday mornings, and that’s just what I’m carrying.

I walk. Brooding, in the low hanging cloud cover and high humidity.

“Check the Privilege.” (Georgia)

Comments

  1. It’s still with me too – and there it is again – we see and yet we’re blind to so much; we feel empathy. Until we become uncomfortable; we assume and then – if we’re lucky – we pause and realize.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. These days I often feel like so many things demand my attention, summon my outrage, fray my nerves, invite my consideration, deserve my compassion that I scarcely can breathe. But when I manage to get my wits about me and find that quiet space, there’s a simple word that I return to…lucky. And a bit ashamed to be so….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We have all had tough times. When I was a young mom we didn´t have money for a Christmas tree one year, so the kids and I collected bottles and cans until we had $7.00 which was enough for a small real tree at that time. We loved that tree because we earned it!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. this makes me sad…

    but at the same time, I admire their willingness to do whatever it takes to survive…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Yes, some people have it way harder than others. But don’t forget, David, you worked hard to get where you are. You have earned your lifestyle and should by no means feel guilty that you have the privileges you have. That you see what’s around you is testament to your goodness. Never feel ashamed for what who you are (unless you were a horrid person, then that would be anothe story…)

    Liked by 3 people

  6. We do what we have to do. It’s not’s alwasy the money but the having something to do I had an uncle who had money, a lot and he and in his later yeras would go to the nice neighborhoods by his house and go thru their trash. It drove us crazy. Maybe it was his mind. But yesterday, I had a slightly similar situation and felt the same heaviness as I thought about the car we were driving, the Starbucks we were drinking and the house and a/c we were going home to. 🙂 SIR doesn’t make you old, you make me feel old when you talk like that, reember I’m older than you by 7-8 years

    Liked by 2 people

  7. your heaviness was a much heavier burden to carry than their filled to the brim bags would ever be. you will carry yours with you for a long while, even after they have emptied theirs.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Wow!! Checking the priviledge …

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 💔 Ow. A Sunday morn before 5, wearing headlamps? They likely weren’t drug addicts, but maybe these days we can only safely donate somewhere in their honor and ask our higher power for it to bless them, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Looking at it from another perspective. 🧐 The only difference between us and this story, is that their vulnerability and wounding is ‘seen,’ while we keep ours hidden behind possessions and money, and call it guilt.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I saw a skinny young man under the overpass bridge and prayed his tide would turn for better somehow I won’t know. I reminded myself my sorrows over a son who chose to move cross country for career are outrageously uncalled for…my son could’ve been this skinny young man hiding behind sunglasses and shade. I could just have easily been his mama. I pray I never get so “well off” that I forget the gift of being okay.

    Liked by 1 person

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