December 21st Annual Homeless Memorial
I am not sure whether it requires more courage as a housed person or a un-housed person: A housed person that comes here is taking a stand against so many falsities and distortions—saying each person counts but an un-housed person that comes here has the courage to acknowledge their friends, despite the pain, and the courage to look inside and know that it may well be them that we are mourning next year.
It was an act of compassion to go, because we focus on the beauty and individuality of each person, not their flaws or faults. For some, the journey is more complicated than others. For some, the journey is unendurably painful. For some, they fought against the dying of the light with every last breath.
I thought about one for whom we mourned on Wednesday, and how a few years ago he strode the stage, drunkenly declaiming. He caught me in a hug as I tried to diplomatically herd him off the stage, and his outflung arm nearly gave me a right hook. Donny I think of you with these words
Wild man who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, he grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Let us hold in our hearts Chris and his mother. There are no words that can heal the loss of a baby. Let us hold them in our hearts this day and each day. Let us hold them in our hearts each day of this following year, so that when we meet again next year we can say that we saw each other with the utmost compassion and love.
We remembered each person Wednesday. Each person matters. Each person counts.
My dearest hope is that we love ourselves each day just as much as those we mourned. My dearest hope is that we each treat ourselves with the all the tenderness that we can muster.
My dearest hope is that we forgive ourselves.