Inspiration- it’s that thing that hits us in the head at just the right time…
The holiday displays have been displayed and have been that way since the week prior to Halloween. This year I am thankful that there has been an entirely new group of folks who have entered my life, and sometimes the reasons show themselves to me in a manner that is “stay tuned for the next episode of “What is Reverend Roxie gonna do this time?” but this time…this time was different from all the other times but so totally not. I have been shown pictures of certain people who mean anything, not only to one person whom I share a bond with, but with a few…like maybe…5 people. This one person knows who they are, because they are very adept at saying what is on their mind and when he struggles for the words, it is normally a picture of a person who he used to “know”, and by “know” I mean that while he still knows them, he does not know who they have become. One of those things that some of these people he shows pictures to me of, or plays music they used to play, or simply shares with me, wistfully at that, are the people with whom he has shared a past bond with who have lost themselves in the world.
The hardest part is knowing that some of these people are homeless, and by my own account being without your own address is, in short, really hard, and when it visited my life back in the early 90’s, not through my assistance in making us that way, and when it was that there were addiction issues which loaned to the problem, I knew then what I still know now….homelessness strikes like does disease. It does not differentiate. No one is immune. Like any lengthy disease might show up in our lives after a lot of years ignoring what was right there all along, so, too, does homelessness sort of sneak up on a person. It snuck up on me and when things became do or die, fight or flight, leave or get beaten more, I left, and when I left I had someplace to “go home to.” I knew then what I knew this time, that after I’d lost my house in the desert that I would be able to return to the place where I would again be one of the kids at home.
Yet not all of us has that convenience. Sometimes we end up dong things that we know we should not, and eventually the madness that I hear is addiction becomes the all-too big bigness in life. I hear that addicts end up consumed with their own needs and eventually they hit rock bottom and in many cases, homelessness is the end result.
So, you can all basically guess that after I’d put my eyes on this picture and measured the energy, not of a distant sadness at the sacrifice of talent only, but also the loss of a friend. I know this ache, and I know it very well. It is that same ache you get when you roll up onto a serious accident and realize that your life was spared because not twenty minutes prior to your rolling up to that horrific mess you were asked if you might not like to ride with the band to Corona and on your own way there you recognize the mangled mess that was once your friend’s car, and then, because you are the only one dumb enough to get out of her car in the middle of a rainy night on the 71 southbound, you creep closer to the wreckage and realize, through the stream of tears which are now like that rain storm, that not only would you have been just as gone as your friends were, but more, that you no longer would see them unless it was in remembrance of them.
Yes…they were my friends…and yes…they asked if I might not like to save the gas in my Blazer..and yes, indeed, it was me that rainy night, two decades ago, where the realities of drunk drivers being on the road at the same time as I was really hit home for me. I was a wreck for a long time, the memories of my friends’ bodies strewn across the road like 5 little rag dolls. I recall it like it was yesterday, like it was just last night.
But …just last night…someone else showed me a different wreckage, the kind that breaks your heart, over and over again, not because they have fallen on avoidable hard times, but because you can see the real them behind the thing that ate their life. It makes you want to cry. It makes you mad. It hurts you. I know this. I see it in the eyes of this person, although he tries hard to hide it, that this affects him. And those who are close to me, who know well the depth of my own Aloha and how real it is the idea that I Live from that Place, that place where I keep vigil over the Tribe which I call “my own,” know well that when I say that something must be done, that that is absolutely that – so, here is what I have come up with and this…THIS, other than the work I do for other spiritual types, artists and the like…is what I am all about, and yes, I know that there are others like me on this rock called Earth who are just like I am….you know that you are here for a grander purpose.
I chose to take the “scenic” route home last night, and along the way saw things that hurt me, that would hurt anyone like me, who believes that there is a purpose for all of us, yes, including those who can be considered as being “The least among us.” Biblically they are the meek, but in my language, they are part of the Soul Tribe that I am part of, that is mine, and it is by association. Hawaiians ALWAYS, at least most of us, take care of our own, and these homeless people are “My Own.” They are mine because someone close to me once knew who they were when he knew them, and now ?
Yeah…I saw a whole LOT driving from his town, through mine, and what I saw saddened me, but at the same time compelled me to go out into that same wilderness, to be Like Christ in the manner that we must kokua others, we must Malama those who can no longer malama the ‘aina for themselves. Much of it was avoidable, and all of it hit home for me, all because of that one picture.
In this case, the grander purpose is easy. Along with the paid work that I do for other business owners and self-employeds like myself, I am BIG on giving back to the community, and right now in the Inland Empire my community needs to reach out and help me with collecting winter coats and blankets for the people who have fallen to homelessness…and let’s not forget that some of those who are homeless are children. That’s right, guys…here in my town, if you did like I did last night, while it rained, while it was cold, while it was still in my head and while I had no idea as to why it was still there, the picture of this young man who I know I have handed much money to, but when I rose this morning, albeit later by hours than I am usually awake, the thought in my head was of working on the things that I have been hired to do, but more, reaching out for both assistance as well as compassion, to give to those among us who can barely recall who they are, let alone what time of year it is.
So there you have it…my campaign for this year, and likely for years to come, is reaching out and making sure that those among us who cannot afford a roof are at a minimum, warm…warmth is the greatest thing in the world when you are freezing your okole off, and if there is one thing that I am allergic to other than Eucalyptus pollen, it is the cold. I have to wait to hear from the businesses, the political officials, the very people in my life, in my community, and most of all, who reside somewhere in the heart and soul of me, and you all know exactly who you are….I am awaiting their emails in reply to mine, and I know that they will help me, because that is just how they roll…just…like…Mapu…like me….
…who’s with me? Who among you will help me care for the part of the Tribe who, at least some of them, do not even know the day of the week, and some of them cannot even recall their own name? Who among you will take part in this, the feeding of the Soul which is Your Own?
…and mahalo to that person who has been an inspiration to me from day 1, even through the things which have broken his own heart a million and one times. Still, he manages to smile, even through the wildnerness which he calls his very own. Mahalo nui…
Of course…you all know it…
I LOVE YOU ALL !
Reverend Roxanne Cottell is the Kumu Hula and Creator of the Spiritual Hula Program for Women and the Co-Founder of Na Hula O Ka Wahine ‘Ui. She is a blogger, book author, choreographer and Spiritual Adviser. If you would like information about “ROCK your NUPTIALS” Weddings or simply just to contact Roxanne for information about the Spiritual Hula Program for Women or information regarding private hula or Spiritual Guidance sessions with her feel free to send her an email.
(c) 2012 Roxanne K. Cottell. All Rights Reserved