Only the Homeless Can Write


If only the homeless could write how would our world appear .How different would our sense of life become.

I came across a Blog this week, written by a lady who is living in a camper van following years spent in an abusive relationship. She now survives  largely without electricity or heat. Sometimes she gets access to the internet at a shopping mall and writes a post. Reading one, I got caught up in the rawness of her predicament, and her desire to cling to normalcy.  Many of us,myself included, are surrounded by, or in regular contact with, loved ones and  the sound of laughter and padding feet. Reflecting on a life safely led, or navigated with a certain skill,  the words we read upon our screens are words.   In some way we are  immunised from the circumstances which gave them birth.  Do they become a companion to coffee, or a short break after lunch. However,not everything you read is civilised, or  from the gentler part of town, but the script is not normally desperate enough to disturb

Blogs come in many styles . Are read in many circumstances, but for some, living in the outer reaches of desperation, those words are  the last resource they have. It is not a call for help. More a primal cry drifting on the ether to random homes.    For me to sit here with my coffee while this happens seems the poorest response I could make but the only one available to me. It is a characteristic of complex “civilised” societies, that people can fall through the cracks in the social fabric and exist largely un-noticed and neglected in a way which was impossible to imagine in many of the “primitive” tribal societies we were so proud to clear from our path in the name of God and the Freeway.

By  chance, the people I refer to are a continent or more away from me. Their words might be a message from outer space for all the good I can do. My words, or those of others moved by her distress might not be enough, but words can sometimes sooth a wound they cannot heal. That is my hope at least.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, community, creative writing, Environment, Life, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Only the Homeless Can Write

  1. This is very moving and full of thought provoking issues,I say as I sit surrounded by waves of central heating, mug of coffee and dog and two cats allowing my day to meander cosily along.

    • I’m glad you are comfy. Coffee, dog and two cats sounds a very pleasing environment to me. It was comparing my own circumstances with hers which gave me the jolt. Thankyou for popping by

  2. Reblogged this on Sound Check 2 My Life and commented:
    What if…

  3. barbara says:

    I would love to read her blog. Can you share the link?
    b

  4. I read Lady w/ A Truck!

    Isn’t it amazing how words can bring continent together, Ducky? Xx

  5. nelle says:

    One of your best. We somehow manage to look the other way and let people fall. In this nation, an election threatened to make the turnaway policy. We should do better. We can do better.

  6. Thank you, Peter, for reminding me and anyone who reads your sensitive, compassionate words, that people struggling to survive simply want the “normalcy” that so many of us take for granted.

    I read a blog written by a woman who cleans other people’s apartments and hotel rooms. Some of stories she tells are horrifying. She compassionately deals with the detritus left behind by either people who don’t care about themselves or others or by people who have been left behind by others who don’t care about them. It’s truly humbling to read about her life and the way she handles it with such grace and dignity.

    This post is humbling as well.

  7. Shonnie says:

    Lovely — not her life of struggle — but the telling of her fight for life. Glad you stumbled up on her and shared a glimps of her world with us. It so helps to keep things in perspective. :D

    • You have faced many difficulties. That is a common experience. The determination you have shown in dealing with them is uncommon, and one of the key reasons why I’m pleased to know you

      • Shonnie says:

        Thank you. :) It is nice to be appreciated for who you are. Seeing that is really the only person you can be. :D It is truly wonderful.

  8. Al says:

    Heart wrenching to say the least. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  9. Writerlious says:

    Wow, that’s very powerful. I think, so often, because homelessness can be hidden from view a lot of times (at least how prevalent it is) we aren’t reminded enough of the day-to-day struggle a lot of people are facing.

    Thanks for posting!

  10. Dawne Webber says:

    Don’t under estimate the power of prayer. I’ve seen it work miracles. I know from personal experience that prayer may not “fix” the circumstances we’re living in and praying for. Sometimes the miracle isn’t noticed by others looking from the outside because it’s taking place on someone’s inside.

  11. i certainly think that faith can work miracles

  12. eof737 says:

    You write so beautifully and your message, while subtle, is clear to my heart. Until we can comfort all who hurt and provide for all who suffer with love, compassion and respect, we will never learn what it means to be truly and fully human… Thank you and the people have spoken.

  13. backonmyown says:

    As always, Ducks, you went straight to the core of the matter, and into my heart. I know this post isn’t (for you) about your writing, but it’s your poetic writing that draws readers in and allows you to make your point(s). Thank you for taking on such a difficult topic and making me more aware. I will look up ladywithatruck. It’s important that I don’t just read and forget.

  14. Very powerful. Thank you for the reminder to be grateful for all I have. I will most certainly check out her blog.

    • Thankyou very much for popping by. She’s on my Blogroll under “Ladywitha truck”. One day I will learn how to do links and then that would be in an impressive blue. In the meantime the link on the Blogroll does work owing to some magic process I am not familiar with

  15. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Oh – I was just about to ask if you were referring to Carrie/LadyWithATruck, and I’ve read your last comment. You are! She’s an amazing survivor. She’s wonderful. I have the comfort of bed, my cat, etc, and Carrie can only blog randomly. She’s amazingly positive too.

  16. Lafemmeroar says:

    This is so moving. It’s true that words can be all we have … I read Lady with a Truck … she’s a strong woman and a survivor. You’re awesome for sharing her story and her blog with others.

  17. Yes, I would like to read her blog too. Lady with a Truck? I’ll look it up! I’ve read a few bloggers who’re homeless – it really teaches me something.

  18. Spiritually Inclined, with Julie Buhite says:

    Ay, CD. I think this is my favorite of your posts. Holding back tears. There’s so much to say in response. I shared this on my new page on FB and want to “Press” it on WordPress. Would you mind adding the “Press This” button to your options? :) …Suffering. Something I think of a lot. My partner and I have been working with a youth group at a nearby church for the past few months. Yesterday I received a rundown on what goes on behind the church walls with these kids and young adults — and I feel ashamed. I let their good looks and nice clothes and manners fool me. We all suffer. A lot of us have just become good at fooling the rest of the world. This post of yours is a reminder to love and be kind and encouraging to all — because the decorations we show can hide a lot. Your post also reminds me to draw my attention and intentions towards those in dire need and let God know I’m ready to go. Big hugs to you, CD, and that huge heart and soul of yours.

  19. I don’t actually Know what the “Press” button is I’m
    embarresed to say. I must try and look it up. Thankyou for your lovely comment. Always nice to hear from you

    • Vital Simplicity says:

      OK, under Dashboard, go to Settings at the very bottom of the list. Then click on Sharing. Then scroll down. Then you can enable “Press This” by dragging it to the Enabled Services box. Sorry it took me so long to follow-up on this, CD.

    • Vital Simplicity says:

      When you added on Press This, you made it possible for anyone with a WordPress blog to click the icon and then click a Publish tab (or make some adjustments first) to publish it onto their own blog. I like doing this when I discover juicy stuff — like this post of yours — and want to share it with my peeps and anyone else who might happen across. So reblogging is blogging what someone else blogged. At least that’s my understanding. And by your installing Press This, you make it easy for us Word Pressers to share what you write. (Now I’m wondering if non-Word Pressers can use it too. Hmm.) I’m nowhere near technologically-savvy. It probably took me a mini-eon to find the right buttons the first couple of times. I still have to guess a lot when I go to do something unfamiliar. As time goes on, I get better at guessing … sometimes. :)

  20. Pingback: Only the Homeless Can Write (Reblog from CD) | Vital Simplicity

  21. renxkyoko says:

    The homeless woman is the reason why I feel guilty writing about my trips, or my comfortable life. I always have to say something about them.

    • She would be homeless whether you went on the trip or not. At least you care about this plight, which is a good start.She would not want you not to enjoy yourself, and learn through experience. She just wants to be in a better place herself

  22. If words reach out from the heart it is something; perhaps not enough to right every wrong but something better than apathy … or worse … The energy of noticing and caring can reach out across oceans and break down obstacles and injustices. Thank you for sharing from your heart and spirit.

  23. Countingducks,
    One person contributing to making a difference in the world helps many. I have worked with homeless Veterans and there is no better feeling than giving hope to someone in despair. Thanks for the reminder of how fortunate I am.
    Roberta

  24. sandradan1 says:

    Very moving, Peter. I found this post just mooching around your blog, and it brought me to a stop. I worked for years as a journalist and have taught both creative writing and journalism, but sometimes as a professional it is easy to forget how words can soothe and help to heal, something I learned from my students. SD

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