the rain is back - this time like a drunk American packing through France with some embarrassed Canadians. puddles are deep, people can't drive. only because of garage sales - and some vintage couture i couldn't resist - i donned my first umbrella today, like a boss. what a ridiculous improvement - this whole keeping dry out in the rain - it just never occurred... i saw a pile of a person under the freeway today - covered in sleeping bags but still sitting up - that and a small mound of cigarette butts. no arms or legs or head. just blankets and wet and butts. and me with my stupid umbrella.
i used to think there was so much beauty in the tragic - or such tragedy to be found in beauty - and now i realize everything, really, is just a stepping stone either towards or away from divine compassion. Off highway 5 at Livermore today, a lady held a sign on the overpass "I bet you can't hit me with a quarter." I gave her twenty dollars and pleaded please don't let anyone hit you with a quarter. she spilled a broken tooth smile and crossed herself and i could see in her eyes exactly who she was when she was eight. my husband asked don't i ever worry people will just use my alms for drugs? no, i told him, i only care that for a second they have hope - that they feel worthy of something. i have heard a lot of addicts speak about a "moment of clarity" - and never did the story take place while meditating in some cave somewhere. That twenty dollars may not have changed her life but she changed mine.