You can get a lot of information from a lot of different people but there are always and thankfully certain people that have a way of making you believe it. People whose opinion is formed from a perspective you couldn’t destroy with all the sledgehammers in the world.
In other words, they have nothing to gain by saying whatever it is that they say that gives you pause, they have nothing to prove or recognize nothing in you that could help them prove it. What they say rings so true it grants your soul a certain freedom in the hearing. Pure observation. Truth as a separate entity erupting in the space between.
I still breathe memories of those moments. They still ground and provide a sense of wonder for me. They are rare, those gems. And the people they come from, every one, living embodiments of timelessness. Their timeless quality, the only unifying feature.
I talk a lot of shit about homelessness. But there were perks. There were moments with timeless folks. I don’t like to glorify those moments because I’m not convinced, we can’t find them, and relish them, other ways. Comradery, connection, intimacy, possible on levels most people don’t even realize exist.
A transparency and authenticity because of the immense vulnerability is proffered, is part and parcel. I was granted a luxury in that impoverished state. Stripped of all conjecture, all ideas of identity, left with only my heart and soul. I was seen. Truly. I was offered pure observation. Being homeless in Boulder was perhaps the only time in my life I felt a sense of true friendship. And I’m not sure why. It wasn’t friendship in retrospect so much as the freedom only a certain type of chaos can grant.
I can only remark that I was not beholden so much to norms. I let ten thousand years of self-restriction out nearly unencumbered. I played dress up with thrown away clothing. I played house in an abandoned garage. I hunted for treasure like I was a pirate whose boat had landed ashore unchartered territory. I was seeing the world for the first time. I was rescued and released back into the wild. There is nothing like sleeping on top of the earth. Or putting tired feet into the clear, cool running water of a river. Finding a hot cup of coffee the only thing on your to do list. Coffee is cheap so joy could come easy.
There is nothing like listening to old men tell stories that actually teach you something. The secrets old men tell with that sparkle in their eyes-only old men hold. The crabby old men that taught me a thing or two, that saved my hiney when I tried to throw myself away, had a way of understanding sorrows that never reached their voice. Their voice filled only with presence, assurance. That they would be there, eyes open, until they could no longer. There is a peace that come with that stance. And a joy to have found such peace is real.
It was these that saved my soul in Boulder. Brought me back. Said we know Heaven, Missy, we know, and we won’t hurt ya if you have to let it out. And I did. God help me, I did.
There are reasons earth is considered a paradise. Hearts that come out of eyes is one of them. Heaven on the lips is another. Where else is love made so tangible? Crabby old men that have seen too much and still love life is the only place I’ve seen hearts come right out of eyes. But I’ve been preferential. Perhaps.
They make a handy barometer of how well we’ve done co-creatin a way to do life. Do the eyes of our old men sparkle? Can they make each other laugh with jokes that make us want to live deeply enough to have one day too, as hearty with friends held for fifty years as friend’s we’ve just met? Do young girls feel safe and free to be female in their presence? These are the signs of life well guided by hands invisible, Divine and underrated.