Let me first stipulate that I have choices other than to be homeless. Even knowing that, it is very difficult. In no way do I want to simplify the experiences the homeless endure every waking moment. Having said that, I tend to forget that bit of reality at times when I’ve been “in the woods or one the road” without human companionship for too long.
When I first decided to hit the road to gather stories of survival, my anthropological self knew I couldn’t simply come into various lives then leave. To confiscate their painful reality in quick glimpses and present them as truth does everyone a disservice. Every story has degrees of beginning, middle, and end, until the very end. I would be nothing more than yet another thief if I approached this effort from an ivory tower, untouchable, making them “other” while keeping a safe distance. That would be the final insult.
Limited income presented me with two choices, pay rent and survive or, live on the road and create film. Well, Huckleberry Ramblings came from those choices and as you know, I chose the road.
One of the first stories took place yesterday morning when I had coffee with a wonderful woman who had been homeless. Her honesty was humbling, to say the least. Sharing pulls pain from deep within and forces the teller to relive those dark memories. For an outsider, such as myself, it weighs heavy on your heart when there is nothing more to be done but to bear witness and give them a voice that will be heard.
Today I’m in my favorite go-to campsite I’ve named, The Cubby-hole. It’s deep in the Oregon forest and very isolated. I ended up here after driving 250 miles looking for a spot only to find everything full. (Note to self: Make better plans for holiday weekends! ) Lucky for me, I have the Cubby-hole to fall back on. However, as I was searching, I passed two different people pushing shopping carts with all their belongings along a very hot sidewalk. As always, I hoped the Universe would grant them some relief and I moved on. As the day wore on and I still had no place to land, I couldn’t help but compare my search to those pushing shopping-carts around all day looking for a place to land, hoping they had the luxury of their own, Cubby-hole.
As usual, I forgot to turn off my headlights when I parked at Cubby-hole. That put me in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery and no way out. Well, not really, while in Nevada an angel was sent to insure my safety. Without a word to me, he purchased a Yahama 1000 generator for my travels, to that he added car battery charger cables. (As though he knew me or something.) I naturally had the hood of my car up and was checking the cables when a black car with tinted windows pulled in to my camp, as though it belonged there. I stepped forward to see if I could be of help. You can imagine my amazement when another angel, a very tanned beauty, stepped out to see if I needed help. She had seen the hood up. Another single woman on her own adventure. That kind of stuff doesn’t just happen. After five hours and a tank of gas, about .5 gal, my car started just like a champ! Thank you Universe, I know you’re thinking of me.
Until next time, Happy Trails my Huckleberry Friends.