Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Blue Modern Hanging Art Mobiles | Mark Leary Designs

On privilege
“But I don’t know if I can,” said blue bird.
“If you have the option of can or can’t,” explained crow, “then the question becomes will you or won’t you.”

Thoughts while making
 “Pick it up,” he yelled. “PICK.IT.UP!”

On the concrete in front of him was a collection of odds and ends. A small, blue plastic bottle of Bombay gin. Some loose change. A dirty blue plaid handkerchief and a bunch of crumpled papers.

He pointed directly at a nickel, looked at me directly in the eyes, and dared me, “Pick It UP!”

I’d heard him from a block away. Seen him running back and forth on the corner. I’d watched three groups of people cross to the other side of the street to avoid him.

As I approached, he kept yelling. I met his blue eyes and just smiled the kindest smile I could find. And then it happened.

For a perhaps a second, he was silent. He stood still. He seemed to clear his throat. Then, looking right at me, he said, “Fuck you.”

And this may be the best present I receive this holiday.

Walking around downtown Portland is a lesson in privilege, a primer on the turbulent and fickle economies of fortune. It’d be easy to oversimplify or create labels and boxes, and we each have our hardships, all carry our own burdens: But fuck me if I forget for a second how fortunate I am.

It’s a story, I know (and one told from a place of privilege), but what I told myself is this man wanted somebody to see him, hear him, stop for him, and simply do what he asked: pick it up. And I just smiled at him.

How many people in our lives, including one another, have this same need to be seen and heard? How many people, including ourselves, silently just want to be picked up for even just a moment?

Where is one place you can slow down, stop, see, listen, and “pick it up” for someone—or for yourself—today?

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