Thursday, July 17, 2008

time to go home

home - on one hand, it's such a small unassuming little word. on the other hand, it is one of the biggest, most powerful words around.

several years ago while touring the st. james gate brewery (home of guinness) we ran across christian morgenstern's saying "home is not where you live but where they understand you." painted on the wall, the saying was part of an interactive exhibit asking folks touring the guinness factory museum to write down a message. I can't remember the fate for the messages, but something about this line of morgenstern has stuck with me.

speaking of things that have stuck with me. I have a little book from my childhood called beautiful hearts. published in 1952, this book had a purpose to teach little children the basics about catholicism after all it was published by the daughters of st. paul. despite the targeted audience, the book's messages are universal and if the directives were followed, the world would be such a better place.

the book's simple drawings and stories provide 7 basic prescriptions for making the world a better place: 'shelter the homeless' 'feed the hungry' 'give drink to the thirsty' 'clothe the naked' 'visit the sick' 'visit the imprisoned' and 'bury the dead.'

those of us who have a home often take our homes for granted. it is staggering to consider the extent of homelessness throughout the world. in the united states, homelessness is a vexing and misunderstood social issue. according to the national alliance to end homelessness almost 750,000 people experienced homelessness last year and an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 are chronically homeless. homelessness does not discriminate - it exists in small rural towns, suburban neighborhoods, and large metropolises and effects families with children, single adults, teens, the elderly and people of all races. the primary cause of homelessness is a lack of affordable housing. in addition to the number of homeless, there is another 5 million households in the u.s. who have serious housing problems.

according to the united nations up to 100 million people are homeless throughout the world and another 600,000 million people live in shelters that "are life threatening or health threatening in developing world cities."

home.....a little word, but a BIG issue.

I realize probably 80-90 percent of the folks who read the mouse probably never click on the vids - who has time. however, today, I want you to share this discovery and urge you to check it out. in trying to come up with just the right song* to go with today's theme I ran across this group - how have I not heard of them before!
anyway, I thought this song touched on lots of different aspects of the home theme. please, sit back and enjoy this music vid of michael franti and spearhead entitled 'time to go home' ( from their album YELL FIRE!

*other songs that were contenders include: paul simon and lady smith mambozo "homeless"
(8:30); tracy chapman "fast cars" (5:34); joni mitchell "big yellow taxi" (2:46); bob marley "no woman, no cry" (5:56); rage against the machine "no shelter" (4:13) ; neil young "old man" (3:57)- to name but a few!

photo: dublin, ireland, may, 2001.


Bob Dylan said...

When your blog pic came up and I saw the quote it was really startling, because in the mid 7os I was given a poster with that quote (or something incredibly close to that quote) on it. I can't recall what the image on the poster was but the words struck me and stayed with me.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post today, Kim.

Try to stay cool! For some unknown reason, we are going to a concert tonight to stand in a small room crowded with warm bodies :)

bitchlet said...

I wish we had answers.

edward said...

homelessness is a terrible thing. my human went back to the adoption place and found that all of the cats and kittens that were in my group were still waiting for homes.

there are homeless humans in my town, we have many many programs and have special apts for them to use, but many of them have spent too many months outside and cannot tolerate walls even to get a safe night's sleep. I wonder what happens to them to make them not accept free lodging? it is very sad.

Unknown said...

I wish I had a little book like that from childhood. a sort of guide. it sounds very nice.

tut-tut said...

Homelessness is a big concern here; the largest segment of the homeless population is children.

I did take the time today to listen/watch the video music. I think I will make time from now on.

A friend took in a stray kitten; she took it to the vet, who said there was a record number--150--kittens dropped off at various shelters here over the weekend.

cbb said...

Wow - what a powerful post and video. I had read that 1 in 3 homeless Americans is a military veteran, making the travesty of war a continued tragedy in their lives - your post really captures the enormity of the injustice.

Coffee Messiah said...

I like your post, but not that it still occurs, homelessness that is.

When we leave this area at times to venture in the larger cities, we notice what isn't seen here to that large a degree.

My question, since a wee lad, why all this religious fuss, all around the World and you can turn your back on your own people, in your own country?

Damn! ; (

mouse (aka kimy) said...

bob - what a coincidence there's something to be said about being understood!

randeep - thank you. hope the concert was fun and the room had a blasting ac system. it's beastly!! I've been taking 3 and 4 showers a day - quick ones but with no a/c I find I become drenched and roasting - a shower seems the only way to cool off!

b - I think there's plenty of answers but there's the lack of resolve and will.

eddie - I hope the cats and kittens find homes. regarding humans, sounds as if your town has a good safety net. the issue is complex sometimes outside is better (safer and private) than a shelter for some folks taste. it is sad, you a very sensitive kitten and I feel one who will be very wise.

phd - it is a book I treasure.

tut - so glad you listened to the tune!! locales with mild winters seem to have more homelessness. we need both affordable housing and jobs for folks. of course, with kids, the concerns are different - their parents/parent need the jobs and affordable housing to live in?

yikes so many kittens needing home.

cbb - yes you add a very important factoid to the issue! and the iraq occupation is a travesty at every, every angle!

coffee - as a wee lass I took to heart all these 'lessons' as I grew up and my world got larger and experiences more varied, I saw that most of the 'grown ups' didn't act in accordance with the lessons.

with so much hypocrisy I became disillusioned with the established religion of my childhood. I consider myself a spiritual individual but have concocted my own blend from many, many traditions - jesus was a great teacher, buddha was a great teacher, the spiritual sense and wisdom of native american groups strikes a deep chord, and so on and so forth..

w claims to be a heavy duty 'christian' but in my book the guy is a friggin' war criminal - sanctioning torture, invading countries. he certainly missed the intention of jesus's plea to love your enemy. I really bet jesus didn't mean to bomb them and kill them.... eh, I don't even want to get started on this rant!