view of Bridge “to be”.
view of Bridge “to be”.
Next to a child being killed, a child stolen is another petrifying fear that sits at every alert Mom and some Dad’s gut. Some parents are more blasé about it than others. My own sister was taken from a grocery cart and almost walked out of a grocery store if it was not for our Mom who just had her back turned for a second to pick something off the shelf had not seen the woman walking past her with my sister in her arms. I was with my Mom and shocked that something could happened with her between the two of us. She was supposed to be safe! From then on, any child with me, was alway, always within physical contact if I ever had to turn my head. My husband I have to say was constantly reminded, even as he reminded me he could hear. I reminded him, so could my Mom.
It was while we were homeless and among more unstable folks, that we became much more paranoid about whom and where our children were. So missing children are something that while my kids are no longer young children, it is something that still draws fervent prayers from me. I am aware that most of those taken are Custody disputes. There is one Missing Child however I have chosen to keep on top of until some kind of conclusion is decisively made. There is little I can do, except pray, and maybe because I live around here, keep my eyes and ears open. Doubt I will ever come across anything, but then, I won’t discount that either. I can at least keep the child before the Lord. It was August 10, 2009 that he was last seen. A child with cerebral palsy , Hasanni Campbell.
So here is my challenge to you, pick ONE child from your area that is missing. Keep a page, photo, name and date of missing and pin it up where you look everyday. Say a prayer, check for updates. Even if its years down the road. If the child is found, give praise, but don’t think it is all over, keep the child in your prayers, because trust me, the kid gonna need it. That child will always be disabled, we just can’t see the wound. Just ‘adopt’ that child for your prayer, for life. Its a small thing to ask, but it is a ripple that spans out farther than you can know. If the child remains missing, don’t give up, because the family still aches and has no closure. Can you commit this for Christ?
I put my hand in yours in prayer.
San Francisco sits on land of enviable climate and gorgeous views. We are a world class city that people clamor to live here. In a city where there are more dogs than children, people who live here cry out for the need to diversify the population. Many of the population is older retirees or younger single, or young parents with one child. I remember clearly when my husband and I had our second child, we needed a two bedroom and there was no way we could afford one, even as a middle class working family. So we had, with much grief moved out of the area. Four years later we returned having miss greatly our support system, parish, and a way of life we dearly loved in the city. Fortunately for us, Treasure Island opened up and had more affordable two, three, and four bedroom homes on the Island available and we could live there. We have been here for almost twelve years now.
Not everyone is so fortunate as we are. By 2020 San Francisco has a goal as a city to produce zero emissions. What that means is no air pollution from buses, cars, or industry. No garbage to the landfill, zero toxic products being used in government buildings and business in San Francisco (and hopefully by volunteers). All this while at the same time, being able to increase affordable housing for families. While thinking about this, I suddenly had a vision that went something like this.
The Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge had only One lane each open for emergency vehicles and Prior approved delivery trucks which were driven electronically. The rest of the bridges had been turned over to bike riders and walkers who commuted by foot or bike to work or visiting the city or east bay. Personal vehicles were no longer used in the city of San Francisco, not even for politicians. Restaurants abounded everywhere as most people no longer cooked at home and ate out for all their meals. All buildings had businesses on the ground floor and upper floors were for housing. Historical buildings were preserved, but new buildings had been built all over the south part of the city in the old Navel Yard that included several miles of elevated walk paths. San Francisco by 2040 became known not only as a zero emission city, it also was known as the healthiest city.
So was this a vision of thing to come? Humm more like of things that COULD be done. It would take a lot of power and of course $$. Some I know would ask me, hey what about those who are disabled that can’t use public transit for what ever reason? Being one of those people, I often wondered about that myself. While there were no personal vehicles in the vision that did not mean there were no cars (although they did not look like the gas guzzlers we have now). My guess is people would put in orders for rides and be picked up. Granted it would grate teeth to wait. Trade off is that many things were now being delivered to the house, so shopping was not done by carrying packages home anymore, but secured delivery. People ate out or did take out, so groceries were pretty much a thing of the past. Yes the food was locally grown and in fact many people grew their own and contributed to local kitchens where they ate. If you did have a hankering to cook, there were facilities. All of this was done to conserve energy. By keeping the number of where food was stored in smaller areas, the amount of energy needed for refrigerators was cut down drastically. Eating out became a lot more affordable because people did it so much and unemployment was less than 1% which was primarily those who are severely disabled.
So, what do YOU think?
OK that was NOT my reaction with what I did. In fact it did not hit my mental wall till 24 hours later or so. I have to admit, maybe with a wee bit of snobbishness that in the many years I have been on the web (Remember AOL hostess? Ya I did that!) I have never regretted anything I posted. And then number of letters sent, humm well I can at least say the count down to still two hands. pretty good cuz I write dozens a day. But, posting, sigh…. I actually did post something I regret. I posted a man buck naked in santa hat and black boots hang out in the Castro. Nope not drunk, just showing off, perfectly legal, naked as a Jay Bird Naked. I laughed and like the others, snapped one “good” photo of him, meaning not blurry. I photoshopped a shinny bow I photo graphed also from a palm tree (at least I had the sense to do that). And gave him a christmas bow bikini. Now I am Hanging my head. My oldest, Mom, just delete it… I told my son, honey, once its out there, that’s it, its out there. There is no real “delete”.
So what the heck did I do? My dear lady friend Elizabeth Phalen first brought this to my sharp attention when she said “I’m offended. So should you be.” Like me, she is a devote Catholic, unlike me she was brought up that way. She also brought up the fact I am a religious education teacher. I kept coming back to her comment on and off this Merry Day and thought, hummm Why did I post that, really?
I wanted to show I could be just as Blase San Francisco as everyone else?
Hey I am ‘Hip” to it, its legal so what!
He’s not hurting anybody…
In my very weak defense I was coming down off of nebulizer and on preiszone after a bad asthma attack and a small fire in my apartment that started all this, (from a dryer not a tree). I blame that in part for my lost of good judgement. I digress…
Anyway, my friend Elizabeth said “I’m offended. So should you be.” The fact was, my first gut reaction WAS offended. Then I thought, hey, you are a grown woman, snap out of it. (Actually I did not see any smiles in the crowd of mostly Gay men either). Have we gone too far in trying NOT to be offended when perhaps there are somethings we should say. Whoa, wait, THIS is offensive. I am not ashamed of the human body, I think it can be a glorious beautiful gift from God to behold. I am an artist, who has done hours of life drawings of people from all walks of life in all shapes and manners. So it was NOT his naked body that offended me, it was his attitude, “Yes, I am flashing my flesh, ha ha you saw me, tah tah, look at me, you saw this didn’t you, haha!” THAT was what I found offensive. He was being provocative on purpose. I doubt he would have said he saw it that way, but that was how I read his movements and poses. By posting his photo I basically enabled him to spread his dis-ease. That was where I really went over the line. I lost my judgement there. I was trying to be funny because IT IS in someways “Classic San Francisco”. But only in the tawdry low way.
The next day we had to go back to the Walgreen Pharmacy (the reason we were there in the area on Christmas Eve in the first place, (although one of my favorite Japanese Restaurants are there too), was to get medication and I saw all around me, young children, families, grandmas, grandmas, and yes, many many Catholics. I thought, if that man showed up NOW, how would I have felt? I would have wanted to call the police, but wouldn’t because legally nothing could be done. I would be angry, because what he is doing is not a thing of beauty, but destruction, in his sickness I do not think he could understand why.
My sin was to participate in his sickness. My sin was to not stand up for the Light in Christ and say, no, this is wrong. He is not facing a person he loves, he is not being done for art, he is not simply in some other form of beauty, but a blatant form of perverted power to taunt and provoke. We all sometimes participate in these kinds of things. Might not be a naked person. It could be someone offering an offensive off colored joke, we let it slide. Don’t want to make waves right, don’t want to appear uptight? Or offensive comments about yours or another faith. Silence, hey no one wants to be known for being overly religious, especially at work. Maybe instead you could be known as a peacemaker. “Excuse me, can we please remember all minds and ideas of supreme beings or none, have to be respected in the work place?.” Offensive jokes about sex or body parts. “I doubt any woman here or men can really appreciate jokes that border on rape, bathroom sickness, I mean, seriously?”
We all say we want world peace, well, it begins in the home. Home does not mean where you only hang your hat at night. It means where you live at any one moment in your heart. So basically where are you right now? In that moment, is your “home” with those people. Be at home enough with them, to keep peace, make peace, be peace.
Merry Christmas and honestly, I do love you all in God.