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If We Don’t Look Away

By KM Huber

“We Are All Homeless” is the name Willie Baronet gave to a campaign he began over twenty years ago: purchasing signs from homeless people. As his collection continues to grow, the signs have become a wall of art, a wall of awareness about homelessness.

Baronet began his campaign because of his own discomfort in seeing homeless people. He wanted to make a difference but how? He could purchase the signs that homeless people hold but that was not enough.

He wanted to come face to face with his discomfort—bring awareness to it—so purchasing signs (the range is $10-$20) became a way to start a conversation with homeless people.

Every person is a story in the thread of humanity.

The multi-dimensional, human stories behind the signs run the emotional gamut from desperation to inspiration. For some, home is hearth only but for others an open heart is home enough.

Weather in weather 0314

Whether we define home by hearth or heart, this planet is home to all of us and is need of our care. Yet, as with homelessness the scope of caring for our planet seems beyond anything an individual can do. Yet, as Baronet’s campaign reveals, awareness begins from the inside out.

To sit down with our emotions—our black wolf and our white wolf—is to consider home from the heart and then the hearth. When we live with two wolves—feeding them both as the Cherokee believe—we live our lives neither in the past nor in the future but in the present with compassion.

In neither attaching nor avoiding one wolf or the other, life is experienced as it is, sometimes light and other times dark but always changing. Impermanence is the flow of all life, no matter where we call home.

Home seems to be something we know from the inside out for in being able to sit with our emotions in any situation without harming ourselves or others is to sit in the comfort of home, no matter where we might be.

do not ask me where I am going,
As I travel in this limitless world,
Where every step I take is my home.

~Dogen~

Home is always within us. Once we begin to know ourselves, settle in for this incredible experience that is life, we are home whether we are in subtropical peninsulas, in high plains deserts or on city streets.

If we can bring ourselves to sit down in the home we always have—ourselves—and be comfortable with all that we are and are not, we are at home wherever we are in the world and whatever experience each moment offers us.

Perhaps if we begin with caring for what is home to all of us, our planet, we will be more comfortable in sitting down with one another to tell and hear stories of home.

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KM Huber is a writer who learned Zen from a beagle. She believes the moment is all we ever have, and it is enough. In her early life as a hippie, she practiced poetry, and although her middle years were a bit of a muddle, she remains an overtly optimistic sexagenerian, writing prose. She blogs at kmhubersblog.com, may be followed on Twitter @KM_Huber or contacted by email at writetotheranch[at]gmail[dot]com.

© 2014 KM Huber. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.


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