Each day, on my way to work, I walk past an SRO (single room occupancy) building. My office is located in a very cool building with exposed brick and $1500 studio apartments, in an area that is being slowly transformed from a rough area full of not always legal immigrants and people who live outside of the mainstream into high rent apartments ,brew pubs and cupcake shops. Just beyond a comfortable stroll away, houses sell in the millions of dollars and people try to decide if they should head to the summer house for the weekend or spend the weekend sailing and at the yacht club. The men standing outside of the SRO, smoking, chatting, or just killing time make different decisions. They coordinate which kitchen is open on Sundays for lunch or dinner or perhaps how they will avoid a demon that whispers to them periodically, if not constantly. I have no illusions that the demons don’t call to every class of people but when I pass those men on the corner I see a loss of hope in their eyes. The ability to see the other side or perhaps to have seen it and know it may be possible to arrive there again. If we can hang on to hope, then there is always the possibility that life can be better.

My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.

Maya Angelou

About Magnolia Beginnings

Just when you think you have it all down it changes again or... “Reshaping life! People who can say that have never understood a thing about life—they have never felt its breath, its heartbeat—however much they have seen or done. They look on it as a lump of raw material that needs to be processed by them, to be ennobled by their touch. But life is never a material, a substance to be molded. If you want to know, life is the principle of self-renewal, it is constantly renewing and remaking and changing and transfiguring itself, it is infinitely beyond your or my obtuse theories about it.” ― Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago

4 responses »

  1. Where there is hope….well there’s hope. 🙂 It’s funny how the landscape can change so dramatically within a comfortable walk.

    I used to lead tours In Calgary through my work at the homeless organization and I would sit the students down on a grassy hill and ask what do you see when you look around. They always answered: skyscrapers, wealth, joggers, it’s so clean, etc. Here’s the clincher, that particular street was a stroll for prostitutes who were usually in rough shape and experiencing extreme poverty and the kids didn’t even notice them until I pointed them out.

    Sometimes we only see what we want to see. I love that you saw those men.
    Diana xo

    • That is an interesting observation. You’re probably right and I’m sure that to many people just drive past those men and never consider thier lives. I actually love the neighborhood and look forward to the ‘good mornings’ and friendly interactions I get there that I don’t seem to get where I live.

  2. I LOVE the two Maya Angelou’s quotes. What an inspirational person she was. By her own life story, she certainly lived by hope and never let herself be downtrodden. I think we need to be our own hope even, as she says, in the moments of our tears.

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