Friday, September 9, 2016

The Darkness and the Light and Moving Forward


This shot was taken with my Fujimatic Bridge Camera in full manual on Chicago Street in Downtown Joliet.

It was Christmas night of 2013. I was not in a warm house celebrating the day with family and friends. I did not get to see my son. I spent 13 hours in a taxi on a slow night and after I fueled up, I had made $37. Think about that. Let that sink in. Even the guy who had to work at walmart got double time working that day.

I wore a Santa hat and played Christmas music on the radio all night long.

In the darkness I learned an honesty about life that nice society does not always understand. It is in the dark and the gritty and dirty and the lonely, that the lights shine more beautifully. More vibrantly and with more color. A merry Christmas to you from a tired CNA who is barely making it and tips you $1 from what little she has is a moment of warmth.

It was the darkest Christmas I had ever had, but it was that Christmas that I truly saw light for the first time.

I no longer work in an environment where I will have to make less than minimum wage on a holiday when I should be with family and friends. But my awareness has forever changed me. Every Christmas, a part of me will still be on that strip, in the dark, appreciating the little things. Seeing what few can see or understand. Knowing how precious love and the moment is and how the moment is all we truly have and to take that for granted is to squander life.

This is more than just a bittersweet Christmas tale. This is me having had a chance recently to interact with others who know the darkness and because of it, they love and accept and savor all that life has to offer in ways that those in the pretty 'burbs will never allow themselves to see life.

While they pity the denizen's of the dark in the holiday season with a few dollars in a plate and fear them as they drive through their habitats, they are missing out in the light we have in the night.

If we could only listen to each other, we could all learn from one another.

As we move ever forward, may the darkness and the light find one another and share life.

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