Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I saw you crossing the street
at the moment when the light of day flattens
hands tucked in oversized coat pockets
you.....a human being...
lost in the crowd of going home people
hunched against the winter wind
on your way to the kitchen
to sit huddled with strangers
whose concept of home
floats in a menagerie of broken dreams.
I saw you crossing the street
at the time of day when the voices appear
arms now raised like a conductor of an orchestra
shaking in shivering side effects of respiradone.
Pedestrians walk by oblivious
like you're as invisible as the mind biting messages
circulating like summer dusk gnats.
No one else has noticed your dramatic attempts
to seek solace in the silent scream of your reality.

I saw you turn your face to the daywilting sky

at the empty hour of evening transition

the palms of your hands opened upward

rough bitten, they hold a burdening plea,

a wordless request from a beaten down heart,

your need for serenity in affirming validation

through the collective din of your psychosis.

In a moment of surrender, I watch you tuck them back into your oversized pockets and walk on in search of a bowl of hot soup at the end of the never ending waking day. The voices are hungry. The crowds float by like a backdrop to your own world.

No one is paying attention. No one hears except you. You can't filter them out. They can't filter you in. Who is lost?


Marja said...

You put this suffering down in beautiful wording.
The lost souls among us. They must be very confused and wonder how much they are aware

Anonymous said...

bloody hell that's good! that last sentence took my breath away!

Awareness said...

Marja....thank you. lost souls indeed. its time we are more aware of them i believe. Frederick Buechner writes: “Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.”
he beautifully sums up my own feelings.

paul...honestly? me too. I had jotted down my thoughts after watching a well known homeless man make his way through the end of day crowds last fall. When I decided to tackle this piece last night, I didn't know where it was headed....how I would end it until I started wondering about how lost he seemed. then, I flipped it around in my head and realized that anyone who is completely oblivious to a human being acting out his suffering then who is lost?
love when i get a bloody hell out of you!

Tim Scammell, Professional Technologist said...

This hit me very close to my soul Dana.
Unfortunately it has done so at a time where I don't feel I can discuss it in detail for fear of an emotional crash.
Thank you for the wonderful blog though.

Awareness said...

Tim...you know where you can find me. my door is always open even if you want to stop for a coffee break. or knock on my window and I'll meet you out back! take care of yourself ok?

Sally said...


I love the phrase a daywilting sky... I can see it...

Mark said...

This is beautifully written! I know this person whom you describe, I see this person often, now when I see this person I will have a different perspective.

Awareness said...

Sally...thank you....i have no idea what part of my brain it generated from. i can see it too...it would be interesting to compare our word pictures to see if they are similar.

Mark...i was wondering today who made these human beings lost souls? Did they lose themselves or has society rejected them thereby losing them?
thank you for your feedback. there is much i'd like to tweak on this piece, but will let it simmer here for a while first

Anonymous said...

just read it again - same reaction! two in one bloody day, what's going on?

Nikita said...

That's good love... It made me feel that those living with a mental illness are labelled as lost or misunderstood, but those without a mental illness have just as large a problem... because they refuse to look at things or people who make them feel unsettled.
Sorry if that was incoherent, just getting my words back. x

Awareness said...

Breathless or bloody hells? thank you my friend. it's been a long day...good, good, good to begin and end with such exclamation.

Niki...honey, you nailed it! :) your words are very much with you. where are you?? are you home?

On a limb with Claudia said...

My family struggles with this disease. It's such a freak out for me that even at 44, I never spell it right. I think you asked the right question. Having seen four people slip into this madness, I... think that's the question.

Anonymous said...

Who is lost indeed? I believe it is those of us who can't filter the lost and the broken into our psyches who are lost.

I definitely give this a bloody hell too Dana. :)

Awareness said...

Claudia, God love them and you. Schizophrenia is a very frightening mental illness and so all pervasive.

Nikita said...

home at last :)

Awareness said...

gypsy....maybe its the unpredictability of the behaviour of someone who is experiencing psychosis that frightens so. I asked a young man to pretend I didn't know anything about schizophrenia to try to explain it to me....he said...
"it's a layer of thin papers piled up and then the wind comes and blows them all around. sometimes i feel like a piece of paper and I have nothing holding me down." BRILLIANT! My next question was about whether or not he writes. He smiled and told me he's a songwriter.
Whenever I am meeting with someone with this mental illness to help them apply for a disability pension, I ask this and I am always amazed at the answers. Many have deep insight into their suffering.

Niki....I'm glad you're home. Keep healing...keep looking after youself and paying attention to your meds ok??

urbanmonk said...


Awareness said...

monk....you've made my day my friend.