Dangerous Compassions

neighborhood love: how to help

Ming did some good photography–this place with its overflowing orange container is so beautiful, and the burnt out car.  It’s been a process. Now the building has the no trespassing spraypainted on it, boarded up.

I hear a story from this scene, and I feel lucky to respect and honor it: poverty, racism, capitalism, exploitation. The lie that Mother Earth can be bought and sold.  But mostly–what we do to survive.

Love to the survivors, renters, expendable, used, exploited.  The trash leavers, car abandoners, lease breakers.

Then there’s me, a responsible privileged white-appearing lady, middle aged and able-bodied enough to ride trike.  You wouldn’t know I was crazy from my appearance, I don’t think.

So there I am on my sweet trike, representing fat privileged queer white whatever.  The anarchist contingent, smiling at it all.  I could quote my boyfriend Noam Chomsy as I glide by, but probably I’m chattering to Ming about our friends, who said what and why, working on a poem in my head, or making a pun about laundry detergent.


The broken plates box has been in this gutter for a few days.  I thought the plates were painted black, and then I saw that was carbon burntness or some kind of smoke film.  You can’t really see the red lighter on the ground.

This is my neighborhood too.  I live here, for reals.  It’s an honor to witness this vibrant place and explore the things people leave behind.  There’s almost no traffic, when we go out around 6am.  We love with curiosity, attention, appreciation, and flowers sometimes.

I say hello to the cats who run away and dogs who bark, feigning ferociousness.  I say gmorning to neighbor people.  The Mexican old man neighbors, the Black neighbors of all ages and genders, the one white guy who we saw walking his dog a few times, and his withdrawn teenager kid who wouldn’t look at us.

We listen to morning drunk people yell at the park.  We dodge the broken glass and enjoy being alive and having bodies, partly-healthy bodies mostly without pain.  Praise Mother God for all we have, happy to enjoy pleasure, which fuels the love-spring that keeps us helping.

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.–Noam Chomsky

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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