Saturday, December 7, 2019

First Week of December

Saw a couple movies this week:

On Monday after work, I met Maureen at the A & W in Walnut Grove for supper, then drove over to the Colossus to see Last Christmas.

Two suburban moms on a night out in the burbs, seeing a Hallmark-type romantic seasonal movie. We talked about kids and Christmas. A lovely, safe, predictable evening.

On Tuesday after work, I drove into Vancouver, picked up Kim on Commercial, drove along Hastings and Pender to get to the downtown theatre, passing THOUSANDS of homeless people (which hurts my heart, makes my stomach feel sick and my eyes water) only to find out there were no parking spaces in the mall's underground lot. Not a single spot. So we ended up back on the street, driving around in ever-widening circles looking for a place to park. Ten minutes after our movie started (well, not the movie, but all the ads and trailers) we found a spot in a lot next to an alley. And as I parked, my headlights illuminated a young woman, next to the dumpster, with her back to us, doing something she wasn't proud of. I whispered, "please. please. please. make better choices." She is someone's daughter and I ached with her mom.

Kim was worried about my truck and it's contents in that lot, so I took all my belongings with me into the theatre. We fell into our seats just as Dark Waters was starting.

I love movies like this.
Based on real life/true stories.
Shows that make you think, nudge you, make you feel uncomfortable.
Stories that stick with you long after the day is done.

I left the theatre having an opinion on DuPont, teflon, self-regulating industries, and the power of a single voice.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” British statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke once wrote. That shout-out for righteous action is as true today as it was 200 years ago. And it’s also very much at the heart of this grimly earnest film.

As we walked back to my truck, Kim was chanting, 'please let the windows not be smashed. please let the windows not be smashed. please let the windows not be smashed.'
They weren't. But there, in the path of my headlights was a young man. Back to us. Doing something with drugs that made me just so sad.

As is our usual M.O, we ended up at McDonalds for McFlurry's. We went to the one on Main + Terminal. And as I turned into the lot, we both sighed deeply at all the homeless men next to the building, congregating around the doors. In the past, we've bought cheeseburgers and muffins for women near the door, but I didn't notice any females in the crowd. My heavy heart was feeling so very overburdened.

We entered from the rear back door and as we made our way to the front, we passed at least a dozen men, passed out on benches, in booths, on tables, with all their stuff beside them. Two men were sorting through their belongings, spreading everything out on the tables and floor. We were the only two women in the building.

We got our snacks, made our way to an unoccupied area, and talked.

What should our/my response be?
What could I do to make a difference? A difference to all those homeless people on Hastings? The hungry/lost people at McDonalds? The people who damage themselves beside that dumpster in the back alley off Pender? What can I do about corporations like DuPont who manufacture products that make us sick, pollute our planet and kill our wildstock? What can I do about pedophiles who're released from prison, even though everyone in law enforcement knows they are still dangerous? What can I do about people who're lonely, depressed, trafficked, addicted, hurt, unemployed, feeling hopeless, have a received a terrible diagnosis? What can I do?

Am I wasting my life?

Am I supposed to DO something?


On Wednesday morning I led devos at work. Third time this year. I was determined not to do/say anything deep or personal because we all don't need Jane falling apart again when she's at the front of that room.

I read a Christmas story:
(Gabriel sounded like Jane. God sounded like a deep-throated, Jane, shouting. And Satan sounded like sneery Jane with a wraspy sore throat.) I will never have a future in doing voice-over work.

Then read a prayer:

... and we all survived with our tear ducts in tact.

After work, seeing it wasn't raining (YAY), LangleyKim and I walked the seawall from Olympic Village to Granville Island to see Vancouver's latest art installation: the Spinning Chandelier.

Poor woman.
She was the recipient of much gushing of words and whooshing of thoughts as we walked. :)

We walked the length of the underbelly of Granville Street Bridge, from 4th to the edge of the island.

We asked a few folks where the chandelier was, and no one had a hot clue what we were talking about.

We DID see some festive light attractions, regardless...

And then when we got to the ferry dock, we found the light, w a y over there, on the other side of the water. THE OTHER SIDE.

So we walked back, the way we came, (it took an hour)

... got into my truck, and drove over.
Took a few tries to cross the correct bridge, find the right street and parallel park (again), but eventually we found it.

It's lovely.

And we were lucky to be able to see it spin a couple times.
Unexpectedly fun.

There has been outrage against this hanging light.
"That money could have been spent on the homeless."
"Waste of money. People are starving."
"I could have found more worthwhile things to spend that money on."

I am not outraged.
I am delighted that something quite magical is brightening up a dark under-the-bridge street in Vancouver.
I am glad it is BEAUTIFUL and not fluorescent.
I am encouraged that this is privately funded by a business which will be picking up all the costs.
I will proudly photograph it often.
(As opposed to this jelly bean art thing that I took one picture of:)

I know.
Tuesday night I was aching about the poverty-stricken and on Wednesday night I'm going on about a pretty light.

Maybe it's OK to appreciate/be encouraged by art and beauty while mucking about in the ugly-side of life?

Speaking of beauty, my mom has been decorating:

... and speaking of the ugly side of life: Four separate packages, delivered on three different days have been stolen from her front porch.


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Cultus Lake Christmas Tree Trunks:

2. Co-workers who love to bake.
This is a Romanian brioche with walnuts and cocoa.

3. Three December birthdays this week. Cake, pizza and more cake.

4. Tweets like this that punch me in the feels.

5. Articles like this.

6. Blog posts like this.

7. Sermons like this one. Everything's going to be alright.

Shalom, friends,

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