What we have as a modern society does not suit everyone. Forget the technology, just living in an organized way, like most of us do, just can’t be done by some people. It may be that attachments are simply not possible for some.
I was at a huge celebration. It was for a couple that had been married for 50 years. They had relations come in from all over, Hawaii, San Diego, North Carolina, etc. It made me think about this world we live in.
Modern conveyance allowed people to make a decision, book a flight, and come on over. Less than two lifetimes ago that was just a ridiculous notion. A lifetime ago it was as expensive as it is now. In the middle of that lifetime, one could make some house payments with the money used to fly in from the big island. Housing prices have gone up, flight prices have remained almost the same.
Some people love to travel. I don’t. It’s a hassle. The compacting of the things that I use and acclimating myself to unfamiliar surroundings is not my ideal joy. I could easily put up with it if love and joy were at the other end.
At this celebration, it certainly was. I said little and watched a lot. From the children to the grandparents, one could only describe the room as being full of life, laughter and love.
Adrift are those in our midst that cannot conform to any of society’s standards. It’s not having an address or checking account that is so insurmountable. It’s the lack of anything to do with others on any permanent basis that drives one to start wandering and never stop. They make themselves free in the middle of the wide-open concrete asphalt oasis we call a city, floating like driftwood peppered with gathered flotsam as they pick up objects deemed valuable. Cans and bottles for money, bits of tarp for shelter, a jacket for warmth, another for a pillow.
A surprising number are quite sober. I have encountered some loaded with cash; at least a year’s worth of housing neatly bundled in plastic bags tucked into an overcoat. There is a place where one man sleeps on the sidewalk in front of the house he used to live in. Only the foundation was left after a fire reduced it to a memory. Not everyone can self start or rebuild.
In the past, I have pondered upon the lives of those who live on the islands. How peaceful it must be, yet boring. Although that may sound unromantic, I assure you I am not. I just know I couldn’t live that way by myself. The world can be an ocean of loneliness in the middle of a densely populated city. How warm and connected I felt being in the middle of those who value family far above any I have known.