Austin, Texas, USA
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
For five and some odd weeks; I hung out; slept amongst, ate amongst, waited amongst; and talked amongst the other homeless. I learned a lot from them. First of all there was the skills gained - ultimate bladder control; taking things really easy; being able to tell a hustle from any other inquiry; generosity; kindness; the hobo shuffle; and how to lock down your possessions. I also learned that despite the majority of the other people staying at the homeless shelter I stayed in, there were some whose circumstances were different, and legitimate. I could see the co-creation of the reality they were faced with - New Orleans is so expensive that there are only two castes of people living there, and the middle class was not among them. The support population are not paid enough to afford a minimum living on a single job alone, so many turn to illegal activities, and eventually become incarcerated and then dropped off at the homeless shelter. There is always judgement from others, based on whatever or lack thereof of knowledge about their situation; or based on the visible and memorable behaviors of those homeless who are so deep within their suffering that they no longer have respect nor love for themselves. There is also all of the campaigns of various organizations, including the homeless shelter I stayed at that promote healthy contributions to the relief of the homeless; and as a result, there is no shortage of contributions! However there are a wide variety of sponsoring reasons for the donation activity, not all of them being altruistic, which again points back to how we are all co-creating the reality that is. For a brief time, I experienced heart-break at the result of all the co-creation, aware or unaware, and this was witnessed by the friends I made at the shelter.
Steaming hot showers never felt so good (even when the water is scalding hot) except when you take it after a very cold and windy day constantly outside and moving, performing the hobo shuffle. More interestingly, all the others feel the same way as you do when they sigh happily constantly while the shower heads were spewing forth that hot magma of water!
At this point, I was very overwhelmed by all the information I received from the four divinators I saw in Austin, TX. There was simply too much information to accept, and a lot of of it were things I was not ready to accept. All the readings sounded way too good - the kind that would normally trigger scam alarms, or be too fantastical. I got the most optimistic and highest I could imagine readings on the purpose of my life. The reason I could not accept it at the time was because I felt way too much a neophyte in this pilgrimage, and lacked a lot of confidence, despite my experiences at Sedona, AZ. I felt stuck, I was in analysis paralysis, and was also feeling the low vibrations of the homeless. I think back to a set of palm readings, coffee cup readings, and tarot card readings from another friend; performed a week before I embarked on this pilgrimage, that had foretold of this experience, and wonder at our understanding of time...
Another result of the above was a last minute opening up that netted me a few more friends at the homeless shelter, all in quick succession. There was one who I felt was mercilessly picking on me, so not knowing his name, gave him an internal nickname - Short and Curly, as I thought he reminded me of a short and curly. As it turns out, he ended up being a much different person when he found out my nature - and we became fast friends, and after hearing his name, John Robertson, I completely dropped the internal nickname, as it was no longer befitting of him.
Finally, what New Orleans taught me was the value and joy of simply taking things easy, New Orleans style, just like the tune of its famous music. One can live a fast paced life, filled with commitments, appointments, obligations, and created activity to try to better oneself as if bulking up that all-so-important resume. I did this whenever I had to do so. In New Orleans, people take their time, thoroughly enjoying the process of doing something; or being forced to work at the pace of another as they take their time doing something; and any sort of time obligations were never heeded - it is only necessary to convey intention, but never necessary to follow through by that exact time. You did them or complete them when the time is right. No matter how quickly you spin your wheels, or how slowly and methodically you take your steps, whatever is meant to happen towards your development as a soul always happen, at exactly the perfect time. It really takes the tale of the turtle and the hare fable to heart. I relate to the turtle, and enjoy every minute of the time towards each little milestone.
More to come, same bat time, same bat channel!