An hour or so ago, I had been visiting with a friend. We decided to stroll around the neighborhood and found a place to sit. The spot was near some fellows who appeared to be homeless people just hanging around. They shouted to us about incoming police sirens… nothing out-of-place of normal.
Instead of shouting back and forth, I suggested that we go talk with them. My friend and I walked over, introduced ourselves, offered a couple joking comments, and wound up having a decent conversation. Others stopped through for talk, to bum a cigarette, to sell old records, etc. It was just a normal setting of city scape, where residential meets commercial; like you would expect homeless people to be.
The other guy and I stuck-out like sore thumbs, of course, by being white. I stuck-out even more because I was barefoot. A few guys came by, whom were all charming as humans can be, with some crassness, fellows with good intentions and great personality. With nothing to prove, except to show that we meant no harm, no ill will… It was not needed to be said, only witnessed by our eyes. The look of a man will show in his eyes; his intentions are all that truly matter in this regard. If you have intentions of wellness, then it shows… without this intention, the eyes are not clear, they have no glimmer nor sparkle.
Nearly the time to leave out, my friend decides to go. And then I almost walked away with him — if it were not for the suggestion of a new “friend”, then I would have left with him. I stayed for a few more minutes, but not much more. However, as soon as my friend left, and I had decided to stay for a moment, another guy strolls up.
This guy was a youth. As soon as I turned and faced him, I recognized, but unsure as of how. Our initial statement was said in unison, “You look really familiar, but I don’t know why”. Our words were exact and with the same cadence. And after only a moment I realized how. This was the boy (15-year-old) who I had coached in the park. His step-dad (I thought uncle) had approached while I was stretching and posed a question about flexibility.
On that day, I had introduced the boy to many aspects of training, from flexibility to breathing, to walking barefoot on tree roots. Today, he said he recognized me from the back. All he saw was my bare feet and my beard. I am certain I stuck-out as well in the neighborhood as being the only white man. He asked if I had his step-dad’s #. I told him no, but then gave him a business card for Buzz Yard Services, along with this blog’s address, and Alchemic Healer (YouTube). He said he’d check it out, subscribe/like, etc. I also offered assistance in training, as he did not manage to begin karate as he anticipated. He still wants to, but issues have suspended his action.
That was a fun hour. Interesting to hear others’ views. My friend seemed to gain some insight, as well, from men whom he would rarely have spoken with (if ever). And that goes for me as well, except that I have been doing this for a couple of months — speaking to anyone who wants my attention, whose random interaction should enlighten me to a notion that I was not aware.
If is funny though, how I was spotted. As the barefooted white guy in the black neighborhood. And then he stopped to speak. Ahhh how refreshing, thrilling, exhilarating, to realize how you may change the world around you without even realizing the significance. But to know that you, in your element as you are is enough to change the views of others that you meet… assuming you are yourself and not another. The eyes hold the key to seeing those people. Without that spark, it is difficult to relate. But with that spark, anyone I meet is now my friend, because I know that they understand. It makes me wonder, now in this moment. That if I see the spark, then must they also see a spark in my eyes? Or is that spark only visible because they, themselves have that spark?
To end on the question is fine. But as of for this moment, I imagine that without the use of my trademarked barefooted self, would that kid have stopped by to greet? Would he ever have seen me without this?
This interaction is almost enough for me to sware away shoes (as I basically have already done).
4.3.2018, 7:00 pm, Tuesday