MY LIFE AS A STUDENT

Every time I find myself in a new place or even if I just wander around I start to scan the places and imagine what it would be like to live there as a bum. So I look for corners to shelter, where I could escape the elements, ways to get food, money or clothes, possible companies and I analyze, weighing how hard it can be, I study the movements of those who already lead this life. I have lived in Palermo for most of my life, it is a city full of people, sunny for most of the year, one of the most trampled by tourists in the world, perfect for life as a stray. And vagrants (it’s not a sarcastic joke) is full of them. I have lived for quite some time near the BALLARĂ’ market district so I have really seen many, many, everyone has their own style, everyone has their habits, each their dignity and even the pet can vary, too in Milan, in the Cenisio area, a vagabond had a beautiful rooster as a pet, enviably kept, well fed, beautiful shiny, proud, you went shopping and found him in front of the supermarket wandering with his head held high. Seeing some of them made your heart cry, while others, it seems ugly to say, made you hate the life of a privileged student. There were days that I met one under the house, he was always on the bench and sometimes I stopped to exchange a few words and he spoke in dialect and I gave him my best drawings because they were more precious to me than money. Then sometimes I would bring him some hot food cooked by me, typical things of my country. He was fine, calm, serene, he talked about math and plants and he knew about it and I went to the Ethiopian shop on the corner and bought him some colorful blankets, some sweaters and some flowers because I wanted to cheer him up. He didn’t want to live in the dorm. A wandering woman, on the other hand, was sad, she was always sleeping at the station, alone, downcast, I think she was actually a woman who had lost her job and always carried a suitcase with her, with everything she owned inside I suppose. I saw her every morning and I very much hoped she would get away from there, I was afraid they would beat her. When I saw her sleeping, I left her a plastic container with hot food. I had a house, or rather a room, tiny but for me it was a lot. I led a life where the only time I expected was the night to study in silence. I didn’t know who ate and dressed in style and I wondered what it would be like to take courage in both hands and stop the life that I had never wanted, not even imagined and give up everything, be left with nothing.

THINKING OR MAKING?

I met the Dalai Lama personally, in my not recent past. I was inside a church of I don't know what religion and the Dalai Lama himself started a very energizing meditation with his Ohm, then repeated by everyone present, and imagine so many ohms in a huge church, it was a wave of pure energy. Well, all of this hasn't changed my life. Then I learned that China had attacked Tibet and the monks had been defeated. The monks meditate every day, what did they do wrong since their meditation caused nothing but pain and their corner of peace was destroyed? Wasn't the inner scent strong enough? What went wrong? Did Christ and his disciples also meditate through prayers and parables and what was the result? Crucified Christ and persecuted disciples. The way of spiritual love is full of slain martyrs. Would it have been different if they had rebelled? My Tai Chi master once explained to me that martial aces are not used to do violence to others but if someone attacks you you have every right to defend yourself. Defense with the hands, with the stick, with the sword ... A weapon. Preserving life is a legitimate direction of our nature. Keep it at any cost. So if someone tells me that all the evil that is happening can be overcome with the thought I am sorry but I cannot share because I have touched the energy of thought with my hand and I am sorry to say it but it does not move the mountains. Instead the actions yes. In fact, for example in Christianity we say ok to prayers but these must be followed by actions. I personally have been among the "Food for Life" volunteers who bring food to the homeless. Why don't you eat with thought, unfortunately, and wars cannot be won with thought, unfortunately. We need to meditate but also to act. Act to make good win. Take action to stop this destruction. Meditating and saying mantra is fine but afterwards you must also act because actions change a situation. We are many to write, create, dance and spread light but we must also take action in Defense otherwise nothing will remain of this Light. 

HOMELESS IN THE WORLD

We can all think that poverty is a characteristic of certain undeveloped and economically behind countries. We can all imagine homeless people in bad places and bad weather. But instead thousands of poor people live in places where they should have assistance and help and instead have none. Why?
How do politicians eat their dinner and go to their children who live in a beautiful place if there are so many people out there without dinner? Isn't it absurd that politicians first of all think about spending money on guns instead of giving a home to all those people without a shelter?

What cities exist without these poor people who are ignored by everyone? I cry looking at these people because they seem not to exist for anyone and yet they are there and everyone can see them. Which cities are left without poverty? Is this the civilization we built? Is this progress? My grandparents are Italian and lived in a tiny village in Sicily. I have never seen anyone in that tiny village without a home. You ask me why? I don’t know but I can say that my grandparents used to say that after the war everyone tried to help each other. So is the civilization of aid over? The priests always gave food to those who didn’t have any, my grandparents told me this. Is religion over now then? What caused this inhuman humanity that helps no one? Politicians are all thieves and do not come to the government to help the people but only to demonstrate power and success. Why are we so bad? Why do we let this happen? I grew up with my generous and selfless grandparents but here where I live now there are a lot of selfish people with no love for others. What caused all this non-love for others?

Yet finding yourself like this is a moment, just being without a social network, losing your job, not being able to pay rent, not being able to find work, having had to deal with a separation, having a serious mental disorder, such as depression. People rarely become homeless by choice, at first they are thrown out, expelled from the system. Then a silent mutation takes place, we are transformed into invisible citizens, inhabitants of the interstices of the city, which becomes an improbable but only possible home. In the city, it is sometimes reduced to wandering in the throes of alcohol and hallucinations and then, exhausted, falling asleep at the mercy of the darkness of the night, of metropolitan life, of the street.

%d bloggers like this: