Guilt, Sunlight, and Slums
I'll be a little bit honest about what riles me up as we look for rentals. Sunlight, guilt and slums. I need natural light or I die inside. Petty but true, if I had to choose between ample sunlight and food I may choose light.
Our price range of rentals we are looking at run the risk of landing us in a slummy neighborhood. I fear drugs, violence, but also the sense of entitlement I carry thinking I deserve a certain status of living any more than others who live in these shady areas.
When we were newlyweds we lived in a drug infested complex with our newborn. It's where I learned what a crack pipe looks like, the benefits of locking my doors, and no matter how big the gang fight a group of angry moms can break up anything.
Speaking of fights. The biggest, grandest, loudest argument I ever have participated in with my husband happened at that place. One of those that ends with the 'I'm moving out right now'. I stomped down the stairs and stopped dead in my tracks as my neighbor walked out her door. My crack addicted neighbor. The walking skeleton with no teeth aged beyond her years neighbor. She looked at me with absolute authentic piercing pity. Pity for what she just heard go down. Pity from skeleton woman did a number to my sense of entitlement and the I'm not like the others in this neighborhood attitude.
But I still want a safe place, a sunny place, the right place.
I was reading the preface online to the book Everyday Justice. She quoted a paraphrased chapter of the bible (Isaiah 58) Bathed in sunlight? Sign me up!
"If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again."