A day in the Life of Street Cultures Passing-Street Culture in Toronto Ontario, Canada in a day, in a people
September 14, 2011 at 11:04 AM
Poverty lacks integrity?
Desperate ammounts to weakness?
Unemployed ammounts to sloth?
What of compassion?
Compassion can justify, relate, and aid.
What of the population that lacks integration?
What of provision of a means to an end?
Shannon E. Hardie
A Day in the life of Street Culture's Passing
The marginalized, overlooked, excluded, find their means on the streets. They slither through the night into day's flow of people and places as though dusk had fallen permanently over them. They are handsome and worn. They wear the streets like a jadded piece of brick holding the foundations. Their qualities are frayed members of a forgotton song. They make their way as though the streets were thier living rooms. They plough through the traffic with determination of a destination. They huddle and soar. They descended the stair knowing they weren't departing.
The day was hot and heavy, sagging down from the sky, pulling our dresses down with them. My dress was glued to me. There was no shade. The sidewalks looked bleached, bright and blinding. I needed to go inside. I just had to scrounge enought to buy a cup of coffee. The crowds lingered and amazed with their innuendos of a profitable day. People found their spot in the sun and staked it. They are someone and they have. Coffee Time is the saviour of all seasons
She danced down the street as though listening to a symphony in her own mind. She waltzed up to the boy on the corner and exchanged greetings. They twisted their way to a doorway where they sat together preparing thier meditations. They would escape for a solitary moment into themselves and breathe. The world would pass them by. They would have feeling insighted and would carry their feats to a better place.
The streets were filled with local traffic moving in and out of stores. The business men stood fast and gazed at the street with glazed over eyes from deep thought. The delivery men were jotting in the restaurants and then exiting the corner with impatience. At the subway, were crowds of by-standers awaiting their rides. The restaurant clientle were out front smoking their cigarettes. The mothers were carrying along many children and groceries. The disability crowd leaned up against the wall observing and engaging. Traffic ploughed through. The endless stream of hand signals and drive bys over and over in repetition of an old forty-five past its day. The old men hobbled along with their canes and spoke to a congregation. They had the neighbourhood history in their immigrancy and owned as much as I could see. Antique silver spoons in the window of Good Will by the Pound. Dreams of sacrifice, building a new beginning out of the old tales of another life. God bless you, they read.
He walked as though accompanied, moving in and around the passers by with nods and salutations. He bustled and appeared to be carrying on with someone. He circled and dove in to the site. He made his way. Big gestures. Arms wrapped around a shoulder. He was bigger than the streets would shed. He jostled his way to the bar. Anyone around? He cheered and chatted. The street lingo emerged. "Illin', chillin, for a fin." They parade and amuse. They make soliloquies of the game. They're "Good to go."
The setting sun made me weap for joy at the arrival of humidity in a blanket of protection from stray rays. She looked down-trodden, as though denied, and wiped at her face, what could be tears. She wandered to the Coffee Time and sat down out in front. She responded to someone. She looked up with a quick jolt and jumped into someone's arms. She was saved. He was a working guy off duty. He just wanted some company. He was always good to spare. His closures were set in stone. He bought the lady a night on the town. They needed a place to stay. Many of the women live in shelters. They arrive with loads of possessions comming from thier foreign destinations. Yet the shelters confiscate their goods if they stay out for the night without notice. Many loose their things to the corrupt system of storage. Clothes reappear as clothing donations. What goes around comes around.
The teams were out in full throttle, integrating strong and week, old and new. A man appeared on his bike and waves of individuals flooded him. There were body movements towards and from, but they dispersed as quickly as they descended. Some lingered looking at thier hands, scrambling for something in their purses. They were waved to move on. They wandered toward the alley. The windows opened to a world just decades removed from this place. They linger in their actions. They are still.
Story was crying. She swore that she's met him on the corner. Listening to the raucus I too could swear that I saw them together. They sat in a doorway preparing their mischief.
Jean Paul emerged out of nowhere and approached the crowd. He was still bustling along like trailed by many ghosts. He moved on with quick feat to a neighbouring crowd. They hustled out in front. They were trying to make a sale. They were looking for money.
I was drinking my coffee outside. There were dangers in this world of statuesque friends. There were the jeallous women who rip my purse out of my hand and chase me. I must pay attention and hang low.
The night descended. The sky grew dark. The bars looked warm and buzzed with the labourers. Smokers, without a home, stood out front, captured by the lingerers. People moved in close enough to breathe-on and make a difference. A guy shouts at me. I've learned not to take it offensively. He calls me over. He asks me how I'm doin'. He wants to know if I'm free for a while. He met me back in April when I came to this neighbourhood. I've seen him around and have spoke to him on a few occassions. But I'm not the one. I have obligations and people to meet. I can't make the date. Pretenders take offence to a name. Date and time not available. No numbers, no ID, no place to call thine own. The back door leads to a place. We'll all be here again. Today is the time of the our.
Life on the margins brings familiarity from those who want thier distance, and unidentified generosity from those who care.
People can only change their appearance so much before they're recognized in their need to not be scene. Turf wars happen when benefits sum. Give in, let them win or, increase self protection. The only advice from experience of terrifying girls on the war path. Let them have it. Parading assemblies looking out for number one.
The night will turn to day and tomorrow will see the same. Its an endless survival of the dislocated. They belong. They have community. They're wanted. The streets tell a tale of endless pursuits of something more. There is something to their emoting of satisfaction at times. Compassion is a call for a chance to opportunity. But where is the guiding light emanating their redemption?
Greetings and favours. Trying to get buy. Jean Paul emerged out of nowhere and approached the crowd. He was still bustling along as though a stockbroker on vacation at the yaught slot restaurant on the Inland Waterway.
A familiar friend walked up with a casual gait. He reached to hug me and gave a shooting smile that shone like the rising sun in his sunglasses. He asked me if I needed anything; if I was ok. Dawn had broke. He'd be around, and disappeared as quickly as a wild fox into the ravine.
My friend arrived and we went indoors for some more java. We talked about Canada and opportunities. He was an African immigrant who worked his options with a diamond cutter's precision. He was a painter and wanted to open his own small business. He invited me to join.
The subways were refreshing while the sweat froze on my cheeks. I was shivering. One more stop to the interior castles of the high and mighty. Just to dropin to say hello. They've got the spirit and the mind of lions on the prowl. They take what they can get.
The morning sun reminds me that I have to be somewhere. Like a blue jay in flight, I must not swoop down over the wrong destination, lest I scare all the other birds away. The system is set. Cast aside by the ways of volunteering indefinitely, I've got a bigger plan of reintegration. We'll design a festival and a magazine. We'll have our voices heard.
Shelters provide meals and security. They have harm reduction practices which provide condoms and crack pipes. They make the streets safer than exclusion. Some have programs which direct the few towards a new beginning. But the streets will always greet them at the door. Proweling the streets for a crumb, they have a warmer, cleaner place to dwell.
Stand Like a Twentieth Century Womb-Man.
The previous generation mastered the advocacy that leads me to this door today. We have equal rights to men and women and people of all races. We have a quota for persons with disabilities. We have made our mark on humanity to not be much different than our neighbour despite a few difficulties. We have freedom and opportunity depending on how one approaches life and chooses to find the moment. We need to have a means of income generation that could apply to our margins a reality and a method. We are not experienced in the art of employment for our personal paths have lead us to alternative developments. Once recovered we are able minded people who can relate and see.
I left the comfort and security of provision and entered a world that was marginalized and self creating. I vow now to advocate for the needs of this said culture to return a chance to be present. I am struggling to write about a journey that is carnevalesque and of rebellion and merit. Advocacy and communication are strengths that shape the structure of identity. To know it is an aging generation and a novelty, is to be uncertain about the future options that the currents would allow.
I've been there in full bloom, grazing the windows and fluttering the verses. I 've seen jagged edges and worn boots wandering for a place to subsist. I've seen stiletos and diamonds overflowing at two. I've seen timber running for something more; decor, accompaniment, with trailing finishes. Belonging takes time and sacrifice. The end of the journey is to self create a security, where, in the street cultures passing on thier way to their own end goals, I could be a part of the masterpiece.
Poverty is a condition. One can grow accustomed to the condition of poverty and feel comfort there. Some run to the bottom. Some hide there in divine security knowing that there's nowhere furthur to fall. Some need to know that they have hit the foundation. A secure place to exist in, never feeling obliged to give onself or to offer one's perspective to the authorities, is a therapeutic escape. Survivors can feel welcome surrounded by other survivors at the bottom. The bottom is a supprisingly empowered, both safe and comfortable, place to have the right to be. It is justice and rightiousness. It is belonging. It is a place and security.
At the bottom I thrived with some companionship, with kindred souls making kindred leaps of faith. When I was ill with the chaos of my mind, a safe doorway on the street with a view of the day's activity, of people walking and cars passing, gave me the security to sort out my thoughts in the public yet remotely private domain. We're each different with different thoughts and different motivations, but the survivors I spent time with remain on my memory as comrades and people to defend and advocate for. "Spare change for a coffee?"
I advocate, I write, I study. I am here to say it was options and chances. It was spirit and kind. I t doesn't sway from the corners of my mind where I am. It was unstructural opportunity that lasts the test of time. Keep well the liberty.
From now until Friday, May 10th, I’m showcasing my hidden talent in support of mental health!
CAMH One Brave Night is a chance to share a piece of myself with the world for a great cause. I am excited (and a bit nervous!) to express my passion and creativity, so we can inspire hope for the one in five Canadians who experience mental illness every year.
Please donate today and help me reach my fundraising goal.
Together we will break down stigma, fund innovative research, and provide access to new and promising treatments for people living with mental illness.
The Constructive Expressional Vocalizational Network (CEVN)
March 8, 2010 at 11:38 AM
The Constructive Expressional Vocalizational Network:
For The Community Provision A 50%/50% Fundraising Venture
A Form of Participatory Politic
Conceived of by Shannon Elizabeth Hardie
A reccording lounge in which members could reccord their conversations, speeches, debates, theatre, theory, song, poetry, music, and language onto cd, to be sold through the reccording lounge, at a 50%/50% ideal capitalist model with the lounge. The 50% to the lounge would serve as the fundraising venture. The accessibilty and advertizing of the reccordings would serve as a form of participatory politic, as political discussions would be made known and available to political representiatives.
1.To aid community centres in their provision of services with a fundraising venture to their budget benefit.
2.To enable members of community centres to have a means to a venture of industrial capitalism as a paid voice to be available for others to hear and reply to.
3.To have a medium of vocalization that one can listen to in their car, hands free, and wherever else they might want to acquaint themselves with another's perspective, without the challenge of meeting them in person.
4.To provide to the community members a means to be heard by community politicians in regards to various current issues and other conditions which should be considered.
There is a beginning to the reccording system of reponses and references to another's reccordings wherein members create the initial reccordings from which others respond. The subjects will compile as members reccord the subjects from different angles of the subjects, creating different beginnings. There can be long chains of reccording replying to another's reccording as their train of thought. To respond to another simply requires a reference, hence no money would be gained from this chain of thought off of one's reccording. Each cd is to be sold at $5.00 a cd, with $2.50 to the centre and $2.50 to the artist.
Constructive Reccording Lounge Needs:
3 restaurant booths with benches, centre table, cd reccording device, microphones and sound proof glass surround.
1sound proof glass room with microphone stand for speeches, theatre and music with cd reccording devices for 8 track.
1 counter top with background clear plastic shelves to display reccordings.
I advertizing eisel to advertize a variety of reccordings.
To be discussed, debated, elected and arranged at the community meetings of the CEVN.
With the UNICOMUNI Politic(1), this lounge could change entirely by the votes and mergers of ideas of the community members.
This proposal as the intial idea is presented through the community centre, in a newsletter, on a mesage board or through an email. Then, the community members have the opportunity of determining their details for the idea that they would like to include. The first community meeting of the CEVN is arranged for one month following the presentation of the initial idea. The UNICOMUNI Politic intiates with each member presenting her or his idea to the community members present. We then break into groups of two wherein we merge our two ideas into one idea. An elected representative who can best present the idea of the two ideas merged into one then presents her or his idea to the whole. This mergeing, electing and presenting continues with the UNICOMUNI formulae:
100-1 100 ideas-1person per idea
50-2 50 ideas-2persons per idea
20-5 20ideas-5persons per idea
10-10 10 ideas-10 persons per idea
5-20 5 ideas-20 persons per idea
2-50 2 ideas-50 persons per idea
1-100 1 idea-100 persons per idea
This is to give back to the community centre that provides us.
This is for the value of our voices.
This is for a means to extra income.
This is for a means to be heard.
Please consider the need!