Somewhere on this planet...there is a public building that used to be a vibrant part of its community. In its 150+ year history, it welcomed thousands of people through its doors. And, in an oddly tenacious way, it still does, but in radically altered circumstances. You see, this once-elegant building now stands abandoned. Only its stone walls stubbornly remain. Efforts to repurpose it failed. Fire ravaged its interior. It now is a refuge for those seeking shelter and human connection. A place free of judgement and moralizing. A place to shoot up away from prying eyes. A place to sleep under an improvised roof. A place to make a fire and stay warm. A place to cook a meagre meal. A place to love, make love, and be loved. A place to decorate and rage against injustice.
Even a place to read.
A parallel humanity.
It sits on the hard-scrabble edges of a wealthy city. It puts lie to all society’s pious claims of equality and justice.
It resembles a war zone.
It IS a war zone.
It is an indictment.
And it is a community.
I hope these images do it justice.
While The Soul Slumbers: Linda Goodman's Star Signs
Madelyn...or Mad Elyn?