My Blog Motto

"Good judgement comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgement"

~Rita Mae Brown

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Urban Camping, it ain't pretty

I have mentioned recently that my intention for my next few blogs is to report my experience with my local Occupy group it is important that clarify that my posts reflect my personal experiences| thoughts and feelings and that am in no way attempting to represent or speak on behalf of the group as an entity this is in fact an issue that has arisen in many of the occupy groups around the world. In our efforts to be non hierarchical and consensus based in our decision making processes we must also be conscious of how we represent ourselves to the public when sharing our stories. Now having provided that tiresome disclaimer I feel free to tell my story.
 I have not been posting my experiences here for a few reasons, most significant perhaps is that I have been quite busy living my experiences. Surviving in an urban campsite, or tent city requires that a large amount of time and effort be spent on merely finding, creating and problem solving as a group ways to maintain a reasonable standard of living. When I say "reasonable" I mean finding a place to use the bathroom, having food that is actually warm and maintaining some level of personal time and space. None of these things are always easy, most of them require a fair amount of personal assertiveness, willingness to compromise and yes, a lack of shame.
In two + weeks of Occupying a small plot of vacant land I have gained a tiny insight into the daily lives of the homeless. The major difference being that I have the option to go somewhere to take a warm bath, eat a balanced meal and enjoy the creature comforts we take so easily for granted. You know stuff like sleeping in a bed, or changing clothes on a daily basis. It was only a matter of about a week before I began to regard these simple pleasures as luxuries.
It was only two days into my Occupation that my laptop froze. I don't mean it was overloaded with information and needed to be restarted, it literally froze. It remains to be seen whether the geniuses at HP repair can thaw her tired circuits and bring her back to life.
It took about another two weeks or so for me to "freeze" as it were and to realize that if I were to continue living this way my own warranty might become defunct.
This lifestyle has been for me, a form of protest, a social experiment of sorts and a challenge to my subconscious white middle class concept of self in relation to the world.
Time to relinquish the borrowed computer, but more to follow soon.
Peace and Love,

© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

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