Projects and Podcasts

Happy Saturday, all! 

I struggled this week.  I wrote three or four pages on a topic that I thought would become a blog I could publish today or tomorrow, only to discover that I needed to hold off on posting it.  Midway into the piece, I realized that my ideas hadn’t yet ripened and thus I’d be sharing something a mite inedible (perhaps even bitterly so) if I pushed the blog out too soon.

So, I went back to the drawing board…

I want to tell you about my commute yesterday as a way of introducing a project I would like to begin working on.  On days when the traffic is especially bad, I do this tricky sort of maneuver that takes me down a back alley and across a parking lot as a way of circumnavigating a bit of road that is often terribly congested with exhaust-spewing vehicles.   Yesterday was one of those days.   

Here’s the thing:  The aforementioned parking lot abuts up against a strip mall where homeless folks often sleep.  Yesterday, as per usual, there were quite a few of them sacked out and getting the last of their forty winks before the loud world would rudely wake them up in the way only a loud and rude world can.  Most of those asleep had shopping carts that were overflowing with their few worldly possessions.    

Because this strip mall is fairly close to where I live and on a path I often walk, I have occasionally spoken with these folks, and I have been thinking I want to begin to spend a bit of time with them, just to talk.  I’m certain they’ve got some amazing stories to tell.  By the way, there was a period in my life when I was terribly poor and very alone, which means I could have easily ended up on the streets myself.  It’s clear that there is very little that separates those of us who live “comfortable” lives from those who don’t.  Many of us are only a series of bad luck events away from finding ourselves in similar straits.  We are all humans, and we all live very difficult lives.

Now, if you don’t mind, I want to take a sharp turn and move very quickly toward a new (but perhaps related) topic.

About a week ago, I recorded a podcast (Wise & Shine’s first) with Cristiana who writes under the pseudonym of “crisbiecoach.”  (This blog won’t include any spoiler alerts; in fact, I won’t even tell you what we spoke about; I will say, though, that those who’ve heard it have had good things to say.)

So be on the lookout for it.  And please note that other episodes are in the works. 

If you’ve got a good podcast idea, I’m inviting you to post it here.  Maybe you’ve got special expertise that would make you an interesting person to interview.  If so, let me know and we’ll talk about possibly putting something together.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to checking out your comments.      

14 thoughts on “Projects and Podcasts

  1. This! 😭 “there is very little that separates those of us who live “comfortable” lives from those who don’t. Many of us are only a series of bad luck events away from finding ourselves in similar straits. We are all humans, and we all live very difficult lives.” I realize homelessness is a problem, and it’s a big one, but there’s something about recognizing these people are still human beings. They’re not discards. 🤍

    As to the podcast, I’ve been anxiously waiting. Excited to hear it!! 👏😃

    1. Hi. Thanks for the comment. As I mentioned in my blog, I have had conversations with these people, but I feel like there’s a lot I could learn by talking with them in more depth an breadth. I have always been impressed with them while listening to what they have had to say. Some are pretty articulate and can speak movingly about their lives. I truly believe that we often make too many judgments about people based on very superficial things–how they are dressed, whether or not they are dirty or look “down and out,” where they live. Thinking about others this way says less about them and more those who pass such judgments.

  2. About the homelessness, I think they appreciate a lot when someone talks to them. Here in Brussels they are extremely kind and always wish you a beautiful day even when you don’t give them a little money. And they are absolutely keen to tell their stories. Well done Troy, you have a big heart

    1. Thanks, Cristiana. I have found many homeless people to be kind and articulate people. I have always been deeply interested in people who live unconventional lives. It takes lots of courage to live the way they do. I guess I’ve always been a sociologist at heart. I just want to know people and what makes them tick. Listening to what they have to say is a very simple way to honor them.

  3. Hi Troy,

    Thank you for sharing this post with us. I agree with what you shared about the homeless situation and that there is a very thin line that apparently separates those with comfortable lives from being in a similar situation. The human condition is precarious, especially when the majority identify with it 100%.

    1. Thanks, Art. Generally speaking, we put the rich and “pretty” people on pedestals while blaming the less fortunate for their situations. Many of the rich were born with silver spoons in their mouths. Meanwhile, those living on the streets have faced challenges that would crush most. The homeless folks I talk with strike me as being people with real depth and courage.

  4. Love all your big heart, Troy! And I think if you do the project to talk with the homeless, it would also make an excellent podcast. Beautiful post.

    1. Actually, last week, while driving home, I heard this great story on Texas Publish Radio. It was about a woman who had spent a period of time in her youth living in a hotel that might be called a “flophouse.” During her stay there, she had a simple tape recorder and she got the idea to go around and interview the other tenants. Some were streetwalkers and alcoholics and were eccentric in some way. Some of the tapes were played on the broadcast and I found many of those who were interviewed to speak with real depth and passion and dignity. This is what I have found too in my talks with these folks to this point. Maybe I can record their stories? Thanks, Wynne, for the kind ways and for your dedication.

  5. Thank you for this. It came at a perfect time for me. I’m working on a post about an experience I had with a homeless woman — a sweet lady who stole my heart. Your attention to this topic, so near and dear to me, is serving as motivation to finish my story about “Gwen”. Thanks, Troy! 😊

    1. Thank you, Victoria. Americans spend so much of their time and energy obsessing about celebrities and the rich and famous when, in fact, those like Gwen have so much more to teach us than the elites do. I’d love to hear more about Gwen.

      1. Hi, again. I’ll be contacting you shortly so we can talk further about the podcasting idea I mentioned. Have a nice Friday and a great weekend.

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