I have reason to be in downtown Atlanta, just killing time, for two hours once a week for the first eight months of 2018. This past week, I hopped on the Atlanta Streetcar, yet again, to shoot photos for my longitudinal photo essay, A Streetcar Named Aspire (there are almost 1,000 photos in that file now — enter at your own risk). I passed Hurt Park (mentioned in my book), yet again, and captured the ways life belongings and bodies and shadows and sorrows merge and meld, right there on the street (see photo — where do people start and end? Where do I?). Yet again.
And then I realized, suddenly, that I had had it. After years of bearing witness, it was finally time again to show up and do something. I know someone who knows someone who knows someone, and thus I texted him right there from the streetcar and got connected. (Thanks — you know who you are.)
And so tomorrow morning I take the train and a bike to a place that provides the kinds of services to people in need that you realize they need. Showers. Clothes. A washing machine. A bathroom. Food. Hygiene items. Bus fare. Help. The email I received from the volunteer coordinator indicates I am required to go through four levels of paperwork AND a background check at a police station, so . . . we’ll see. I don’t even know yet if they can use what I have to offer. I don’t even really know what I have to offer. A warm face? A blogger? A skill I don’t yet know I have?
All I know is I will be there. I will see what happens next. And I will trust the journey. Yet again.