The machine is grinding us into food for the system. Fight the system. Fight the machine. It is not your friend. 
Sage Against The Machine.
Libertarian Humanist.

Loss - January 5, 2019

January 5, 2019

I have a great deal on my mind today. Transition is like that.

What we knew and could count on is gone. What is in front of us is uncertain.

This space of transition is very uncomfortable for most people.

But for me it seems to be my natural habitat. I think we are often called "war time leaders." We are called upon to get from point A to point B. We aren't particularly good at maintaining and growing a solid thing. We just setup the thing and get it ready for someone else to manage it for the long haul.

In business we are the startup guys. It is very rare for someone to be good at both starting a business and also growing a business. We see them and glorify them. Steve Jobs. Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates. But they aren't the norm. Very few people can do both things.

I have a characteristic that allows me to recover from adversity very quickly. I think I have the same feelings most people have. "I just want to quit." "This isn't fair." "How dare they!" But I think the difference with me is that those feelings last a very short period of time. Like I'm talking 20 minutes in most cases. This isn't something I've cultivated. It's just my natural tendency.

There is one feeling, however, that lasts with me for some time... maybe never really goes away. It's "loss."

I felt it when my mother died. And I feel it today. It's very difficult for me to explain how this feeling effects me. It's like someone cut off a spiritual limb. It isn't painful for me. It's just like something is gone. I had a thing yesterday. And now that thing is gone. But it was a special thing. It was something that made me who I am.

I am a person who shelters homeless people.

In the tradition of people who sheltered slaves in the underground railroad and people who sheltered Jews in Nazi Germany. It was the thing that defined me at this point in my life. I was proud to be a person that stood up for a fundamental belief that American citizens, no matter how much money they had, no matter what demons plagued them, I was the person who would take them in off the street.

I had never felt the fulfillment I felt by doing this work. It was easy knowing I was doing the right thing. All I had to do was ask the people I was helping. They treat me better than a person has the right to be treated. I think more than anything they were mostly thankful someone actually cared about them. Yes. I was embarrassed all I could give them was tents. But it was the thing I could do. Financially and logistically it was the only thing I could do. Akron may hate tents. But they certainly would not entertain the idea of tiny houses that don't meet every single criteria of a "dwelling" in their law books. They must have running water, electric, plumbing and who knows what else.

I was able to fit in-between the cracks of the law by putting up tents that have no laws against them. The only reason we got to do our work for 2 years is because they didn't know what to do with us. So they cornered us by making us declare we were a campground and then they voted we couldn't be a campground. I'm sure they feel smug and proud of their clever maneuvering.

It was illegal to shelter runaway slaves. It was illegal to shelter Jews. And they had finally figured out a way to make it illegal for me to shelter homeless people on my private land with private money. They won.

But as a "war time leader" no matter how much loss I may feel I will continue on. I will shelter people in the woods. I will buy houses as I am able. I will do the work.

Today, January 5, 2019 I will mourn the loss of something beautiful. You likely will see reports today on the news of the final day of our homeless tent village. Today was the day the government gave us as a deadline to have all tents off our land.

Through herculean efforts of volunteers, supporters and the homeless themselves every single tent and tarp has been removed. It feels like a battlefield where the victor, as a last punch in the gut, says, "Now that we won, clean this shit up. We'll expect this battlefield spotless when we return."

It's spotless. A beautiful village that the homeless created for themselves, managed themselves and governed themselves. It's all gone.

I will not be there today. I'll let the story speak for itself. It's loss. It's a sad loss.

Whoever wants to inspect it go inspect it. It, in all it's desolation and destruction and leveling is there for the government to inspect, critique and judge.

I'll be back on Monday to start building something new. It's what I do.

Today I will also be mourning the death of my sister. She too was something beautiful taken away from us. She died earlier this week from a heart valve failure. Today is her funeral. That's where I'll be today.

She was developmentally disabled. But she was filled with constant joy, happiness and love. I always admired the way she lived. She traveled regularly with her mom. She had been to Hawaii twice. She had a boyfriend. She loved her jobs cleaning McDonald's and doing work such as doing simple packaging jobs through organizations that aligned people like her with jobs that fit her abilities.

She was a Special Olympics athlete who won gold and silver medals for race walking at the World Games in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. in 1999.

I love you Becky. I will try to love as unconditionally as you and find happiness and joy in every moment just as you always were able to do.

Her complete obituary can be found by clicking here.


Paid For By The People for Sage Lewis

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