If you're feeling slightly low or depressed please click away now! If you're in a emotionally-secure enough place to be moved - read on.
The East End of London is just the most vibrant, interesting, and sometimes challenging place to live, work and raise a family. After 6 years of being here it takes a lot to surprise me about people and the way they live - but there's always one place that just touches my soul in a way nowhere else does. Every Wednesday morning I play football with a group of men from a drop-in centre that provides breakfast for those with no permanent place to live. At 10:30 I pass by the centre to see who will play with us that day. 20m from the door the smell of cheap and nasty beer hits you in the face. A group clutchering their cans of lager crowd around the door. Once inside there are people milling about - some getting showers others drinking tea - whilst more are lying across the tables trying to sleep. The last two times I've visited one character with a hat pulled low over his face is marching up and down the room talking to himself in a loud voice. I always wonder what the stories are behind the faces - so many things, so much hardship, so much sadness.
This week, as I looked around the room trying to find someone who was either sober enough or awake enough to come and play football the opening strains of Townes Van Zandt's 'Waitin' Around to Die' played like a soundtrack in my ears. You see, I've asked myself numerous times why we do what we do - why those with chaotic lifestyles seem to choose more chaos. And the answer is in the song - it's easier than just 'waitin around to die'. If you can watch the clip below and not shed a tear like the guy in the background then you have a heart of stone!
counter-cultural balance: part one...
23 hours ago