Sunday, February 8, 2009

why this blog?

a good friend of mine, whose judgement i value very much said to me that she read this blog, but found it kind of boring - she said i could be more descriptive about the people's look and character and their probably very interesting lives, or i could write up  history of nickelsville, or even write something  about the 'story behind the story' - the group 'veterans for peace' which helps the camp going - she said she would find it fascinating to read who puts porta-potties, deals with organizing this whole affair, because every time she sees , RARELY, something about nickelsville on the news, she wonders about those things, and nobody bothers to explain.

well, i know this blog is kinda bland, because my friend's comment summarizes very well my constant struggle to write about nickelsville without revealing too much personal information about its residents.  after i explained to my friend why i do not blog about any of the things she would find more interesting to read, she asked this excellent question:  so what's the goal of your blog?  and i thought perhaps i should make a post about it, to make it all clear.

the goal of my blog  is to documents what i see with my own eyes and be a witness to life in nickelsville. to leave a trace of that life somewhere on the internet, because with the way things do and don't get reported and revised by media makers i wouldn't be surprised if some time in the future somebody said:  'did tent city really ever exist in seattle? prove it.  i cannot find anything  about it in the news archives'.  

during the 2 weeks snow storm last december i was totally taken aback that seattle papers never reported about the plight of 100 people living in tents right in the middle of a historic part of seattle.  it's almost impossible to miss the parking lot full of  bright pink tents on the corner of two busy streets for anyone who traverse through university district.  maybe something was mentioned on page 28 or 40 of the papers during those two weeks, i truly don't know, but i saw no front page headlines, where the 'real news' are reported, mentioning  100 human souls trying to survive  freezing temps and snow in the tents. in america, not some third world, mind you. 

privacy is the reason i do not go into details writing about the people in nickelsville:  no physical description, no age, or skin color, nothing identifying them as 'oh, that must be Sandy, whose mom left her to fend for herself when she was ten, and this must be David, who was a junkie, but now found jesus'.  i just made up both stories, and the true stories i hear while cooking would certainly make for very compelling reading, because they are full of joys and suffering much stranger than some fiction i read in the books.

so,  this blog is not for the reader's enjoyment or entertainment, really - i mean i appreciate anyone who takes the time to read it, but basically it's for people of nickelsville.  people whose lives go on and nobody reports on it; people whose struggle to survive with dignity continues, but nobody notices.

except for their neighbors , with whose lives their get naturally  intertwined:  i daily see kindness of people donating food and blankets, flashlights and clothes.  the other day my car was parked next to the woman who was collecting clothes for washing - she brings them back clean.  she must know that women of nickelsville can use nearby churches for washing and showers (i was told for safety reason, to reduce the risk exposure while traveling), but men have to take the bus or walk downtown (roughly 5 miles away) where certain mission is actually set up for such free services.  

my contact with nickelsville it's probably going to be relatively short - there is a talk of the camp soon moving away from my neighborhood.  so, people of nickelsville, THIS IS FOR YOU!  a humble effort of bearing witness to your lives, and your impressive effort of organizing and helping each other under distress.  

as to why i do not write about history of nickelsville or veterans for peace - i'm simply no historian, nor do i know much about any of the topics,  which is the reason i put the links to and 'real change news' - let them speak for themselves.  at this point i do not even  know which  chapter of 'veterans for peace' sponsors the camp, and i will put a link when i find out.

to end this WHY THIS BLOG?  post i wish to add that english is my second language, and that i have no editor.  i  hope that what i'm trying to write gets through, despite the fact that i have a  tendency to forget articles and that my syntax is sometimes off;  if you feel like helping to clarify/correct anything it'd be much appreciated (using comments for that is fine).

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