Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Small Town Saints and Sinners

In a small city, there is an edge between anonymity and identity where those who don’t fit in, live halfway between madness and normality. I know several quite ordinary saints who conduct miracles over the chook pen.

One looks after her Noongar neighbour’s young daughter while her mum oscillates between speed and prison, she makes sure she the kid gets to school, standing up to the aggro when it comes her way with strength and patience. Another borrows other people’s cars so she can visit 'her boys' in prison, they’re no one’s boys, in actuality, but she can write letters for their appeals or to get them home or just listen to their loneliness. Is she a saint or just misguided as some of the guards think. Her life is guided by spirit voices who tell her what she is meant to be doing for the planet. She’s survived more than her share of tragedies. Whenever I talk to her, I’m left breathless by this other world and the power that she grants it. She makes me believe in miracles.

There are sinners here too, on this edge of town. Narcissistic tendencies get full rein in a place where you can pretend to one more mark that you are poor and misbegotten and can you spare me a dime. This belief, that my view of the world is all that matters, compounds itself as the emo queen screams abuse at the cops and her mother. Her demands get more unreasonable by the minute. She’s just like Putin, seeding the clouds so it won't rain on his big parade. Except she hasn’t got a cloud seeder just some stolen drugs. My narcissistic sinners commit no grand auto thefts; their crimes are against emotion. Stealing hearts and twisting desires to ensure their grandiloquence and the hubris of their miraculous birth.

Fortunately, in small cities and amongst the poor at least, saints outnumber sinners and the disabled and destitute find jobs and friendly shop keepers who keep an eye on their money for them. People remember their names and do what they can because the saints inspire them.
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Blogger sarah said...

love your work bob. myself, i think of her as 'emo queen with stolen bling'. oh...also beloved fruit of thy loins. there are more stories of saints and sinners but for now we shall await your lecture on tuesday. good to see you home with chickens and co. xxxsarah

12:15 am  
Blogger Robin said...

I am very sad to report that Bob passed away last week after a long battle with cancer. He will be sorely missed by many in Albany as he contributed so greatly to both the local Noongar people and the environment

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