Day 36 – Sanctuary

I am exhausted.  I just welcomed myself back to the gym.  I haven’t worked out in a gym in months.  It was tough but fun to go back.  I am one of those folks who actually likes working out in the gym.  It is a great place to collect some of my thoughts.  And push out the negative stuff.  As I walk out I get this feeling of overwhelming joy.  I start crying a little.  I feel like I have been lost for some time…and now I am pointing the ship home.  What have I done to myself?  To be diagnosed with Diabetes I have made myself a statistic.  26 Million people are living with diabetes in America alone.  26 million and 1.  I have destroyed my health.  And now I am picking up the pieces and finding my way home.  Sanctuary.  As I enter the BART station there is a man sitting on a crate.  His hair is all tangled…he smells pretty awful.  He is in far worse shape than me.  I know.  I take out my wallet.  Unload all I have left into his cup….It is about 6 dollars and change.  I really can’t afford to give this away but I do anyway.  I am stretching myself to give today, holding the belief that it is simply the right thing to do. Like going to the gym and taking care of myself.  I am glad I am finding my way back to being healthy.  I hope this bit of money really helps this guy.  He says thanks and I can barely hear him through my headphones.  I smile back.  Maybe I should stop and talk and be more present….but I don’t.  I head for my train.  And home.

Today is pretty simple.  Pigeons.  Awe yes.  We love em….we hate em.  But they are there.  I wish I could help the homeless more.  Maybe I will look into volunteering.  I would like to make a big mural for the world to see homeless people as people that need help.  People that are lost.  People that are people.  Pigeons are the same birds as doves….yet we think of pigeons as gross birds that are worthless.  Not birds but annoying rats with wings.  We sometimes do this to people.  But we are all people….doves and pigeons.


About giftprolific

My name is Joshua Coffy and I am an artist living in San Francisco. You can see my art at as well. Thanks for your time.
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8 Responses to Day 36 – Sanctuary

  1. kathryn says:

    i love the last line. very powerful entry, josh. the pigeon caught my eye. i used to have many pet pigeons… homing pigeons. amazing creatures.

  2. courtney coffy says:

    Very nice.

  3. Tom Coffy says:

    Very nice was by me…-Tom

  4. Linda Garrity says:

    Wow, you are quite the introspective and thought-provoking guy……
    I am glad to hear you are coming to grips with your diagnosis of diabetes and taking the first steps to being responsible about doing what you can to manage the disease. My husband is a physician at the University of Chicago; I accompanied him while he made rounds on Saturday and he pointed out the “double wide” wheel chairs in the hallway, which he tells me are standard for the majority of patients seen there. Diabetes is such a terrible disease, made all the worse by the fact that it can be totally reversible if people would just make the lifestyle changes necessary.

    Here in Chicago we probably see as many homeless people as you do there is SF-I am told that many of them are the mentally ill, who were thrown out of their homes when Illinois closed many institutions, which I think is abominable in this modern world. However, in this economy, I see stories about many more being homeless b/c of financial problems. Not liking this about myself, I sometimes think that if I found myself in that situation, I would at least try to get to a climate where living outdoors is at least more bearable than doing so here in the Midwest. Although I give in many ways, I tend to pass by people on the streets, justifying it by knowing that some of them are just scam artists or saying to myself “If you gave something to everyone you see each and every day, you would end up with nothing”. But I often wonder why do I not just give to one person, without any regard for if I’m being scammed or making judgments about how my money will be used.

    The fact that you saw one person and gave all that you had is a very Buddhist thing to do-in some forms of thinking this would “up your karma” and good things will come back to you. But I don’t think any of that was on your mind at the time; it seems to me that you saw, you cared, and you gave.

    Your comparison about the doves and the pigeons is a powerful allegory which will stay in my mind; thank you for expressing your thoughts on this topic so beautifully.


    • giftprolific says:

      Thanks for your posts! I love reading them. Yeah SF and Chicago probably have similar homeless situations. When I lived in Santa Monica there were a lot that had ended up there just for the climate. I also like that you are inspired to just give….regardless of judgement. That is awesome. I have had the scammers approach me before too….But I like the idea of just picking one and making it a very intentioned gift. Give just because. No strings…no conditions. And yeah you can’t give to everyone. Talk to you soon. Thanks for the compliments.

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