H.I.P. – Humanity Integration Project

I remember as a kid and seeing block houses in the neighborhoods. These were identified as having a sign in the window to let people in trouble know it was a safe house for them to seek help. I remember being the a school play as a flying monkey in the Wizard of OZ. I remember being bullied and chased by violent kids who tormented me and tried to hurt me. I remember running as fast as I could and knowing I could not go much further. I remember seeing the sign in the window and turning as fast as I could toward the front door, praying someone was home. I remember the feeling of those bullies right on me like a pack of wolves. I remember slamming into the front door and screaming for help and a heavy set woman in her fifties opening the door and scaring off the kids that gave chase. I remember her hug and warm caring eyes as she took me in and asked me my name. I remember she gave me a glass of milk and called my parents. I remember she gave me comfort and waited with me outside until my mom came. I remember feeling safe and that everything was ok.

The Humanity Integration Project is a resurrection of those days when the community looked out for each other. HIP is a platform for courageous people in our community to step forward unafraid to be a cornerstone in our neighborhoods where those in trouble can turn to for help.

HIP is not just for the homeless children in our community. While HIP is intended to help create a network of hope for our youth, it should function for all people. A HIP sponsor may provide shelter during the winter months and receive stipends to help offset the costs of helping people. HIP may also simply be a safe house like those days of the block house when there was always at least one safe house on the block for someone to turn to. A HIP sponsor may simply invite the homeless in for a hot meal and laundry and shower or a warm bed for the night. Whatever the case, at the root, HIP is intended to provide compassion and respect above all else, at the very least.

A HIP center is a place where homeless or impoverished youth and families can find new resources and a new approach to sustenance. They can find loving support and understanding of a variety of existing services and outreach so that utilizing these resources are done so more efficiently and effectively. This could help unjam available resources and streamline the process of paperwork that often gets in the way of service. A HIP center is also a place for HIP sponsors to meet to discuss community issues and networking for the sake of building a stronger humanitarian base in the community.

The Humanity Integration Project is a concept of a return to human values and where a village indeed takes care of itself and creates a reciprocal climate of sustainability based on love and respect for the dignity of the human spirit.

Today, there are too great in the numbers of homeless children in our community. The resources available are too few with stringent ties to government funding sources and philanthropic channels where dollars are allocated through grant cycles and budget constraints. This environment is weak and is a disconnected framework that is not self-reliant.

Naturally, my diatribe this morning is inspired from something that has been unfolding over the past several months, perhaps even the past several years. To be HIP is to care; it is to have an awareness and enlightened spirit where fear is replaced with compassion. HIP is not about a religion nor is it a design to propagate dogmatic views. HIP is a community network where solutions are designed to be flexible to the unique circumstances of those that need help. When we think about the true nature of ‘need’ we tend to find ourselves mired with excessive material requirements as the standard and end up doing nothing because of perceived complexities and unobtainable requirements. However, I would argue that often the greatest value and impact to uplift the human spirit is giving them love and respect, which are immune to the greater social standards that we perceive as being necessary for success and happiness.

I have seen some of the needs of our young people and the challenges they face, and so providing a HIP haven is an important and vital gesture that builds a healthier community by investing in the human spirit with a basic framework of humanitarian ‘inreach’. Most community programs are focused on pushing resources through strict compliance and legal guidelines, and there are very important initiatives happening everywhere. However, HIP is intended to be everywhere as a community standard and not a single-source entity. HIP intends to enhance the overall spectrum of community and uplift the human experience.

Sitting here with the coffee and stormy weather this morning has brought a lot of thought about what we can do. I have two kids in the loft of my house that would otherwise be sleeping in the bushes. While I am not going to rent them their own apartment, nor buy them a car or create a job for them, I am here simply with a little extra space where they can relax and stop for a moment with a warm bed, hot shower, and a meal or two. They can watch television or use the internet or do their laundry and simply be in a safe and caring environment.

I remember the feeling of hope I had when the lady from the block house reassured me and I knew I was not alone and there were people in this world I could turn to.

Morning Moon (revised)

Moonlight dipped in through my window washing the cracks in my dream

You were there beside me

Soon, the day would relish another cycle of dawn

Empty spaces lend purpose to reconcile

The cat knows and prances down the hall

Music catches time and dances with the wisp of shadows that flee

My day is now and I know not what the day brings

But I am powered with curiosity and change

Purpose is instilled and chaos will not have the better of me

Fingers tap lightly with a musing captured

Garbage trucks groan outside pulling into and sifting our trash

Celebration lost can be found in the snow covered hills

Coffee and toast is what it has come to

Warm water will wash over me as the light of the moon

Morning Moon

I am awake now, but don’t want to be.

The computer is somehow tied into my subconscious like it has made  pact and I am supposed to write everyday no matter what. But I cannot seem to find what it is I am supposed to write or want to write. “Oh my god what am I thinking? Who gives a shit!”

The voice chimed in sort of rude and from out of no where. “You don’t know what you are saying!” I was calm, too tired to debate at this time of day. Besides, what in the hell am I doing having this debate now. I want to sleep anyway. My auto pilot just kicked in without thinking, drawing me in to write something – anything. The messed up thing is that I should be exercising, but instead, words fall out of me constantly lately. Sometimes something gets posted – but mostly it is just a vomiting of things processed from the day before, from my dreams, from my life.

I don’t care. On one hand, I am still as a sleeping owl in a tree or tucked into the high rafters of the barn. I don’t really know what is on the other foot.. they’re just words. Yes, I am aware of the misuse of language and frankly – I don’t give a damn.

Age is upon me. I can see it only about 3 days away now. I have this sense that my time is limited. I am going through the days with some desperation. I can feel the reaper’s touch, tapping his wrist watch impatiently. I am not afraid of him and he knows this. I have played tricks with it – but my kids keep me alive. There are other things too.. but not much.

Moonlight with the Harvest is my day of birth. It means not much to me. I have been without celebration in my life for too long and have forgotten, even become self-conscious with its meaning and unfamiliar enough to wonder about worthiness. You’d think that a class partier would still be rocking things over – creating moments. I do in my own way. Still, it is not the same and I have sacrificed much out of a sense of loyalty and pride. But these were my decisions and I am ok. Now, there is discovery and curiosity.

The season is changing, moving into a period of reenergizing, of transformation. I have been told about power many times, my power. I suppose it did take some force to separate the thin line between coffee filters this morning. Of course, one day that could become a real triumph and perhaps should be celebrated – recognized in this moment that I did it. Ironically, there was a time when I could not. But that was a long time ago now.

It sort of brings me to competition – or the idea of it and how it has influenced. For now – another day is about to begin as the gray span of my morning is winding down and I have to go create solutions for my keep.

Brown Shadow

Despite the faint glow of candlelight in her eyes. Conjunctivitis seeped up from her bone marrow. He could see traces of the disease flicker in the dimness, thriving. Her skin seemed to be melting as anxiety took over reason. Their plotting and light hearted musing diminishing with panic and fear. The bank probably does not even exist he thought. Maybe it was all a ruse set up by officials to entrap their minds only to discover a link to something to incriminate them.

“What the hell is going on?” she barely whispers, gripping the edge of the counter top between them as if dangling from a cliff.

“It’s ok. I think it’s ok.”

“ffuuuu” she could not finish the word that would otherwise so perfectly punctuate the moment as if it alone encapsulated everything between them.

“Listen. We need to stay calm and wait for a moment. Maybe no one is really at the door?”

“But I heard it loud and clear.” she replied with a voice trailing off and skipping lines between reality and obscurity. “I don’t know if I can stay put. This is not cool. Go find out what the hell.” she pleaded with drool pooling up in the corner of her mouth like the last drops of sanity holding on.

“Just wait.” He had not moved from his position for what seemed like hours, still crouching, frozen in place with his pistol gripped in one hand while the other steadied himself against the island. Low light might preserve their cover, but he heard the knocking too. Normally, he could tell when he might just be tripping, but this was either some outstanding shit or they were in deep.

The scented candles cast flickering shadows across the kitchen. Through the leaf window dark was setting in fast now and distant lights shimmered through the trees like tiny stars, or eyes peering up in the mountains and through the trees and across the window pane.. staring at him. The air was pungent with smoke causing things to move along the corners of the room like the house was coming alive, taking each one of his breathes. His thoughts pulled away and returned to the prospect of someone needing help, but he knew he was in no place for it. They would have to just leave. But the house creaked with opposition and brought to life fears that boiled deep in his gut, spreading through his arm and down through his bent hips that ached from crouching. Fear spawned spasms to curl through his body without control till his ankles and toes were cramped with indecision and paralysis.

“Jack?” her voice sounded harsh, afraid.

“Ssshhhh. Wait.” He could barely whisper, his throat parched as a corpse. He knew he had to  do something. He had to move somehow. He thought about turning the kitchen light back on but could swear something was lingering in the hallway just around the corner. What if he went for the light and something reached around and grabbed him and started tearing him apart? What if he could not react quick enough? Bugs were starting to crawl up his pants leg.

She suddenly gasped gripping the countertop with both hands. Her knuckles were glowing in the soft illumination, twisting with disproportionate mutation and contorted skin ripping. Rather than crying out, she marveled at the absurdity. “Look, Jack. Do you see it?” She lapsed from fear raising a hand up to better see it in the candlelight. “Holy shit. It doesn’t even hurt. What is going on? I am like a shape shifter. Maybe I can turn into a mouse and get in to the bank totally undetected?”

“What? The bank, are you serious? We are in deep shit here, Diana! Look at your hands, man. That is not normal. It’s like your hands are turning inside out. What the hell is happening?”

Diana just stared turning them in different angles.

Just then something smashed into the front door. This time it was like a gigantic fiery fist of hell plunging into their home with the hatred of a million souls sent to steal them.

The front room went pitch black. Kitchen candles flickered ominously. Diana grabbed at the counter again.. hands still turning. Jack fell back on his butt with a thud, legs sprawled out in front of him, hunched trying to see if he still held his pistol. He tried to make himself small, both unable to move, petrified, silent.

“We need to get out of here, Diana.” he was not sure if he actually spoke, but he could feel his lips forming the words that he was thinking.

“I can’t move. Oh my god, I can’t move.”

Sliding his knees under himself, Jack scooted around the back of the island away from the black chasm of space that led to another dimension where something waited. He got himself away and over to Diana. He began to slowly peel her fingers from the cliff edge. She painfully moved her head inches per hour, slowly as if not moving at all.

Her eyes finally came to see him, but he was not alone.