There is a small community of homeless men who live right beside the parking lot up the street. They have some furniture and a stove. They're very quiet. Sometimes the cops park in the lot and sometimes I see them in the encampment. Mostly, they leave them alone. All around are condos; young people with small dogs on leashes, babies in $300 baby strollers, and researchers at Fred Hutch, the huge research center across the street. So much money. The Gates Foundation is in the building across from us.
Tomorrow I leave for two weeks on retreat. Talk about lucky. I'm going to sit in the woods in silence with a bunch of other retreatants while others cook our meals. All I have to do is follow the schedule, if I want. We pick a chore. Maybe I'll work in the garden or clean the bathrooms.
In the hall, you can hear the train whistle off in the distance. There are deer and raccoons and bunnies and frogs. I've been there many times. During afternoon breaks, I'll go visit the creek and the hand hewn bridge a father dedicated to his children. I won't write (well, not officially) or read or talk, except during interviews. I'll eat sparingly and go to bed at 9:30.
I'll sit with my own damn self. No distractions except for the ones I invent. And I'm very clever so I invent a multitude of distractions. Finally the mind quiets down. And who knows what's there, lurking.
And back home, the babies will keep coming and the men under the bridge will hopefully be safe and protected from harm.