Outside the Circle

Cindy Milstein

Temporary Shelter


I know such moments are fleeting — because here in San Francisco almost more than any of global city, at least in North America, capitalism ensures precariousness — but this morning, I’m feeling an abiding, warm, palpable sense of community and home.

Yeah, they can evict us and our lives. They can displace, disrupt, dispossess. They can destroy the built and natural environments. They can construct new forms of colonialism and apartheid, with new techniques and technologies of dominance and control.

But they can’t evict the legacies of resistance, care, and love. Our legacies — the fabric of the interdependent social relations we, ourselves, take time to create.

I know I’ll wake to other mornings where all that I’ll have will be the loose, stray threads of memories. Where I’ll be torn apart, when capitalism and its greedy collaborators decide that I, that we, that our friends and neighbors, are next to be ripped from our homes, our chosen families and enjoyable routines, our passions and sustenance.

Yet now, this ephemeral morning, it’s good to be awake to what we still have, to wrap it tightly like a blanket around us. It’s necessary to imprint this temporary comfort in our hearts, as the home we’ll later carry wherever they force us to go.

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(Photo by Cindy Milstein,November 16, 2014, Mission High School, SF. One of many pieces of the fabric of celebrating Ted Gullicksen’s life of fighting for homes for all, via Homes Not Jails and the Tenants Union in San Francisco, after his sudden passing a month ago.)


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