Monday, May 04, 2009

Oakland: still worth staying

Oakland was all over the news this week. A man walking his dog at night was killed in a supposed drive by a week ago [Trib article], about 3 blocks from the new community mural that I've been blogging about. Ironically the week ended with the NY Times travel section publishing a positive review of traveling to Oakland [36 hours in Oakland].

It seems that when things get unimaginable in Oakland something paradoxically unexpected happens. If you're attentive, it's not impossible to see and taste the hope that I believe is underneath everything in Oakland. My wife has been cleaning out our garage, getting rid of stuff we no longer need and haven't recently used. Freecycle has been her social-networking resource for connecting with different folks in and around Oakland looking to downsize their lives or to pick up a particular items for free. She's freecycled baby clothes, a TV, used flower pots, etc. One of the things that she freecycled was a children's scooter that although brand-new didn't come with all the parts (a gift from the Spirit of Christmas past). The guy that took the TV also happily returned for the scooter that we left for him on the porch. A couple of days later we came home to find the scooter (pictured) assembled and left on our porch. A modern social-networking, green culture good samaritan parable story that lifts up the hope, solidarity and light in our city that is so often portrayed as chaotic, dog-eat-dog and filled with darkness.

Whoever you are Scooter Man, if you're reading this - thank you!


Gene said...

Freecycle rocks! I've gotten rid of a host of things we didn't need any more (though never got any takers on a hanging stained glass lamp that needs some repairs), and got a nice futon for my office.

Kristy said...

My Freecycle angel's name is Jesse. What a great guy!