G.A. Minutes 11-24-12

G.A. Minutes 11-24-12

It’s snowing tonight as we light the fire and put out the food. Looks like it could turn into a storm. Only a few Occupiers are crazy enough to be out on a night like this. We’re like children, excited because of the first snow.

The few people who are trudging down the sidewalk cast puzzled glances our way. We’re not completely crazy so agree to make this our last meeting at the Memorial until Spring. The fact that most of the homeless street people have no choice but to be out in winter conditions much worse than this produces a contradiction. However, if we continue to meet here during severe weather we’ll loose some of the Occupiers. Many have grueling work or school schedules and can’t afford to get sick.

An Occupier reports her computer has died so she won’t be getting the meeting minutes up on the website until she gets the problem fixed. Another Occupier reports he has received a space in a house managed by local peace and homeless advocates. The Occupier is no longer homeless. This is great news and we all respond accordingly. The Occupier working on our next movie showing reports no progress as he hasn’t received a response from the film makers.

Two middle aged men come walking up. We know them from their many visits to our previous camps and we’re pleased to see them. Neither is wearing clothes suitable for cold or snow. They are delighted to find our fire. We offer them coffee and snacks but they are satisfied with the 40 ounce they are drinking. They offer to share with us but we’re drinking apple juice and coffee tonight. One man sings us his song. He has sung this song for us many times. It’s in the Ojibwe language so we don’t understand the words but we recognize the melody. We love this song. He then speaks of respect between all people, the fact that no one can really help another person, each person can only help themselves and the problems he is having with his wife. “I shut my phone off so she doesn’t know where I am. That makes her real mad”.

We sprinkle sage and tobacco over the fire. The non-singing man explains, when offering tobacco to the fire, one should have a question that needs to be answered. “The answer will then come in your dreams”. We are all laughing because we stand up to shake the snow off, then sit back down and get absorbed in conversation. Within a few minutes we our covered with snow again. The 40 ounce is empty and the non-singing man goes off to another appointment. The singing man wonders where he will sleep tonight. He’s sure his wife won’t let him come home. Just then another homeless former camper appears and offers to take the singing man along. We give them the one blanket we have and wish them well. The wood is gone, time to pack up. We’re already wishing for Spring.