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samuel.terry's picture

So I was really struck today by Edward Said’s call for “willed homelessness.” When we went around the circle others seemed to echo Said’s idea, agreeing that there can be complacency in security. However, I can’t help but rebel against this idea of “willed homelessness.” It feels paradoxical. There is nothing desirable or chosen about being homeless. There is nothing romantic about sleeping on park benches, or buses, or trains, or floors, or random couches. There is nothing exciting about sneaking in friends houses long past parents go to bed so you can find something to eat. There is nothing fun about brushing your teeth in library bathrooms, showering in locker rooms, hiding a duffel bag in the bushes before you go to school. This isn’t learning through being unsettled this is surviving in a world that is actively telling you that you don’t belong here. Sure, I believe in travel, adventure, and exploration, as methods to grow but to call that homelessness is to demonstrate the extraordinary privilege of never knowing what it’s like to not have someone to call along the journey, a porch light on somewhere waiting for you to return.