Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

November 24, 2010

Invisible

At the end of the game the other night the crowds were crazy, we made our way through a sea of people to get on the subway or GO train. Since everyone around me was so tall I found myself looking down at shoes to keep track of my steps, that's when I see him. A lone man, crouched down and sitting at the entrance of the Air Canada Centre. He's got a scruffy beard, dirty clothes, and has made himself a seat on an old piece of cardboard. His eyes are down cast and his shoulders hunched. I am being swept up in the crowd so I can't stop to observe him, or offer the change from my pocket. I can't even get close enough to acknowledge him as a person. I look up and see the eyes of the mass of people around me, this man is invisible. No one sees him, no one recognizes his need, he is not there. I move with the wave and soon we come to another door and there in the same spot but different door is yet another nameless, faceless soul. Invisible. I find myself hurting for them, hurting for the young men they are, for the boys they were. Where did they come from? Where are they going? Who loves them? Who searches for them in a vain attempt to call them home? Again the throng around me is too deep and too fast moving to stop and offer words of hope or peace or even just give them the two bucks for a coffee to warm themselves. I wonder where they will sleep tonight? where will they eat? Do they have friends? Who is their mother? Does she know where they ended up? Does she care? My mind tells me that they have places to turn, they have a city that cares for them, a shelter to go to for rest and warm food. My heart can't hide from the simple realization that they are invisible in this city. People walk by, eyes looking anywhere but down to where they sit, asking for change, asking for help. I think of the nameless few that I myself have walked past, eyes looking anywhere but where they are and I find myself shamed, shamed that I too am guilty of allowing these people, these lost souls of our city to stay invisible.