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Every day, I see people on the streets
walking, rocking
back and forth
never going anywhere
yet always moving
always going nowhere
mumbling, shouting
waving and gesticulating
I wonder
are their minds the same?
Always moving
never getting anywhere
Which happens first?
Does the mind begin to circle
and the body follows suit,
or does a confined body
produce a confined mind?
Never going anywhere
always going nowhere.

The more we follow the same paths, the more worn and prominent they become. It’s important to always move forward, to explore off-path, and not to circle back. This is especially true mentally. I find myself prone to anxiety. By watching the People on the Streets, I see many similarities between them and myself.

They seem to be stuck in a pattern of behavior. And a negative one, at that. Circling the same corner on the street, yelling the same phrases, always there the next day doing it all over again. Perhaps, at a certain point, our negative habits become a comfort. Anxiety becomes a comfort. It’s known, and that’s easier to handle than the unknown because, well, at least I know where the known will go. So, I fall into these mental traps, taking the same worn paths in circles around my head, never going anywhere.

That’s no way to live life. The only way to break out of those mental circles seems to be to dive headfirst into the unknown. To explore the over-grown. This can be done in many ways, from going new places to reading new things. It doesn’t always have to cost money.

Don’t fall to circles. If you catch yourself circling, yank yourself out of it by whatever means necessary.

I’d like to take a second to say that I understand that financial troubles can and do prevent houseless people from exploring outside of their neighborhoods, and that those neighborhoods often provide a sense of security and safety for many people. This poem, and these thoughts, are in no way meant to be a judgement on people without houses.

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