Adventures in Transit

I have been writing little vignettes and stories for years now about my encounters using public transportation and on not driving in a car crazy society.  I keep thinking I should put them into some sort of collection but haven’t exactly figured out the best way to do it.  Yesterday I bought a new smaller size sketchbook/journal and my first entry was about an absurd and troubling encounter at the bus stop. My on-the-road sketches are very sloppy and rough, but a friend suggested I just start posting my journal pages as they are and not worrying so much if they’re good enough.  So here is a raw Adventure in Transit called THE PENCIL MAN.

What do you think? Was it too hard to read as a direct scan of my handwriting?  Should I type it out instead and just add the illustrations?  I like the immediacy of the entry but…
I’m not sure I like the smaller pages — my usual journal is 8.5 x 11.  I’ll see how this goes.
If you’d like to read more polished adventures in transit, you can find The Little Madonnas here, and Driving home here.
Any comments are appreciated and thanks for stopping by.

8 thoughts on “Adventures in Transit

  1. I can read your handwriting fine and it is personal – as is the story. What is more difficult are the questions you raise. Individual actions are important but so are finding safe environments where people get the organized assistance they need. It turns out your generosity with the pencil probably did not improve his life, other than maybe feel more cared for. We can't always know what others need when we come upon them this way. All we can do is have compassion in the moment – and do the kind of organizational work that you are doing in your community where you have a better idea what helps the most. We are so often fill our lives with so many things to do that taking the time in the moment is in itself a challenge. You left him and walked away after connecting with him in a way that most people don't. And you gave food for thought in writing this story.

  2. I want you to keep posting them raw just like this, pictures, captions, handwriting and all.
    What a touching story and really thoughtful questions. I'm also really glad that you didn't step away from him. I know that smell is pungent, but the person is still a person and people can tell when everyone abandons them. And you had an interesting conversation. So hard to know what to do in the moment so we don't ignore someone and or help in ways that aren't needed. Sometimes you can't tell. I agree with Martha: you raised these questions for all your readers. Thank you!

  3. Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Martha. I think the older I get, life's lessons are more like questions. Simple acts of kindness, I feel, are a way I can improve life in the moment. And stories are the only way I can process such encounters with life's edges.

  4. Thanks Cheryl. Incontinence is such a sad and isolating condition. I think sometimes we over-react to it, so I try not to. The conversations I get into with people in disadvantaged situations are always amazing and thought provoking. Thanks for your encouragement.

  5. One of the most haunting journal entries I've ever read. It pricked my conscience, resurrected uncomfortable memories, and filled me with sadness–something I often bury, but shouldn't. I'm still wrestling with my reaction–and that is a very good thing. The way you presented it is paragon–the handwritten text and drawings could not be more effective. Looking forward to more, Joy. Thanks

  6. I tend to write about these prickly situations to try to understand them. I always wonder if they are appropriate to share, but when I get the kind of reactions I've gotten from this humble post, I know that part of the reason I have these encounters is to capture and share them. I deeply appreciate your feedback.

  7. I was able to read your journal just find by clicking on each page to enlarge it. What a sad story. It's difficult to know how to react to people like the man you described. Unfortunately, I think most people feel awkward and move away like you described. Good on you for staying to communicate with him. Such a shame for him. I wonder why the woman left him there? Thank you for sharing and I liked the graffiti – it's nice when folk leave inspiring writing for others to come across!

  8. I love the personal touch…handwritten! I could read it very well. The incident moved me…so unfortunate! I think there's so much of such sadness in this world more than often of our own making and at times that which we can not even fathom right!

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