a story about gates, or; the whys of the whats


While driving around Redding, I have noticed a few gates at the end of driveways- closed sometimes

but not always

Maybe not even normally

Since I spent a fair amount of time on the street

trying really hard to be a criminal

I look at things a little differently, now (even though I strive to not even break traffic laws, anymore)

But the gates thing

makes that part of my brain realize there may be a pattern to be read in them

and, in the vein of [i am my only enemy]

those residents that only close the gates leading up to their houses when they are not home

are probably doing so to feel safe

and because they think it will make their property safer


Granted, the vast majority of the people I have met that could reasonably be classified as ‘criminals’ (in that they habitually seek opportunities in which they may successfully commit criminal acts)

were not that observant


But some few of them, were

and those few, they looked for patterns

and some even smaller percentage of those few – also had the patience to watch

and to wait

and to verify whether or not those patterns were what they thought they were


A gate at the end of a driveway

if only closed sometimes

may be closed for a reason

The very fact of it being closed, and when it is closed vs when it is open – may, given enough time and enough observation

contain information

as to whether the residents may be Home, or Not Home


So, this action undertaken to make us feel safe, by keeping us or our property safe

is more likely to do the opposite


Now, Redding is not an especially high-crime area. I bring this up more as an example, to illustrate one of the many, many ways I feel like [i am my only enemy] resonates throughout life


so, this is not intended to instill fear, because fear can be counterproductive

Because fear, when acted upon blindly – causes us to seek out the nearest shelter

wherein we feel safe

for a time

But are really just wearing blinders.


The way to feel safe, most effeciently – in a way that, as in [protection], is less likely to be ripped out from beneath us when those habits, those blinders we relied so heavily upon

are shattered

Involves a little more observation, ourselves

a little more thinking, critically, about why we are doing what we are doing

and what the likely result might be


To use the gates example

a gate always closed

or always open

imparts little information, beyond that of being a gate.


a gate that is sometimes one

and sometimes the other

well, that may tell a different story.


This is, yet again

about agency

about a way out

of those kinds of fears

and those kinds of exposures –

a way to fix those kinds of cracks before the shattering


A way to find safety, to manufacture it – as in [fabricating fortune]

which is to say

not manufacturing at all


Yes, it’s annoying to start having to remember to be consistent about things like closing our gates, even when we are home (or even when we are not)

but it does become the automatic, after a while


and if we do the werk

of thinking about the whats of the things we do

and then the whys


For me, at least-

when I realize the errors of whatever of my ways

then, the solutions that had once seemed like work

become something more like werk to put into action

because they begin to feel good to do

and I begin to feel safer – wherever I am – because I am more aware of my surroundings, when I take off those blinders I myself put on

because I am more aware of not just what will make me feel safe

but of what will actually make me safer



I spent three years living on the street in Los Angeles. I came out of that, changed. This is my story.

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