A homeless man finds a version of serenity in the heart of Detroit
Published: April 20, 2011
"It was just kind of to let people know that, hey, that's where this one guy who's homeless is. That's all it really is. But I'm not an artist. These are just doodles."
It's another crisp morning. Bell stands at the foot of his hill, holding a piece of wood. He's building a new place to live at ground level. Too old to climb those makeshift ladder steps anymore, he says. And this time, his home will be tall enough for him to stand up in.
"I've been laying down at home for 10 years. I gotta try to get my standing up back where it's supposed to be," he says with a laugh.
But progress is slow. He gets lost in his thoughts easily, and will stay in place for hours, watching time unfold around him. This is the pace of his days and the rhythm of the life he's chosen.
"The kind of experience I've had with what's known as convenience or modern, I've had enough of it," he says. "I did the things I'm supposed to do in a house and, well, I don't think that's too much what I'm ready for. Being where I can have peace with myself is what I'm content with," he says. "I'd rather have peace with myself."
He stands there a long while, doing nothing but watching the river, which keeps flowing by, same today as tomorrow, just like this life.
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