Art and Positive Thinking

Welcome to my Renee Loves Art blog!

My focus is exploring, creating and reflecting upon the positives of life and connecting them to my art whether it be photography, pen and ink drawings, watercolour paintings, mixed media, digital media or any other possible media I dive into!


I hope you join me on my art adventure!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

There Was Positively Something About Him , Face 3



Have you ever looked into the eyes of a stranger and felt an instant connection?  Saturday night while  in the walkway to the Saddledome to watch a Calgary Flames National Hockey League game, the eyes of a stranger tugged at my heart strings.  He stood in his long dirty winter coat, with a cardboard sign and a simple request, "Spare change, please."  and his cap out to collect any donation.  The man had the longest grey beard I have seen in a long time.

 I wonder what it must be like to feel so desperate that one must stand out in the below freezing temperatures, for hours on end, waiting for spare change?  I wonder if he felt invisible, as thousands of people rushed by avoiding eye contact?

The tickets to the NHL game were acquired in a draw at my husband's work.  Four tickets were received, and they we transported ourselves to Calgary to seats at centre ice behind the players' bench on the second level about ten rows up.  Normally, these type of seats are out of our price range, so we felt very fortunate for receiving the tickets for free.

As I watched people purchase beer for $8.00 a plastic cup, time and time again, I began to feel uncomfortable.  The image of the middle aged man, standing out in the cold holding the sign flashed and wove through my mind and heart.  I wondered, did I have any spare change?  There was something about the word "Please" on the sign that made me feel that I needed to give him my "spare" change.  

The only money I had was the money I received from my family for Christmas, and it wasn't really spare.  I looked down at my new coat and scarf and felt my new warm toque upon my head, and began to wonder what the man could do with some of my Christmas gift money?  Would he be able to pay for an inexpensive hotel room, and have a nice warm safe sleep for the night and a warm, bone thawing bath?  Could he purchase a "newer" winter coat from a second hand store and perhaps a warm pair of gloves and a new backpack?  Could he warm his belly with a warm meal or two?  Maybe he could treat other homeless people to a meal too?  Would the night's earnings combined with other night's earnings be enough to catch a Greyhound bus ride home to worried loved ones?  Would the money be used for essential things?

The whole game I wondered if he would still be in the walkway when the game was over.  The game went into overtime, as the temperature dropped lower, and it was getting late, almost 11:30 pm.

I made a plan to put some of my money inside my glove and if he was still standing there, I would give him money, not just small change, but enough so that perhaps he wouldn't have to beg for a few days.  Sure enough, the first person I spotted was him.  A man in front of me dropped a donation into his cap, and then I followed right after.  

Normally, I am a bit frightened of approaching homeless people, or I totally avoid them and try not to make eye contact,  I am still trying to figure out what exactly was different about that night, that man?

He wasn't doing the usual verbal begging, he wasn't standing around joking with his friends, or smoking cigarettes...  He stood there holding his sign, said nothing.  Perhaps is was the fact that his sign appeared to be a polite sign, and very grateful?

 I walked over to him, and realized was somewhat older, but not as old as the grey beard from far way indicated.  Although his outward appearance seemed rough, when I placed the money into his cap, he very gently, with a lot of appreciation said thank you.  That thank you sent tremors through my heart and made me want to skip down the walkway.

 My family questioned me on what I just had just done.  I told them that I gave him money, and they joked that he probably was a banker in disguise and had more money than we have.  They laughed, but I told them I had seen him on the way in, and I had been planning the whole game all to pay forward some of my money if I saw him again.

No other comment was made, and I never told them the amount I gave.  I hoped that when the man counted his earnings for the night, he felt like the luckiest man on the world, that someone believed, and perhaps, he would go from hopeless to hopeful that others in the world care!

I feel great about my decision, and feel very fortunate for being able to give the man who positively had something about him, some "Spare change, please". 


10 comments:

  1. This is such a great story Renee. How wonderful and kind of you to give this man your money. He must've been so pleased. It's weird how sometimes you can have an instant connection to people you don't even know. It's good that you followed your intuition and your feelings.

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  2. You've definitely created a character, and quite a story to accompany it which made interesting reading. It's good to see sketches like yours as well as pretty faces. 29 Faces is tough going, but so well worth it and I love finding new artists to visit. Getting round all the fabulous blogs is difficult too, but I'll be back to see more.

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    1. Welcome to my blog! I am so excited that you will be coming back for more! Pretty is nice, but it is fun to try a variety of faces, isn't it?

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  3. A beautiful story Renee. And a fabulous drawing to go with it! I've often thought the same when i see a homeless man or woman. Most times just walking by but sometimes one will get your attention. Good for you for helping this man out with a gift. Thank you for sharing your story with us. It made my day! Happy painting

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    1. Thanks, Ross? I am glad my story is touching others as much as I was touched by the man's spirit.

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  4. Hi Renee, nice to meet you. Your pieces definitely tells a story. Very nice job. I've done this spare change many times and have never regretted it. I see someone like your character and if I can't get to him at that very moment, I look for him when I come out of the store, etc. I usually stop at a store, fast food and also give some cash. I have too because I know God is watching and will be disappointed in me if I don't pay it forward so to speak. You did the right thing and there is good in you for doing that. God Bless You.

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    1. The world is a better place because of people like you! Thanks for sharing how you "pay it forward"! What a touching way to look at the world! I appreciate your time and story!

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  5. You are truly the warmest of souls, how moving that you felt such a connection.This story made my day too.

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    1. Thanks, you just touched my heart! I feel privileged for having a part of your day!

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Thanks for leaving specific comments, they warm my Canadian heArt!