Working with the Homeless Made Me a Better Person—and Artist

My essay on how serving the homeless made me a better writer and person.

Lost in the Funhouse

The Street Kid: A Beautiful Journey
by
Phoenix Rises.

13891827_648788195277646_6466477065443768833_nThe street kid has been a prominent metaphor throughout my fiction, and there is a reason for this. In fact one could argue, I am The Street Kid. I go by Phoenix, Phoenix The Street Kid, and this is because of the way that I have attached meaning to the idea of a street kid just trying to make it in the world, expressing their innocence and resourcefulness, just trying to survive. I have a very picaresque idea of the young homeless kid, and this has no doubt influenced my perception of the homeless and my writing. Serving those experiencing homelessness has also influenced my writing and vice versa. My writing and my life would be very different if I didn’t serve the homeless population.

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Poverty: A Reflection (by Phoenix)

A new piece I wrote for the Legacy Initiative. I’ve needed to reflect.

Legacy Initiative: Not all heroes wear a cape

So in the end, we can only do our best. What constitutes our best is another matter, but are we honest with ourselves about what it means to try? I try to do that, I try to be honest about where I am coming from with any given point, when I’m communicating to others, and seeking to make connections, deep and meaningful connections.


I’ve noticed that I am a kind of outlier, in certain groups, and this is because I don’t follow the usual group dynamics, and conform to said group. This doesn’t mean that I am not accepting of the rules and norms governing any group that I may be a part of, but it does mean that I seek to foster my integrity and my desire to do good, doing my best to stay out of group politics.


I haven’t written for The Legacy Initiative in a while…

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In a Psych Ward on Suicide Watch: a True Story

A really important piece about mental illness, human suffering, suicide, and the nature of reality.

Lost in the Funhouse

by
Daulton Dickey.

“My passion was dead. For years it had rolled over and submerged me[…]” –Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea

1.

23472755_508313162869436_3148584393869646739_nSuicides aren’t always dissatisfied with life. They’re certainly not cowards. Few people who consider themselves brave could commit the ultimate act. In the aftermath of suicide, those left behind search for answers or meaning. Sometimes they can find answers, sometimes meaning doesn’t exist, sometimes the suicide is the result of a brain wired differently and given free rein to act on its impulses.

If you reduce the physical universe to its most basic components, you’ll find most of the building blocks are comprised of empty space. When I experienced suicidal depression, I experienced the sensation of the emptiness of the physical universe. Every second of every day. Every atom contains emptiness. Since I was composed of atoms, I was mostly empty–physically and emotionally.

And that emptiness weighed on me. It…

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11 Philosophy Books to Expand Your Mind

My list of mind expanding philosophy books, edited by Daulton Dickey, is now live. Check it out.

Lost in the Funhouse

by
Phoenix.

philosophy-2603284_960_720Any account of philosophical history and the important works produced is bound to be not only non-definitive and incomplete, but also unsatisfying. This is because philosophy is a very rich and dynamic venue, for some of the most interesting ideas ever posited by man. I nonetheless sought to construct a list of important works of philosophy, with the hope of discussing some very radical, mind-opening texts. In the list I limit myself to only going back a couple centuries, to narrow the search and discussion.

What is philosophy? People have asked this question since Socrates, and there have been many books seeking to explain what philosophy is. Philosophy for me personally, is the quest for knowledge, as well as the love of wisdom and the search for truth. Philosophy is often seen as being elitist, suited only for intellectual elites, but in my experience, this is not…

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