Saturday, December 14, 2013


He's parked every day at Hwy 89A and Cornville, Rd---Cottonwood, Az----declaring his message to the world via chalkboards.  (better than painted signs because you can easily update your message)

I've seen many and so have you----decided to engage this gentleman---see if I could get a new slant.  He told me his personal story:  was a drunk---got saved---found conventional churches unsatisfactory---felt "called" to take his message directly to the public.  Been at this for some years now. 
Has three dogs for company---mother and two pups---they sleep with him in the mini-van in a secret location at night.
Then we get to his "message":  Churches have it all wrong, he said---pointing to scripture to prove his point. His theology is convoluted ----difficult to summarize.
What interest me is his GALL---to declare himself---go PUBLIC---along the roadside--override the shame/embarrassment of doing so in this manner.  I asked if he likened himself to old testament prophets---they too were often odd outsiders.  He said yes.
He and his dogs sleep, eat and live here.
his home a metaphor for the chaos in his head.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  What he does not lack is PURPOSE and identity!  He is vigorously ON PURPOSE and he's positive that he is a child of God.  He aches to be understood however. (I can do that and more:  I can appreciate--and I did.  It's my payment for the story---I also gave him money) 
I weep for this man like I weep sometimes for myself and  all humanity---burdened with existence without an obvious point.  He DECLARES his purpose----without any proof.  AND THAT IS WHAT WE ALL MUST DO.  There is no proof to any point of living----only confirmation by others.  We are all like the Mormons and other religions--generating a comforting culture and a chorus of consensus---without an ounce of proof.
But this oddball man is hanging out there all alone---without a chorus of confirming friends.  Holding maverick views that  the world will never even listen to.  Weep with me for him and all his kind.  Only the love given him by his dogs  keeps him marginally sane. 
And to make good on my title question: What he is really saying is NOTICE ME.  What he is really doing is PUSHING AWAY NOTHINGNESS.


Anonymous said...

The only difference between him and all religious believers is a matter of degree.

Jim said...

There is an inverse relationship between a person's self worth and their NEED (professed or otherwise) for an invisible sky Cod to be in charge of everything. Those who feel good about themselves and their lives have no need or desire to indulge such elaborate metaphysical fantasies.
IMHO, faith in things unseen/unproven/unknowable is *never* harmless because, as Voltaire noted, "Those who believe in absurdities are capable of atrocities." A healthy guideline for eating is "if Man makes it, don't eat it." An equally healthy guideline for religion could be, "if Man makes it up (as all religions are), don't believe it."

Randy said...

Jim: Thank you----and very well said. Had not heard the Voltaire quote. Will remember it.

jonthebru said...

I am sorry, but all I saw was his beat up van and evidence of a dysfunctional lifestyle. And I am a very open observer. His message for better or worse would be lost to a majority because of the package.

yobobe said...

My heart cracks wide open at times and the tenderness I feel is almost unbearable but I don't weep for this man for just the reasons you stated. He has his purpose and identity and he has dogs!
This is more than many of us have.

I think there is an obvious and simple point to our existence and that is, to be present in it each and every moment.
At least that's what I'm thinking tonight.
Are you going to be in Quartzsite for the big "gathering"?
I'm hoping to make it and would love to see you again and talk story.

Kelly said...

What about the dogs ? He has made his choices, do the dogs have a choice? Are they happy and well cared for ? what is their future?
My heart breaks for animals..... not so much humans anymore.....


Colvin said...

I agree with your anaysis, Randy. I also like that you "checked in" with him. I'm a hitch hiker picker-upper, mostly out of curiosity about their stories. I don't have to agree with them, it is what it is, but I learn alot and help out a bit as well, when I can. One thing I get from them is their guts to "keep on keepin' on" against the many obstacles (real or imagined ;) on their path. Hey, if nothing else, he's staying sober, no small thing at all. Enjoyed the post, as usual.

Rob said...

His claim to understanding God & God's relationship to him has as much to back it up as anyone's.

It does not bother me as long as he doesn't try & force me into believing.

'Live and let live' is a good thing.

TomInBellaVista said...

Almost timely

Tesaje said...

You many times find the humanity and dignity in down and out nomads. This poor pathetic soul - not so much. He demonstrates a basic fact I have observed in my life - those who are least in control of their own lives are the most inclined to tell others how to live, whether they be pathetic criers in the lonely desert or heads of companies and big organizations making others lives miserable.

Oh and what Jim said - spot on.

Anonymous said...

Better translation:

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can also make you commit atrocities."

And I Thought Auschwitz, Thought Jonestown, Thought My Lai 4, Thought the Iraq war.."

Damn, that Voltaire had it spot on.

Michael said...

Indeed. And this is the great service the "insane" and "delusional" provide to society: they help normal people--you know, the petty throngs milling through shops and churches across the land, pretending to be living in deep purpose, and studiously averting their gaze from mortality's crushing lesson of existential futility--take one sidways glance and smirk or shudder, and feel confirmed that they, unlike "that poor soul," are living right...sane and purposeful in an ordered world.

Anonymous said...

Your blog was that Gentleman's fifteen minutes. Now I shall surf onward.

liena rose said...
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