Accept the Gift

This is my traditional Christmas post.

First posted 12/11/2016 as The Night Bobby Found Christ in an Abandoned Subway Car.

I imagined a modern Nativity and saw a homeless kid who finds the abandoned Christ child in an old subway car.

Will he accept the burden of this gift?

An avatar that represents an alternate named Bobby is shown finding the Christ child in an abandoned subway car
A homeless youth finds the abandoned Christ child in an unused subway car.

I got the idea for the subway car from Dark Days, a documentary made in the 1990’s about a tribe of homeless people who live in the abandoned subway tunnels of New York.

I used VR to make a video of it.

I use two photo-shopped frames from the documentary as an homage to it.

I first came up with this idea in 2011 but didn’t have the skill I needed
to make a video work the way I envisioned it.

I was going to remake the video for this Christmas but had a soul sucking
bout of the  flu that still lingers.

The video works but I see ways to make it better so I WILL remake the video
for next Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to the World!

May we find our way back to reason and light.

I’ll see you guys after Christmas.

The video is a series high-resolution panels staged and shot in virtual reality and processed in multiple apps.

I cropped a cover of Silent Night  found at the Internet Archives.

To the best of my knowledge the recording is in the public domain.

Rob Goldstein 2016-2018
Revised 2018

A Prayer for those Who Suffer

A prayer for those
who suffer

Lost on our streets

Lost to themselves,

A prayer for the stricken
and aggrieved

For the young in fear
of the future

For the old in dread
of the past

For victims silenced
by shame

For the angry whose
hearts are broken

For those who suffer most,

This is a prayer for you.

(c) Rob Goldstein 09/21/2016-2018

 



 This was first posted September 2016 as ‘A Prayer for Those who Grieve.’
I’ve revised the poem.

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Mother, You Need Shoes

I would not have noticed her had the subway car not cleared
of people at Lexington Avenue.

She removed a tattered stocking cap and stuffed it
into a grimy army jacket.

She held a smudged white bag between her legs.

She reached into it and pulled out half a doughnut.

That was when I noticed her shoes.

The uppers had split from the soles; she wrapped
her feet in newspaper and rags.

I thought, Mother,  you need shoes.

I wondered if forty dollars would do.

I looked up and watched her untangle a lock of
matted grey hair.

She reached into her bag and found a bobby pin.

She styled the lock of hair into a bun

I had forty dollars.

It was for vitamins; specifically, anti-oxidants.

My body was rusting faster than a wet Ford.

The crows feet around my eyes whispered: erase us; your
happiness demands our absence.

I examined the old woman’s cracked and broken shoes;
they were useless for January in New York.

She closed her eyes, as if ready to savor a long warm ride.

Maybe she lives in the subway, I thought, like those people
in the documentary,  Dark Days.

If she never leaves the subway she doesn’t need new shoes!

My crow’s-feet said, ’Yes!’

But that can’t be right, I thought; an old woman, alone, with
nothing but a stale doughnut for dinner.

I saw myself stand, and watched as I took two twenties out
of my wallet.

Then I knelt and said, “Mother, you need shoes.”

She opened her eyes and smiled at me and
nodded in agreement.

“Will forty dollars do?”

“Yes,” she said, “God bless you.”

I gave her the money and returned to my seat, and
listened as my crow’s-feet maliciously threatened
to deepen and spread.

 

Rob Goldstein (c) 2014-2018 All Rights Reserved
First published 5/29/16
Revised 4/7/18

 

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