Now that the chuppah is ready for my big day, I’m back to quilting the stories of homeless New Yorkers. It took quite some time to get the design right on Steven’s piece, but I’m finally on the right track. Steven grew up on the streets of NJ. His mother was unable to take care of him and his 3 sisters so he was raised by his grandmother. He dropped out of school in 6th grade and, by the age of 13, he was getting high with his friends, which led to a life of petty crime and hard drugs.
Now, at the age of 42, he is ready to break away from that world. He is in a 12 steps program as well as programs for behavior modification and relapse prevention. He is also learning the trade of plumbing and writes poetry that reflects his new outlook on life.
This piece shows his journey from the darkness of drugs to the light of religion, poetry and an honest profession. The words from two of his poems are included in the piece. The first, which speaks about his belief in God and the need to do the right thing, acts as a divider between his two lives. The second, a poem he wrote for his mother about believing in yourself, pours out of an open journal toward the light of his new life.
The images are not yet attached to the piece, so that’s my next task – after Shabbat.