THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:

Since 2016, I’ve lived in a large Craftsman bungalow in Pasadena that’s been divided into eight apartments. All we residents of course have our own space, but we also constantly see and run into each other. Our property manager lives next door, the landlord also owns three more houses around the corner, and we all share a giant back yard.

This makes for an extended community of adults and children.

Recently I conducted a mental inventory and realized that together we have roots in Puerto Rico and Santa Barbara, Venezuela and New Hampshire, Indonesia and Orange County, Africa and West Virginia, Mexico and the Bay Area, El Salvador and Florida.

We’ve spent the last three months together in what basically amounts to lockdown. Harmony has reigned. The time has been marked by innumerable acts of kindness, generosity, good cheer and forbearance.

“Hey I just made a bunch of masks—do you want one?” “Hey I picked up this sunhat the other day—I thought of you in the garden.” “Hey, I made a huge batch of cauliflower-cheese soup—can I give you some?” “Hey, I just got back from Costco and bought this six-pack of antihistamine spray—I’ll never use it all, ya wanna couple bottles?”

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.

VIVIEN LEIGH AND MARLON BRANDO IN
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE.
BLANCHE DUBOIS WAS THE ORIGINAL DEPENDER
UPON THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS.

5 Replies to “THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS”

  1. I have shared this with so many people. Very uplifting, something besides the negativity in the news. Thank you.

  2. Debbie Greco says: Reply

    I really loved this Heather! Thank you We need to get off our electronics and get to better know and love and be known and loved by those in our own home and neighbor hood

  3. Thank you, Debbie and Bill! I showed the piece to my property manager this morning…the media would have us believe we’re at each others’ throats, but the truth is that the vast majority of us get along fine with our neighbors. Anyone who lives in a major US city by definition is part of a glorious melting pot. That’s a grace for all of us.

  4. GRANNY!!!!! Did you ever imagine, Heather? I laughed to picture the moment. Just loved this whole piece… You paint wonderful word portraits of your redesigned life. Thankful to hear you are well placed in your apartment building, despite the months- years?- of noisiness- that you stuck it out. Most Providential. XXOO

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Ha, apparently the adorable child was not aware of my profoundly YOUTHFUL SPIRIT!! Out of the mouths of babes…on we all inch…grateful for a roof over my head, the sun and a garden. Love to you, Mary Beth!!

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