I came to Detroit looking for a way to answer some of my own questions and to have a more complete picure of what this city is about underneath the surface. At the end of our internship what I really have found is that the city itself is where the questions lie and there are a lot of people trying to answer those questions both in their own way and by working together with other community members.
Detroit may seem empty to some from the outside because it lacks the 'normal' amount of hustle & bustle, skyscrapers, megastores, and moneyholders that we are used to seeng in an urban metropolis, but Detroit can't be taken at face value. What matters more is recognizing, understanding, and working in the context of the many layers that run deep in the city's history, its neighborhoods, its organizations/businesses and its people.
I think that the ridiculous dreams of some, the undying love and understanding of others and the willingness to invest time, serious thought, and money from still others are the start of a combination that is going to make this city grow.
When I have more time I'll give a longer explanation about my experiences that make me believe this!
In the meantime here is something that I wrote during the creative writing workshop:
Change is the elephant in the room
Change is action
action, moving forward, leaping into the future,
sometimes before the present is even ready.
Change is struggle and pain
Pain caused by leaving behind the familiar, known
ways of living, thinking, believing, seeing.
Change grows inside of us and escapes through our
lips, eyes, ears, hands, and feet
It moves us before we are ready and takes us to places that we never meant to be.
Change reroutes the flow of rivers and streams from East to West
alters the path of birds flying North to South
it even allows new life to grow inside of a warm belly
Change starts with the ridiculous and ends only with time.