prized possession : self-love
“I want to love.” Crash has quite a story, wise words for anyone willing to listen and an abundance of loving goodwill. At forty, the former Connecticut resident has been on the streets since the age of eighteen, with the exception of a few years spent in an apartment that he “lost because of drugs and alcohol.” The path has not been in vain, as soft-spoken Crash pronounces, “The most important thing is to be soft and compassionate. The streets and have made me stronger and more wise. When people look down on me for begging, I pray for compassion.” He thanks God for his present inner peace and shares the origins of his faith. “The streets pushed me away, but God embraced me. Something changed in me. When I was eighteen I used to cut myself, drink, I was mean. I admitted to God that I needed help. I used to be so angry, I wanted to hurt people. Then I changed. I’m done suffering.” Crash refers to the Ninja Turtles character, Master Splinter for some insightful wisdom. “Master Splinter said to Rafael, anger clouds the mind. It does.” He encourages the Prized Possession project with positivity, telling me, “Proceed with what you’re doing. You inspire people with your pictures. You inspire the world.” He is optimistic about his future and an upcoming journey. “This month I am going home to my family in Connecticut for the first time in a long time. I have three nephews I’ve never met before,” he says with a proud smile.
Prized Possession: “My most prized possession is my self-love. If I can’t love myself, I can’t love God. I want to love. I don’t want to hate anymore.” While gazing at the other urban inhabitants, Crash observes, “ The reason people are not happy today, is because they don’t know who they are. TV, cell phones. It’s all taken them away from themselves.”