When the woman returned to the corner of Bourke and Russell Streets — to her blue striped mattress and still-fairly-white doona — someone else was sleeping there. In her bed.

Deeply. The quilt was pulled right up under the stranger’s chin, and his head was sunken deeply into the pillow. A human, blissfully and soundly asleep, as other humans stood waiting for our green light at the pedestrian crossing.

“It’s a goldilocks scenario,” our Big Issue Vendor mused. “Who’s been sleeping in my bed?”


It must have looked so warm and comfortable, all made-up and ready.

When I drew the final layer of this picture 24 hours later, I snugged under my own quilt, still absorbing the scene. Something about the universal need for a nest, a resting place, warmth, comfort … Savouring the certainty that the bed I make for myself will still be there when I return … And mourning that need not being met for everyone tonight.

May all beings have warmth and comfort and shelter. And may we all have the pleasure of only sharing our bed willingly, with those we choose.

As I finish writing, look who’s hopped up to share mine.  First, Joy. 

Then her Worshipper Number 1 … 🙂

Cat thought-bubble: “oh please, give me some space already!” …

She’s a rescue cat. I guess she had a night or more out on the street. I’m glad that she’s warm here with us now. May all beings be.

Curious about the layers underneath?

Under the picture was a collage that I did last night before bed. It includes The Big Issue masthead, and there was also a rough crayon drawing of the scene, and a glued-on sketch of my hubby a few weeks ago when he’d fallen into bed exhausted after a big day bike riding. 

This morning, I painted over the top and made patterns with the scraper. You can still see a bit of the big issue masthead on the right. 

Then, tonight, I wanted to snuggle in bed and work with crayons. At first, I thought the crayons wouldn’t work on the grooves of the paint. But working with the red and the darker blues, and building up the layers of crayon, this image emerged of the man in his deep, peaceful sleep in a stranger’s nest.