We are a reader-supported website. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more here.

The Emptiness of Our Hands: 47 Days on the Streets

The Emptiness of Our Hands: 47 Days on the Streets

Phyllis Cole-Dai, James Murray


"From February 17 to April 4, 1999, James Murray and I lived by choice on the streets of Columbus, Ohio, the fifteenth-largest city in the United States. We went to the streets with a single intention: to be as present as possible to everyone we met, offering them our sustained and nonjudgmental attention. Such attention is heart of compassion. Those forty-seven days changed our lives forever."

Location mentioned in the book: Columbus, Ohio.

Location found by the Planet of the Books

Product Details

The Emptiness of Our Hands: 47 Days on the Streets by Phyllis Cole-Dai, James Murray.


The Emptiness of Our Hands: 47 Days on the Streets” by Phyllis Cole-Dai and James Murray is a deeply transformative exploration of a profound and courageous experiment. In 1999, these authors made a remarkable decision – they voluntarily relinquished the comforts of their homes for an astounding 47 days, immersing themselves in the lives of the homeless on the streets of Columbus, Ohio.

Their motive was pure and profound: to engage with every person they encountered, devoid of judgment and preconceptions. Through their experience, they sought to uncover the essence of human connection, the impact of vulnerability, and the lessons that can only be learned through firsthand experience.

The pages of this book carry the weight of their journey, inviting readers to step into their shoes and grapple with questions that challenge our perspectives on comfort, security, and compassion. What happens when we strip away our familiar surroundings and embrace the unknown? How does it feel to be without a place to call home? These questions and more unfold through their compelling narrative and black-and-white photographs that capture the raw essence of their experience.

“The Emptiness of Our Hands” isn’t just a tale of homelessness; it’s an exploration of the intricate threads that weave our lives together. It delves into the intersections of spirituality, social awareness, and mindfulness, inviting readers to confront their own assumptions, biases, and understanding of the human condition. In a world where empathy and understanding are more crucial than ever, this book offers a window into a transformative journey that challenges our perceptions and inspires us to embrace the richness of shared humanity.


More details:


  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Bell Sounds Book
  • Publication date: 2018
  • ISBN-10: 692080856
  • ISBN-13: 979-0692080855


Here’s a link to Phyllis Cole-Dai website, where you can learn more about her work and even subscribe to her newsletter.

Have you read this book? Have an opinion you’d like to share with others? You can submit your review.
Looking forward to hearing from you!

Customer Reviews

  • 5 star
  • 4 Star
  • 3 Star
  • 2 Star
  • 1 Star
The Planet of the Books
Reviewed August 2, 2021

If you'd like to leave a review about this book - get in touch!

Create a Wishlist
- Anyone can search for and see this Wishlist