Boston

Kindness
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

Naomi Shihab Nye
from The Words Under the Words: Selected Poems

Isn’t that beautiful?

It reminds me of The Rumi poem I posted here a while back, Zero Circle, which ends with the the words “when we have totally surrendered to that beauty, we shall be  a mighty kindness”.

I have been thinking a lot about kindness and grace and the way the world works and how we live in it, amidst the ruin and the beauty, and the pain and the gratitude. I am writing this on a day when we have seen, what? Another terrorist attack? A crazy person’s misguided attempt at being heard about something? We don’t know the answers yet, all we know is that there are more dead people, more grieving people, more innocence lost around what has been a safe and celebratory event for years. Today has been so painful, and will not get less so with answers, because those answers, whatever they are , will not make sense of any kind. So much of the world makes no sense, and much of the time that chaotic insanity is beautiful and works. Not so much today.Not so much when something bad happens. Yet, every day something bad happens. All over the world people live in fear and danger daily, and I am talking fear of things like this, random attacks, murder, terrorism.

“Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness

you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho

lies died by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,

how he too was someone who journeyed through the night with plans

and the simple breathe that kept him alive”.

We must see how this could be us, how this IS us. Every day is a gift, and we are especially blessed. That is why we don’t see it, because we are relatively free of the chaos that reigns every day in most of the worlds lives.

We need to be kind, we must practice kindness, loving kindness, metta mediation, if you will..daily, always.

I say this for myself. I forget, a lot, but I want to remember. I want to be that mighty kindness. I want kindness to tie my shoes, to shadow me, just like grief has for so long. I KNOW that sadness, now I want to KNOW that kindness, truly.

“before you know what kindness really  is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth”

Today this has happened publicly, loudly, once again. Yet it happens every day, to each of us. Surprising us, taking us unawares even if we had known for the longest time.

We need to be kind. To ourselves first. To each other, To our communities. To our country, To our worlds. Kindness trickles out.

Choices are always made, let’s make the kind one, always.

“then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore”….

namaste

Advertisements

One Comment

Add yours →

  1. That poem continues to haunt me…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: