Monday, April 1, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy


 Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

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 gaze at 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 everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

 The blossoms are from my garden this week.

I came across this poem a couple days ago and it just took my breathe away. It says exactly what I have been thinking on kindness. I told a friend that the reason I am focusing on kindness this year is because I knew it was going to be a tough year. This poem says that in different words.

Look behind the kindness, what is sitting in each persons heart? What hurts have they seen?

Be gentle and kind with each other, dear friends.

Sending love, Marilyn



Red Rose Alley said...

I liked this poem, Marilyn. It's different, and the last words got to me, "it is I you have been looking for."

It's so special of you to create these kindness posts, We all need more gentle and kind people to be around us each day.

Happy April Marilyn!


Linda P said...

The Spring blossom against the blue sky is beautiful.

Jeanie said...

This is indeed a perfect poem for all you described. Yes, sorrow is, regrettably, essential. That really hits.

You are right about kindness this year. It IS a tough year in many ways and kindness -- large or small -- is essential to maintaining a sense of human dignity amongst the sludge of ugliness in our world.

Lorrie said...

What a powerful poem. I never thought about what we must lose in order to gain kindness. Something to ponder.
Kindness is powerful, especially when it's unexpected.