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

lil _refugee_


lil:

Gorgeous. How does it speak to you, Galen?


posted by galen: 1241 days ago