Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Sometimes Only Kindness Makes Sense
Doctors Without Borders (already in Haiti)
See two more items on kindness below the poem (Add more as Comment)
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 any 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 everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
"In this rending yet redemptive poem, Nye reaches down to the roots of our humanity, which lie in the great heart where we all cry together. Nye, an Arab American, has been writing poetry since she was five. She has published six books of poetry and several chilren's books. Born of a Palestinian father and an American mother, she has lived her life between those two cultures."
Roger Housden, Ten Poems to Open Your Heart
Excerpted from Ten Poems to Open Your Heart by Roger Housden. "Kindness" from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye.
Mr. Housden says that a friend sent this poem to him right after September 11th and paraphrases Ms. Nye saying that poetry humanizes us in a way that news and even religion sometimes has difficulty doing.
Photo and article just below from Electronic Intifada 2004
Rafah Remembers Rachel's Kindness
Photo from CBS Internet Popular Galleries from May 2009 Pakistan Swat refugee area
Reuters AlertNet - Pakistan: Host families' kindness an example to us all. 03 Jun 2009 11:31:00 GMT. Written by: CARE International. here
Posted by CN at 6:52 PM