13 December 2009

Kindness Brings Hope

I've joined a special holiday Blog Carnival hosted on Blog Nosh Magazine
Loads of Hope for the Holidays

with the theme of "hope". Thanks to the sponsor, Tide Loads Of Hope (link above).

I offer this poem by Naomi Shihab Nye to those in the heartbreak of loss. It is offered in the comradeship that loss forges in my belief that kindness brings hope and saves us.


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 it goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

-Naomi Shihab Nye


  1. Thank you for sharing that poem, I really liked it.

  2. Thank you, Mary, for sharing this.

  3. I love this. Thank you, it is good to know poems to offer to someone who may be in need.

  4. Very nice! Found your site through a visit to Elderblog. Question about your moving to Italy: Was the health care system there a factor? How do services compare to U.S.?

  5. There were many factors in our move - free health care in an excellent health care system was but one. The World Health Organization rates Italy's health care system much more highly than the USA.


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