Wednesday, May 30, 2012



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

Thank you for sharing what you found, Sara... 
(You can find her words at

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dear 30

Dear 30

Be kind.

Remember how when I was little
All of my dreams of you involved mommyhood
I had babies, birthed babies
Babies with arms and legs and hearts to love
Babies I held and nursed and chased around
Catching them before their chubby little legs gave out

Remember how when I was little I thought that my dreams would surely come true

Everyone has a dream
Everyone draws this dream out
Colors it painstakingly in marker
Labeling each part lovingly
carving out the shape of the future
with assurance that my carving was supposed to happen
would happen
happen (shrug) to everyone
That's why they make dreams

The truth that I was working in the medium of mist
Utterly lost

Or ignored?

30, be kind.

Sometime between now and the morning and always

I will forget.

I will forget that I awoke to clean sheets
Bursts of hydrangeas in the back yard
A real fountain spilling real water

That I arose, cooked whatever I wanted
Made my own coffee
With not one, but two heaping spoons of real, raw sugar
Just enough cream

That I walked outside to remind my toes how much we love the feeling of the ground
Kissed the flowers with my eyes

That I raised my arms and stretched each bit of this body
I will forget that my hair shone in that sun
That my soft curves may have actually hugged a thousand people
And will hug a thousand more
And a thousand after that

I will forget the inestimable blessing of raising this voice
(Where did it come from?)
in praise of the All-Merciful
He Who, from everlasting, knew the pattern imprinted on the fabric of my soul
Who fashioned me from nothingness
Who makes my heart to beat
Who fills my lungs up with love
And makes me to overflow

I will forget that I live in safety
Sleep peacefully with my windows open
Dream sometimes of the gardenia blossoms outside my window
And of swirling colors

I will forget that a tall, unutterably kind man daily wraps his arms around me
Whispers his love into my ear
Listens to my secrets
Keeps them close to his heart
And proves worthy, again and again and yet again, of my trust

I will forget that there are small children I get to auntie
That I remember the way their small selves fit into the crook of my elbow while they napped
That aunties get to shower with gifts
And tickle
And teach
And listen
And search out lost smiles
And keep stories safe
That I get the chance to serve families
To support friends in the hardest of jobs
To build community

I will forget that this time in my life involves indulgences
Material indulgences
More than I need
More than so so so so many have
All that
And spiritual meals including dessert
every day

I will forget.

Be kind.

Remind me that you have brought me


On purpose.

Remind me that there is still time to hold my own babies in my arms
That there is time to replace those dreams with other dreams
That I have choices

Remind me that I am loved from more directions than I ever dreamed
That I have more souls to thank than I will ever have time

That the voice you placed in my head and my heart will be useful
Has been useful
Is useful

That the next 30 won't be measured by a child's mist carvings
And are made of something that stretches "... in front of us and behind us, above our heads, on our right, on our left, below our feet and every other side to which we are exposed."
Something stronger than mists
That bends.