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 everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
“Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye, from The Words Under the Words: Selected Poems. I am not a poet, but I am a lover of poems and this one really made my heart vibrate when I read it early this morning.
This MAILART made it’s way across one wide ocean blue and across 2 continents to land in Morocco recently. I like imagining her final resting spot. Maybe she can see out a window into the North African countryside. I like to close my eyes and imagine I’m seeing what she sees.
Michelle has worked her Street Team into a frenzy with this lastest CRUSADE #10 . Go check it out! And while you’re at it, check out her new flame stencil/mask.
This large floral number below is the latest stencil I cut. I like it very much. The truth is it makes me clap my hands together and screw my face up in a very unattractive way. It also makes me want to curse. A lot. A weekend guest from out of town was forced to sit and look at every possible color variation of my new stencils. Even when his eyes began to glaze over my enthusiasm didn’t wane one bit. Nope. As I said before, the heart loves what it loves. And I am head over heels with these babies.
This is more cardboard from my dwindling stash. While I think about the form of my next visual journal I spray these.
You’ve seen my stag before and you’ll see him again. Look out your window tonight. He may trot past. I may be flying out behind him on a magic carpet. You never know what sorts of things you’ll see on a hot summer night in the middle of July.
Okay. I’m a reasonable person. I’ll admit these colors are a little over the top. A little garish. I can’t help it. I don’t plan these things out. Really. But do look for a bouquet of these flowers in the stag’s mouth when he pokes his head in your window tonight to see if you want to come out and play.