Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 15: Keeping your cool

Cool Swans, Strasbourg, France, May 2010,
Canon PowerShot S90, 35mm focal length equiv. 85mm, Exposure 1/500 sec @ f4, ISO 160, no flash, 
 post-processed in iPhoto © Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]
Are you good at keeping your cool?  I think I am getting better at it.  Of course, one never really knows until tested.

Yesterday, I was tested.  Just a work thing.  Not really a big deal, but of course, it seems like a big deal at the time.  Just like a test.  In the end, I think I passed.  But it did take some time.

And here's the thing I've learned since my old hot-headed days.  Always put kindness first.  No matter what, make that your intention.  And you will pass the test with flying colors.

Kindness -- 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 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. 

  • Donation:  Clothing to Patch Thrift shop
  • Exercise:  Walking with Carol and Frito (105 mins)


Boswell said...

What a great poem! Thanks for sharing it!! I aspire to be able to catch truth in the sequence of words, of sounds, so eloquently and easily.

Steven Crisp said...

Glad you liked it Boswell. And she is a great poet in general -- check out other poems by her as well.