selfies at 65

The Jewel in the Lotus, August 15, 2015
This is not the Facebook version. I am not telling my faithful readers (all  20 of you) anything y’all don’t know. But to recap.

It has been an awful year.
My father died.  I got depressed for the first time ever.
Seeking reassurance from my lover, I got dumped.
Since the “I have to be free” speech my heart pounds so loudly it wakes me up.
And the dreams.
My hair fell out and came in white.
And don’t even start with me about the news!
I am no longer depressed.
No one else has died or fallen ill this year.
My amour propre (conceit) has protected me from believing I am as repugnant as charged.
I have many people to love—friends to crack me up, family to share the little things, grandchildren to jump on me, exes to adore me (since they no longer have to live with me).
And Medicare.

Thank you all! 65 promises to be a much better year.
Though, um, the presidential race.

I know what the jewel in the lotus, endlessly reflected, really is. And so do you. Thank you. What I'd like to say is in this poem by Naomi Shihab Nye called "Kindness."

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.

The Jewel in the Lotus, December 13, 2015

1 comment :

DaDa said...

Ah so my love ah so.