Thu hosted Friendsgiving on Sat night. It was a potluck and I wanted to bring fruit salad (easy, right?), and it would have been a good addition, but I couldn’t pull it together enough to do that. It’s been a long weekend here at the Lee-Martin household, I did not manage to accomplish very much. So I got dried fruits – dates, figs and mangos. And a bag of Pirate Booty which I did eat while hiding downstairs with the 17 kids watching the LEGO ninjago movie on the largest home screen thing I’ve ever seen. The LEGO ninjas were as tall as I am – I know, not very. (I did this anti-social behaviour for only 10 minutes. Though I was very social with the kids. Learned a lot about ninjagos. )
Thu is a friend I met through Ruby so there were a bunch of doggie friends at this party, so it was bittersweet seeing them again and talking about our dogs. I got to pet Boba – who was upstairs in his crate…but I couldn’t leave without saying hello.
Thu – an English major and teacher – like to read poetry at her parties. Here’s what she read.
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
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