you must know sorrow

sometimes the words just won’t come. i can’t find them anywhere within me. they rattle around or hide in corners of my mind and i am afraid to fetch them. then, when i least expect it, someone else will form the words in type, in simplicity, in truth, as if they knew my very soul. i recognize the words that are not there.

living and dying ~ facing life and death every day can both sharpen my awareness of everything around me and at the same time dull every sense that i have.

there is a reason that i need a tribe, soul-mates, friends, writers who are courageous and wise.

from — Naomi Shihab Nye, poet, songwriter, and novelist:  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/naomi-shihab-nye

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…

5 thoughts on “you must know sorrow

  1. Oh my goodness, Anne – these words blend so well it’s hard to tell which are Naomi’s and which are yours. Beautifully chosen and expressed ~ I am so grateful to be part of a brave tribe, I think one act of bravery inspires so many more acts X

  2. Anne, this is touching, raw and so honest. ‘living and dying ~ facing life and death every day can both sharpen my awareness of everything around me and at the same time dull every sense that i have.’ – I know this feeling so well. So true. You’re blog and website is so inspiring, we need open discussions about grieving and dying. These processes are so hidden in Western society but an everyday part of life. Thank you for bringing your words and wisdom to us. xxx

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