this kind of love…

March 31, 2011

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Karen and Natasha

Sometimes the people who cross my path just kind of stop me cold in my kindness tracks. My friends at the Fan Free Clinic do this to me every time we share even a short bit of time together. I found myself at the Fun For a Cause event benefitting the Fan Free Clinic the other night. Natasha, the emcee, was sassy, beautiful and tender, it was my first drag show and I think it may have been a little bit of heaven.

I found Natasha Carrington to be witty and sharp, pushing the crowd to give at just the right moments. She was on a mission, a mission to return the love she had received herself. This determined kindness, powered by love and suffering is a force to be reckoned with. It is the kind that has known deep soul pain, the kind that has been touched by the deepest part of humanity, the kind that is relentless because it knows no bounds…this love is Natasha, this is the Fan Free Clinic.  

It was an honor to witness, to behold…so thank you to 2 doctors, 1 nurse and a minister who decided that everyone deserves care and love, everyone.

For Natasha and all who know this kindness*:

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 everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
—Naomi Shihab Nye

*Thank you Kati for sharing this poem with me.

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