Friday, May 27, 2011

May Days and Kindness...

Greetings, everyone. I hope you have been enjoying the spectacular May weather we have been forced to endure. Compared to last year's cold, grey spring, this one is really a treat. After a few woozy days due to the initial chemo, I woke up feeling very much better today, actually quite good! Perhaps it was getting started on the herbal protocol from Diane Yamamoto Skowron, a pharmacist and herbologist, owner of Chassom Tea Salon in Pasadena, Ca. Her knowledge of the particular drugs used informs her herbal formulas. My sister Sarah connected us and Diane has provided me with a daily tea to help with chemo symptoms and a powdered mushroom blend, meant to be eaten 4 out of 7 days, to help support the immune system and work with the chemo to fight the cancer.

Perhaps it was the kombucha that I drank yesterday. Call me crazy but I always feel better when I drink that stuff.

Perhaps it was the three wise men who showed up at my house. We shared dinner and watched large athletic young men put an orange ball through hoops in amazing feats of physical prowess.
(I'm rooting for Dallas)

Perhaps it was the visit of the lovely Emily and her newborn Olivia. That precious newborn energy is worth it's weight in gold. (Congratulations Bob and Emily!)

Perhaps it was the beautiful wedding I had the privilege of officiating today at the Scripps Forum, a spectacular seaside setting in La Jolla (Congratulations Kaitlyn and David!)

Perhaps it was feeling useful again, out in the world, part of it and the cycles and rituals therein.

I was forwarded this lovely poem by my sister Shelley:


Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in 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

I am reminded of these words by the Dalai Lama: "Practice kindness whenever possible. And it is always possible."

Happy Memorial Day everyone.


Swami bruce

1 comment:

  1. Very sweet poem. And glad things are going well.