Thursday, December 16, 2021

The homework of compassion

In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

Happy Poetry Friday, y'all! I picked a One Little Word for next year -- the first time I've chosen a word! I think I'm not supposed to tell you until next year, but I'm getting in the spirit of things already.

My OLW is: generosity. Not money, per se, but generosity of spirit, centering abundance and bounty and letting small stuff go.

Andrea Potos kindly gave me permission to share this poem, which illustrates generosity towards a difficult family member, but could also be thought of in terms of difficult people/situations in general.

Praise for the Difficult Family Member
by Andrea Potos

Praise for she who is the fingernail
on the blackboard of your calm,

who writes in careless cursive
words that dare you to erase them.

She could be the teacher who reminds you
how much work you have to do, as if

the homework of compassion will be yours
as long as you dwell

inside this body, separate, yet not,
from she who dwells in hers.


One more:

The Returns of Love
by Luci Shaw
after George Herbert

There is such generosity in love it will not fit
Within a modest box with corners and a key.
But what if I offer more than I receive? If
My love’s largesse, though open, unencumbered, free...

read the rest here


Also read Andrea's When Beginning the Poem. (Plus, check out Noon Meditation by Cicada.)

Jone Rush MacCulloch has the Poetry Friday round-up. Mòran taing, Jone!


Bridget Magee said...

I can tell your generosity will boomerang and flourish, Tabatha! Just like the final line in Shaw's poem, "And what I offer you, you’ll multiply to me". :)

Linda B said...

Like the quote I have shared by the Dalai Lama: "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." In that 2nd poem sits the wise words to remember that we must not keep our love and generosityr: "Within a modest box with corners and a key.". I've done OLW before, always surprising how many connections occur once the searching is there. Merry Christmas, Tabatha. Thank you for these poems.

jama said...

Love your OLW choice and the poems you shared today, Tabatha. The world could sure use more generosity of spirit. Thanks for the inspiration!

Linda said...

I love your OLW, Tabatha. Have a Merry Christmas!

Janice Scully said...

Lovely, all these, Tabatha. Made me think about what it means to love, especially family, at this time of year.

Buffy Silverman said...

Generosity of spirit... that's a perfect goal for these times. Thanks for sharing these poems.

Mary Lee said...

Your OLW is one you already embody! You have SUCH a generous spirit! 2022 will be the year you polish that trait to a high sheen!

Linda Mitchell said...

Hooray! I look forward to seeing where generosity takes you...I see that it's rich in returns already. Saying thank you until our voices give out...yes, ma'am. Liz Gilbert hits the proverbial nail on the head yet again. And, ode to a difficult family member. What a great IDEA for a poem. Thanks for sharing that and thanks to the person that gave permission. I think we are all in need of that poem.

Michelle Kogan said...

Thanks for generously filling me up fully within Tabatha–Really loved "When Beginning the Poem" and
"May you step aside
like a watcher at the meadow’s edge"
Looking forward to more of your forthcoming generosity poems…

Heidi Mordhorst said...

A fine OLW choice, Tabatha, of course, but rather like my (now unexpectedly challenging) life goal of Never Having a Tattoo: I always thought that without effort I could succeed in it, and lie upon my deathbed having achieved at least one big goal. Except for you, my dear Tabatha, you are effortlessly achieving Generosity each and every day, is how it looks to us.
I liked the autumn crochet one best! Thanks for your card and letter--wishing youa bright Solstice!

Karen Edmisten said...

I think you are the definition of generosity of spirit, Tabatha. Thanks for both of these poems today. xo