Happy Valentine’s Day 2020
Take a few minutes and ruminate on this beautiful reminder… And read it to someone you love. Talk about it for a few minutes…Spread love to those you don’t know as you walk down the street. You never know how much they might need your kindness. I met these kids on the street in Seattle, bought them some hot chocolate and we talked for a while. We’re all living with what life deals us. But if we can we can make it better for someone else, just by paying attention and listening.
A Ritual to Read to Each Other
If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dike.
And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider—
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give — yes or no, or maybe —
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
William Stafford, “A Ritual to Read to Each Other” from The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1998 by William Stafford. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press.
Source: Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice (Norwood House Press, 2013)