poem:"Famous" by naomi shihab nye
Poetry has always been for me sort of indulgent. A chance to step into a feeling, feelings. To experience an experience whether that be one of joy, pain, revelation, whatever the chosen poet felt moved to pen and however I chose to receive it. In times like this 2020 we know and hate, or really in any time where emotions run high and lives are at stake, poetry can have a real impact, I think, and this project is such a wonderful meditation on that. The poem I chose to read is one that spoke to me about empathy and our power to impact the people around us even if on a very small scale. I’ve always been a bit of a touch-er; that person who would brush your shoulder if I passed too close in an aisle, just so you know I’m there, and I’m not a threat. Someone who loves bear hugs and burrowing into the necks of the ones I love, so I can smell my memories of them. Needless to say, the times of Covid-19 and social distancing have required a marked change in my behaviors. It’s not my place to comfort others and myself through touch; it’s imperative I don’t. The biggest show of love I can make is wearing my mask and washing my hands. It’s respecting distance when I’m in stores and cleaning the handles in a public restroom after I use it. I think we’re all at least a little scared, some a lotta scared, but I do not believe that we are without love and empathy. When I walk past someone in the grocery store, more often than not we exchange a look, and more often than not, it ends with a smile and nod. And with a mask how do you know they’re smiling, you say? Because you can see it in the crinkle of their eyes and the way the mask moves to compensate for teeth. They happen these smiles, I’ve seen them and experienced them, and they give me hope that we have a big need and potential for compassion and love. The movement towards ending police brutality and respecting and celebrating black lives speaks to this. The hundreds, thousands of peace protests speak to this. The response from our government does not, but they won’t be there long. I hope. I also hope you enjoy this poem and the pictures I posted below. These are from people in my life; people that are famous to me even if they don’t know it. Also, I had a phase with flip book animation a couple of years back...and this heart was a byproduct. Lol, she’s got a lot of good moves.