Kindness. Contemplation. Creation. Connection.
June 17th was the final day of our participation in Restore and Reconnect at Christ Church Cathedral. It had been a wonderful 4 days, and I’m so grateful for Christ Church Cathedral, VARJ and the BIA for including the Kindness Flag Project in this uplifting and positive event. Thank you!
Carol and Lucia helped out for most of the day. It was fun, because Carol taught me how to write love, kind and moon in Chinese. Love is pronounced “I”, kind is pronounced “shun” and I’m sorry to say, I can’t remember how to say moon. She also told me some of the rules for writing the characters. When starting at the top, you always go from the top down, and then left to right as you complete the character. Chinese characters are so beautiful and pleasing to write.
All in all it was a quiet day. We met a few tourists, and one of the church’s parishioners who had been visiting with us every day made lots of pretty flags brimming with kind, loving, and inspiring sentiments. She patiently drew, wrote, thought and stayed with us for quite a long time. She certainly helped to fill out the strings of flags for when we hung them outside! We were also visited by the man who had promised us a quote from Shakespeare. He brought with him a quote from Measure for Measure. He told us that the key to this quote was in the interpretation of the word “grace”. Our current usage of the word refers to manners, as in behaving in a refined and polite way. In Elizabethan English “grace” meant a quality of the divine within a person.
No ceremony that to great ones ‘longs,
Not the king’s crown, nor the deputed sword,
The marshal’s truncheon, nor the judge’s robe,
Become them with one half so good a grace
As mercy does.
This quote is so lovely. I’ve read it over and over. Words and their meanings dance through me: Mercy and grace, temperance and kindness, discernment and awareness. All of this can be practiced in our everyday lives. We must be diligent and deepen our understanding of calm, concentration, awareness, and emotions such as friendliness, to gain a fuller understanding of oneself, other people, and of life itself. When things get tough or fall apart, we’re then better able to handle them. The English language has a word that is a sort of short-cut for this kind of understanding: “Love”.
When we learn how to love, to use the words of Rabrindanath Tagore, “all the contradictions of existence merge themselves and are lost. Only in love are unity and duality not at variance. Love is what brings together and inseparably connects both the act of abandoning and that of receiving.”
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
I’m glad we were able to participate in this event. It was a nice completion to this chapter of the project’s evolution and it feels like it can move on. It can have a life beyond the riot. There’s so much it can do to inspire people to act and think locally (within themselves) and globally (to all beings) to create a society of kindheartedness and caring.
The Kindness Flags that people make send their glad voices across great distances. Thought transcends matter, and I think the following sums this up perfectly. I hope it inspires you as it does me. Enjoy!
“Who are you, reader, reading my poems an hundred years hence?
I cannot send you one single flower from this wealth of the spring, one single streak of gold from yonder clouds.
Open your doors and look abroad.
From your blossoming garden gather fragrant memories of the vanished flowers of an hundred years before.
In the joy of your heart may you feel the living joy that sang one spring morning, sending its glad voice across a hundred years.”
-Rabrindranath Tagore. From “The Gardener”, 1915
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