In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Kindness of Strangers.” When was the last time a stranger did something particularly kind, generous, or selfless for you? Tell us what happened!
I was about to tell a story and then had a fleeting memory that I’d already written about this occasion, so I searched backwards in my blog and although I couldn’t find that story, I did find a poetry version of two kindnesses by strangers that changed my entire life. If you’ve read it before, I apologize, but since I don’t even remember my own poems and stories, perhaps you’ll read this with new eyes as well. It’s a bit long. Sorry, Ann and Audrey. I’m trying for more brevity lately and I have shortened this by one stanza. Hope you enjoy this or get something from it, be it new for you or a repeat:
The stranger on an airplane in the seat right next to me
never said a single word, and so I let her be
until our arrival, when I prepared to stand
and she produced a paperback—put it in my hand.
“I think it’s time for you to read this,” she said, then went away.
I didn’t say a word to her. Didn’t know what to say.
That book, however, changed my life and attitude and choices—
encouraged me to listen close to interior voices.
Buscaglia, Jampolsky and all of Carl Jung’s books
drew my mind away from appearances and looks
and into that finer world of instinct and of mind;
then drew me westward to the sea and others of my kind.
After a writer’s function, a stranger sent to me
“The Process of Intuition,” which I read from A to Z.
I read it twenty times or so, then sent it to a friend.
Then bought up every copy left to give as gifts and lend.
I don’t remember talking to the one who sent it to me,
but if I need a proof of faith, I guess that this will do me.
For if I follow instincts that hint and prod and clue me,
I believe there is some force that draws the next thing through me
I don’t believe in any faith that has a name or church.
I do believe, however, that I’m guided in my search
by something that unites us and sets our pathways right
so long as we listen to our own interior sight
that urges us to follow the right side of our brain
even though those choices are logically inane.
I know that it takes many types of brains to run the world,
but for me it’s intuition that when carefully unfurled
guides me best—towards art and words and unplanned days and oceans
and prompts me make a Bible of what others may call notions.
And so to simplify I’d say it’s vital to have faith in
that voice we’re all a part of that leads us from within.