Wednesday, July 3, 2013

small things

Small things seem to be slipping through my fingers. Small things like a month passing since I last wrote, or staring at the computer screen and not remembering what my job is.

Last week my friend Kevin sent me this poem about small things. I was so wrapped up in my own small world of small things that I didn't realise at the time that he is its author, not merely its forwarder-on.

I like it. A lot. I thought you might as well.

Small Things
By Kevin Aschenbrenner

This. This is what you can do.
In the face of another’s pain.

Small things.

Bring flowers. Or wine.

Or both.

Make pots of tea that go cold.

Talk about the pain.

Talk about anything but.


If you take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves.

If you are particular about the pain, it’s easier to bear.

Small things.

The bigger someone’s pain, the more important the small things.

Look them in the eye.

See them.

Show up.

Be present.

That’s small stuff that’s not-so-small stuff.

This. This is what you can do.
In the face of another’s pain.

Through the small things, you anchor them.
You stand behind them, gently holding their belt loops
While they lean into the pain,
So they can go through it,
But not get lost.

It’s the small things that tether us to life, that bring us back.

And we are all keepers of the small things.

Which is good to know, when we don’t know what to do
to comfort another’s sorrow.

Just remember the small things.

Kevin is a friend, a blessing, a writer, and a Catholic. He's writing to Pop Francis every day.

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