Sweet, sorrowful moon
You have no reason to weep.
And yet in your pale grief
You are the most becoming.
Your moonbeams fall delicately onto the foreheads,
Lips and cheeks of evening wanderers,
So lightly that they do not feel their touch
But merely their presence.
They invade the breasts of young lovers huddled
In the dark corners of the emptying streets.
May lay day after day in the sun.
Basking unashamedly in her brassy, showy attractiveness.
Me, I appreciate the unusual, the understated,
I love your mild illumination.
Poem by KATE NICKERSON
The supposedly virtuous act of giving is often instead an act meant to create an obligation, an act whereby the giver measures himself against the receiver and requires a repayment, even if that repayment is gratitude.
A Navajo couple in New Mexico had a child after hoping for one for many years. The child died, and the mother was plunged into a deep chasm of grief. She became reclusive, and could not gather enough strength to do even basic tasks. She was told that she would never bear another child, and her family despaired that she would ever be the same.
Her much younger unmarried sister suddenly disappeared, which made the woman’s melancholy even worse. No one knew where she had gone, or with whom. No one else was missing from their village.
One day nearly a year later, the sister reappeared with a tiny baby girl. She gave no explanation as to what had transpired during her absence, but later it was learned that she had met a Yaqui Indian man who had agreed to be the father of a child with her. This was the child that she brought to give to her grieving sister.
This then, was a very high form of altruism. (This is a true story of people I have known.)
Navajo Mother & Child by KSR