The contemporary paintings shown above were exhibited at Birdwood House Gallery in Totnes or painted or commissioned during 2020.

Please click on the images for the best viewing and information on size, price and framing. 

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On my daily lockdown walks I continually notice how alive my love and fascination with light and movement are at all times of year.

Kindness.


Before you know what kindness really is                                          

you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be                                               

between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken                                            

will stare out the window forever. 

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,                                

you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho                               

 lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

 

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,                       

you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice                                                 

catches the thread of all sorrows                                                           

and you see the size of the cloth. 

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,     

only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is you I have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere                                                      

like a shadow or a friend. 

From Words Under the Words: Selected Poems. Copyright © 1995 by Naomi Shihab Nye 

 

Recommended reading:  

Byron Katie (2007) 'A Thousand Names for Joy, How to live in Harmony with the way things are’

Ross Gay (2019) 'Book of Delights’