Monday, November 29, 2010

Mag 42 - Cup of Kindness

I stared at the cup sitting on the edge of a corner somewhere in the darkness. The cup stared back at me. In the darkness there was sadness, so much sadness that even mystery itself had died in the deepness of the dark. Still, the cup pulled in what illumination there was from somewhere beyond the darkness of the deep and the light enveloped the cup with a patient hope for more illumination and more hope. I googled "challis" to confirm that I knew the correct spelling. I did not. It would be chalice. I enlarged the photo to look for clues to the meaning of the cup but clues did not matter, not really, because three words kept defining the cup for me. Days passed by with those three words whispering to me, yet no poem sprung from them and no vignette either. While others toasted Thanksgiving with their muses my husband and I toasted the holiday with our water glasses, and I thought of the cup on the edge of a corner somewhere in the darkness.....and those three words repeated like a mantra in my brain. The day after Thanksgiving we delightedly watched the live broadcast of Portland's tree lighting in Pioneer Courthouse Square -- ten-thousand people were there in what is called the City's "living room." Then came the breaking news that a young man, a college student, had with all his heart intended to blow that celebration, those celebrants, to smithereens. His plan foiled by the FBI, he failed and was jailed. Early on Sunday morning the mosque in Corvallis where the young man once prayed, near Oregon State University where he attended classes, was set afire -- the fire contained in one room, a Koran turned into a blackened chunk.

The strains of a song began playing low in my head last night. I hummed it the way I do when a song visits me, keeping it subconsciously close until it moves on or tells me something. This one told me that the three words I lived with for the past five days now needed to be shared, and that this music would assist.

Cup of Kindness
(Ad follows video: Mute control switches to top right of screen after video finishes playing)

(Sorry about the bummer ads preceding & following the video. Also, religious images in this video (created by another) do not necessarily represent of my own religious beliefs or lack thereof. In fact, I do not know if they represent Emmylou's religious beliefs.)
Cup of Kindness- Emmylou Harris

Cup Of Kindness
 by Emmylou Harris

You gave yourself up to the mystery
And sailed the oceans looking for
The secret of the key
To unlock a truth that you may never find
For it was in a cup of kindness all the time

You feel the thirst
But none can make you drink
The answer's waiting for you here but
It's not what you think
It won't steal your soul or leave you blind
It was just a cup of kindness all the time

And when Mother Mary finally comes to call
She could pass right thru your heart
And leave no trace at all
While you were reaching for
The sacred and divine
She was standing right beside you
All the time

And the emptiness
You can't seem to fill
Beauty fades and pleasures cannot
Take away the chill

And the glamour lures you down into a lie
O but the cup of kindness
Never will run dry

You hear the vandals
Howlin' down your walls
And arm yourself against the ones
Who want to see you fall

Till some Holy Grail reveals
The grand design
Well it was in a cup of kindness
All the time 


To read what other writers had to say about this photo prompt, please visit Magpie Tales.


Local report Portland bomb-plot suspect wanted "spectacular show" here
Local report about intentionally-set fire at Corvallis Islamic Center here
Information about Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square here
Cup of Kindness is from the beautiful album Stumble Into Grace by Emmylou Harris



willow said...

You can never go wrong by investing in kindness.

Brian Miller said...

smiles...this is a really cool song...and as we pass that cup we stir in the hearts of others something that is truly amazing...

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you found something to special to post - lovely song, I hadn't heard it before.

Helen said...

Every word you wrote leading us to 'Cup of Kindness' --- beautifully written, from your heart.

Mr Lonely said...

blog walking and visiting here... have a view of my blog when free.. .. do leave me some comment / guide if can.. if interested can follow my blog...

La Belette Rouge said...

The cup is empty and it can be filled with love or hate or hope or destruction. It is what we bring to the cup that determines what we drink. Don't you think? Beautiful and thoughtful post, Lydia.

Reflections said...

Those three words linguering there, waiting for just the right time... Beautiful write, and thank you for sharing this. Us, the outsiders away from that area, were only given repeats of the first story, the others were left unsaid.

Lydia said...

willow~ I so very much agree. :) (Interesting new profile pic!)

Brian Miller~ Beautiful concept, that passing the cup to stir hearts, to calm bodies and souls.

madamebutterfly~ If you like Emmylou you would undoubtedly appreciate that album. In my (too great) stack of cds it is one that I do return to.

Helen~ Your comment meant so much to me today. Thank you.

Mr. Lonely~ I so appreciate someone who leaves a comment like yours when just stopping by on a browsing expedition! I will return the favor sometime tomorrow.

Belette Rouge~ Beautiful and thoughtful comments, dear friend. I loved 'em.

Reflections~ Thank you for your kind comments. I do so look forward to my next visit (likely tomorrow as I am computered out today) to your blog, your stories.

Anonymous said...

Thats a lovely piece to share Lydia and a beautiful song...

Lydia said...

kickoutthejams~ Thank you so much for your kind comment...and I sure hope to figure out the story behind your name kickoutthejams!

kathew said...

I really liked the introduction to those three words and Emmy Lou Harris is one of my most favorite singers. So....bravo to you to take the time to think before writing such a thoughtful and great post.

Lydia said...

kathew~ Sorry to be late in replying to your comment that meant a lot to me! Thank you. :)



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