“A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that gave it wings…
Alone must it seek the ether”
~ Kahlil Gibran
The Facebook page that goes by his name and which i follow tells me “The Prophet” is being released after 92 years in paperback in the U.S. and that a movie based on it releases in U.S. theatres on Aug 07. It brought to the fore one of my most treasured book of all times, one that i can read over and over again. Though i must admit i was surprised they didn’t have a paperback edition as yet of one who is supposed to be the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu. My personal copy is nearly four decades old. To read Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” is to experience a unique transcendental view of the many facets of life. The beauty of those words hold your heart forever for they are words you can live your life by.
Two of my all time favourites are what he says about marriage and what he says about children.
Allowing ‘spaces in your togetherness’ and understanding that your children ‘dwell in the house of tomorrow’…simple truths but how profound when reflected upon…
“Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls…
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though
they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow”
“And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,
Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not
to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as
living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the
infinite, and He bends you with His might that
His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer’s hand
be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He
loves also the bow that is stable”
From the humdrum of daily life it is always good to find a moment of solitude and contemplate upon such words that raise ordinary truths to a sublime level.