Monday, September 18, 2006

Khalil Gibran, On Marriage

And now for something that doesn't include me bitching about how much I studied, or how terrified I am about the exam: Khalil Gibran's book, "The Prophet," is like a collection of short essays. Each chapter of the book is called "On _________", and it's basically the advice of a prophet named Almustafa to a group of people. One particular entry, "On Marriage," really caught my attention.

Here it is:

On Marriage

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 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.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

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.

-Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

Good stuff.

I like the way he expresses himself, and the analogies are strong. I think this advice is important, and it applies to relatonships as well. Codependence, loss of personal identity, etc... are to be avoided.

I would like to write more about this but I have a full day of classes and studying ahead of me.

By the way, the painting on the top of this post was done by Khalil Gibran also.

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