Friday, October 17, 2003

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them to morrow? …And what is fear of need but need itself? Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable? There are those who give little of the much which they have…And there are those who have little and give it all. These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.

But you, children of space, you restless in rest, you shall not be trapped nor tamed. Your house shall be not an anchor but a mast. It shall not be a glistening film that covers a wound, but an eyelid that guards the eye. You shall not fold your wings that you may pass through doors, nor bend your heads that they strike not against a ceiling, nor fear to breathe lest walls should crack and fall down. You shall not dwell in tombs made by the dead for the living. And though of magnificence and splendour, your house shall not hold your secret nor shelter your longing.
For that which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of night.

Would that you could meet the sun and the wind with more of your skin and less of your raiment. For the breath of life is in the sunlight and the hand of life is in the wind…And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

What laws shall you fear if you dance but stumble against no man's iron chains? And who is he that shall bring you to judgment if you tear off your garment yet leave it in no man's path? People of Orphalese, you can muffle the drum, and you can loosen the strings of the lyre, but who shall command the skylark not to sing?

Your daily life is your temple and your religion. Whenever you enter into it take with you your all. Take the slough and the forge and the mallet and the lute, The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight. For in reverie you cannot rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures. And take with you all men: For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair.
And if you would know God, be not therefore a solver of riddles. Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.
And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain. You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

For often have I put my finger in my own wound that I might have the greater belief in you and the greater knowledge of you. And it is with this belief and this knowledge that I say, You are not enclosed within your bodies, nor confined to houses or fields. That which is you dwells above the mountain and roves with the wind. It is not a thing that crawls into the sun for warmth or digs holes into darkness for safety, But a thing free, a spirit that envelops the earth and moves in the ether.
If these be vague words, then seek not to clear them. Vague and nebulous is the beginning of all things, but not their end, And I fain would have you remember me as a beginning. Life, and all that lives, is conceived in the mist and not in the crystal.
And who knows but a crystal is mist in decay?

This day has ended. It is closing upon us even as the water-lily upon its own to-morrow. What was given us here we shall keep, And if it suffices not, then again must we come together and together stretch our hands unto the giver…
It was but yesterday we met in a dream. You have sung to me in my aloneness, and I of your longings have built a tower in the sky. But now our sleep has fled and our dream is over, and it is no longer dawn.
The noontide is upon us and our half waking has turned to fuller day, and we must part. If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song. And if our hands should meet in another dream, we shall build another tower in the sky.

The Prophet ~ Khalil Gibran

Mina at 10:45 PM