“When love beckons to you, follow [her], Though [her] ways are hard and steep.
And when [her] wings enfold you yield to [her] Though the sword hidden among [her] pinions may wound you. And when [she] speaks to you believe in [her] Though [her] voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall [she] crucify you. Even as [she] is for your growth so is [she] for your pruning. Even as [she] ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall [she] descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. Like sheaves of corn [she] gathers you unto [her]self. [She] threshes you to make you naked. [She] sifts you to free you from your husks. [She] grinds you to whiteness. [She] kneads you until you are pliant; And then [she] assigns you to [her] sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart. But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say, ‘God is in my heart,’ but rather, ‘I am in the heart of God.’ And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love, And to bleed willingly and joyfully. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy; To return home at eventide with gratitude; And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.
[L]et 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.
That which seems most feeble and bewildered in you is the strongest and most determined.“
~Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
(c) 2016, candi dugas, llc