If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Valentine's Day

A couple of passages from Khalil Gibran's The Prophet:

From Love:

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.

From 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.

It may mark me out as a child of the 70s, all loon pants and patchouli oil, but I still think they are good.

Happy Valentine's Day, Anna. You're the best.


  1. And Mr Gibran came from the land that is now Lebanon - which just goes to show that countries regularly portrayed in the red tops as populated entirely by mindless terrorists can actually produce sensitive, thoughtful people.

  2. I suppose we would be aggrieved to be characterised as woad-wearing ruffians who wondered what the Romans ever did for us, too. Countries that produced the likes of Gibran, and Omar Khayyam, and the finest mathematical minds are now backwaters of poverty and violence. Autralia was once a primitive, parched land of underdeveloped ... hang on.

    It's that old wheel of history again. Did you ever live in Lebanon? It sounds as if you might have done.


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