Friday, February 13, 2009

Reflections on Love and Life

On the eve of Valentine's Day, I am reflecting on something very personal and very real.  I am thinking of the bond between my great-aunt and great-uncle, who have been married for more than 60 years.   I am thinking about the fragility of life, and how short its duration is.  I am thinking about putting trifle differences aside and forgiving those who matter, no matter what.

I was given this lovely poem, hand-written on a card, from my dear friend Sam on my wedding day.  Tonight, I read it aloud, find comfort it its meaning, and take it to heart.

Marriage, by Kahlil Gibran, from the book "The Prophet"

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of 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.

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