Sunday, June 11, 2006

On Joy and Sorrow

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Kahlil Gibran
(Related: The Prophet, online edition via Cornell University).


Blogger TravelingMermaid said...

I have always loved this passage. I have a copy of The Prophet that I bought on a high school convention trip to Biloxi back in the day. Lotsa wise words in that little book. :)

5:35 PM  
Blogger Schroeder said...

It's true -- I was reluctant to read it when I first saw it -- you know, kind of a reluctance to enter into a new-agey type of thing. But there's true earned wisdom there, not the fluff that passes for spiritual guidance in anyone-could-write-self-help books.

2:41 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home