On Love: For all you lovers out there.

Yesterday I went to the most beautiful wedding.  I guess it got me to thinking about love— how much courage it takes and how full its rewards are.  I think a full life is one in which you’ve had your heart broken, and recovered enough to love again. Some people are better at this than others. So, in tribute to all the weddings attended yesterday, here is an excerpt from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. 

When love beckons you, follow him,

though his ways are sharp and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,

though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks to you believe in him,

Though his voice may shatter your dreams

as the north wind lays waste to the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.  

Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.  

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches

that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them

in their clinging to the earth…

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 will 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 have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brooke 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 to 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 praise 

upon your lips. 

— Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, 1923.

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