Sand and Foam
by Kahlil Gibran
|I AM FOREVER walking upon these
Betwixt the sand and the foam,
The high tide will
erase my foot-prints,
And the wind will blow away the
But the sea and the shore will
Once I filled my hand with mist.
opened it and lo, the mist was a worm.
And I closed and opened my
hand again, and behold there was a bird.
And again I closed and
opened my hand, and in its hollow stood a man with a sad face,
And again I closed my hand, and when I opened it
there was naught but mist.
But I heard a song of exceeding
It was but yesterday I thought myself a fragment
quivering without rhythm in the sphere of life.
Now I know that I
am the sphere, and all life in rhythmic fragments moves within
They say to me in their awakening, "You and the world you
live in are but a grain of sand upon the infinite shore of an
And in my dream I say to them, "I am the infinite
sea, and all worlds are but grains of sand upon my
Only once have I been made mute. It was when a man
asked me, "Who are you?"
The first thought of God was an
The first word of God was a man.
fluttering, wandering, longing creatures a thousand thousand years
before the sea and the wind in the forest gave us words.
can we express the ancient of days in us with only the sounds of our
The Sphinx spoke only once, and the Sphinx said,
"A grain of sand is a desert, and a desert is a grain of sand; and
now let us all be silent again."
I heard the Sphinx, but I did
Long did I lie in the dust of Egypt, silent
and unaware of the seasons.
Then the sun gave me birth, and I
rose and walked upon the banks of the Nile,
Singing with the days
and dreaming with the nights.
And now the sun threads upon me
with a thousand feet that I may lie again in the dust of
But behold a marvel and a riddle!
The very sun that
gathered me cannot scatter me.
Still erect am I, and sure of foot
do I walk upon the banks of the Nile.
Remembrance is a form
Forgetfulness is a form of freedom.
measure time according to the movement of countless suns; and they
measure time by little machines in their little pockets.
me, how could we ever meet at the same place and the same
Space is not space between the earth and the sun to one
who looks down from the windows of the Milky Way.
a river of light running from the ex-eternity to eternity.
not the spirits who dwell in the ether envy man his pain?
my way to the Holy City I met another pilgrim and I asked him, "Is
this indeed the way to the Holy City?"
And he said, "Follow me,
and you will reach the Holy City in a day and a night."
followed him. And we walked many days and many nights, yet we did
not reach the Holy City.
And what was to my surprise he became
angry with me because he had misled me.
Make me, oh God, the
prey of the lion, ere You make the rabbit my prey.
not reach the dawn save by the path of the night.
says to me, "Do not leave me, for here dwells your past."
road says to me, "Come and follow me, for I am your future."
I say to both my house and the road, "I have no past, nor have I a
future. If I stay here, there is a going in my staying; and if I go
there is a staying in my going. Only love and death will change all
How can I lose faith in the justice of life, when
the dreams of those who sleep upon feathers are not more beautiful
than the dreams of those who sleep upon the earth?
Strange, the desire for certain
pleasures is a part of my pain.
Seven times have I despised
The first time when I saw her being meek that she might
The second time when I saw her limping before the
The third time when she was given to choose between the
hard and the easy, and she chose the easy.
The fourth time when
she committed a wrong, and comforted herself that others also commit
The fifth time when she forbore for weakness, and
attributed her patience to strength.
The sixth time when she
despised the ugliness of a face, and knew not that it was one of her
And the seventh time when she sang a song of praise,
and deemed it a virtue.
I AM IGNORANT of absolute truth. But
I am humble before my ignorance and therein lies my honor and my
There is a space between man's imagination and man's
attainment that may only be traversed by his
Paradise is there, behind that door, in the next
room; but I have lost the key.
Perhaps I have only mislaid
You are blind and I am deaf and dumb, so let us touch
hands and understand.
The significance of man is not in what
he attains, but rather in what he longs to attain.
Some of us
are like ink and some like paper.
And if it were not for the
blackness of some of us, some of us would be dumb;
And if it were
not for the whiteness of some of us, some of us would be
Give me an ear and I will give you a voice.
mind is a sponge; our heart is a stream.
Is it not strange that
most of us choose sucking rather than running?
When you long
for blessings that you may not name, and when you grieve knowing not
the cause, then indeed you are growing with all things that grow,
and rising toward your greater self.
When one is drunk with a
vision, he deems his faint expression of it the very
You drink wine that you may be intoxicated; and I drink
that it may sober me from that other wine.
When my cup is
empty I resign myself to its emptiness; but when it is half full I
resent its half-fulness.
The reality of the other person is
not in what he reveals to you, but in what he cannot reveal to
Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what
he says but rather to what he does not say.
Half of what I
say is meaningless; but I say it so that the other half may reach
A sense of humour is a sense of proportion.
loneliness was born when men praised my talkative faults and blamed
my silent virtues.
When Life does not find a singer to sing
her heart she produces a philosopher to speak her mind.
truth is to be known always, to be uttered sometimes.
real in us is silent; the acquired is talkative.
The voice of
life in me cannot reach the ear of life in you; but let us talk that
we may not feel lonely.
When two women talk they say nothing;
when one woman speaks she reveals all of life.
bellow louder than bulls, but they cannot drag the plough in the
field not turn the wheel of the winepress, and of their skins you
cannot make shoes.
Only the dumb envy the
If winter should say, "Spring is in my heart," who
would believe winter?
Every seed is a longing.
you really open your eyes and see, you would behold your image in
And should you open your ears and listen, you would
hear your own voice in all voices.
It takes two of us to
discover truth: one to utter it and one to understand
Though the wave of words is forever upon us, yet our
depth is forever silent.
Many a doctrine is like a window
pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from
Now let us play hide and seek. Should you hide in my
heart it would not be difficult to find you. But should you hide
behind your own shell, then it would be useless for anyone to seek
A woman may veil her face with a
How noble is the sad heart who would sing a joyous
song with joyous hearts.
He who would understand a woman, or
dissect genius, or solve the mystery of silence is the very man who
would wake from a beautiful dream to sit at a breakfast
I would walk with all those who walk. I would not
stand still to watch the procession passing by.
You owe more
than gold to him who serves you. Give him of your heart or serve
Nay, we have not lived in vain. Have they not built
towers of our bones?
Let us not be particular and sectional.
The poet's mind and the scorpion's tail rise in glory from the same
Every dragon gives birth to a St. George who slays
Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky. We
fell them down and turn them into paper that we may record our
Should you care to write (and only the saints know
why you should) you must needs have knowledge and art and music --
the knowledge of the music of words, the art of being artless, and
the magic of loving your readers.
They dip their pens in our
hearts and think they are inspired.
Should a tree write its
autobiography it would not be unlike the history of a
If I were to choose between the power of writing a poem
and the ecstasy of a poem unwritten, I would choose the ecstasy. It
is better poetry.
But you and all my neighbors agree that I
always choose badly.
Poetry is not an opinion expressed. It
is a song that rises from a bleeding wound or a smiling
Words are timeless. You should utter them or write
them with a knowledge of their timelessness.
A POET IS a
dethroned king sitting among the ashes of his palace trying to
fashion an image out of the ashes.
Poetry is a deal of joy
and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.
shall a poet seek the mother of the songs of his heart.
I said to a poet, "We shall not know your worth until you
And he answered saying, "Yes, death is always the revealer.
And if indeed you would know my worth it is that I have more in my
heart than upon my tongue, and more in my desire than in my
If you sing of beauty though alone in the heart of the
desert you will have an audience.
Poetry is wisdom that
enchants the heart.
Wisdom is poetry that sings in the
If we could enchant man's heart and at the same time sing
in his mind,
Then in truth he would live in the shadow of
Inspiration will always sing; inspiration will never
We often sing lullabies to our children that we
ourselves may sleep.
All our words are but crumbs that fall
down from the feast of the mind.
Thinking is always the
stumbling stone to poetry.
A great singer is he who sings our
How can you sing if your mouth be filled with
How shall your hand be raised in blessing if it is filled
They say the nightingale pierces his bosom with a
thorn when he sings his love song.
So do we all. How else should
Genius is but a robin's song at the beginning of a
Even the most winged spirit cannot escape
A madman is not less a musician than you
or myself; only the instrument on which he plays is a little out of
The song that lies silent in the heart of a mother
sings upon the lips of her child.
No longing remains
I have never agreed with my other self wholly.
The truth of the matter seems to lie between us.
self is always sorry for you. But your other self grows on sorrow;
so all is well.
There is no struggle of soul and body save in
the minds of those whose souls are asleep and whose bodies are out
When you reach the heart of life you shall find
beauty in all things, even in the eyes that are blind to
We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form
Sow a seed and the earth will yield you a flower.
Dream your dream to the sky and it will bring you your
The devil died the very day you were born.
you do not have to go through hell to meet an angel.
woman borrows a man's heart; very few could possess it.
you would possess you must not claim.
When a man's hand
touches the hand of a woman they both touch the heart of
Love is the veil between lover and
Every man loves two women; the one is the creation of
his imagination, and the other is not yet born.
Men who do
not forgive women their little faults will never enjoy their great
Love that does not renew itself every day becomes a
habit and in turn a slavery.
Lovers embrace that which is
between them rather than each other.
Love and doubt have
never been on speaking terms.
Love is a word of light,
written by a hand of light, upon a page of light.
is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.
you do not understand your friend under all conditions you will
never understand him.
Your most radiant garment is of the
other person's weaving;
You most savory meal is that which you
eat at the other person's table;
Your most comfortable bed is in
the other person's house.
Now tell me, how can you separate
yourself from the other person?
Your mind and my heart will
never agree until your mind ceases to live in numbers and my heart
in the mist.
We shall never understand one another until we
reduce the language to seven words.
HOW SHALL MY heart be
unsealed unless it be broken?
Only great sorrow or great joy
can reveal your truth.
If you would be revealed you must either
dance naked in the sun, or carry your cross.
heed what we say of contentment no river would seek the sea, and no
winter would turn to Spring. Should she heed all we say of thrift,
how many of us would be breathing this air?
You see but your
shadow when you turn your back to the sun.
You are free
before the sun of the day, and free before the stars of the
And you are free when there is no sun and no moon and no
You are even free when you close your eyes upon all there
But you are a slave to him whom you love because you love
And a slave to him who loves you because he loves
We are all beggars at the gate of the temple, and each
one of us receives his share of the bounty of the King when he
enters the temple, and when he goes out.
But we are all jealous
of one another, which is another way of belittling the
You cannot consume beyond your appetite. The other half
of the loaf belongs to the other person, and there should remain a
little bread for the chance guest.
If it were not for your
guests all houses would be graves.
Said a gracious wolf to a
simple sheep, "Will you not honor our house with a visit?"
the sheep answered, "We would have been honored to visit your house
if it were not in your stomach."
I stopped my guest on the
threshold and said, "Nay, wipe not your feet as you enter, but as
you go out."
Generosity is not in giving me that which I need
more than you do, but it is in giving me that which you need more
than I do.
You are indeed charitable when you give, and while
giving, turn your face away so that you may not see the shyness of
The difference between the richest man and the
poorest is but a day of hunger and an hour of thirst.
often borrow from our tomorrows to pay our debts to our
I too am visited by angels and devils, but I get
rid of them.
When it is an angel I pray an old prayer, and he is
When it is a devil I commit an old sin, and he passes me
After all this is not a bad prison; but I do not like
this wall between my cell and the next prisoner's cell;
assure you that I do not wish to reproach the warder not the Builder
of the prison.
Those who give you a serpent when you ask for
a fish, may have nothing but serpents to give. It is then generosity
on their part.
Trickery succeeds sometimes, but it always
You are truly a forgiver when you forgive
murderers who never spill blood, thieves who never steal, and liars
who utter no falsehood.
He who can put his finger upon that
which divides good from evil is he who can touch the very hem of the
garment of God.
If your heart is a volcano how shall you
expect flowers to bloom in your hands?
A strange form of
self-indulgence! There are times when I would be wronged and
cheated, that I may laugh at the expense of those who think I do not
know I am being wronged and cheated.
What shall I say of him
who is the pursuer playing the part of the pursued?
who wipes his soiled hands with your garment take your garment. He
may need it again; surely you would not.
It is a pity that
money-changers cannot be good gardeners.
Please do not
whitewash your inherent faults with your acquired virtues. I would
have the faults; they are like mine own.
How often have I
attributed to myself crimes I have never committed, so that the
other person may feel comfortable in my presence.
masks of life are masks of deeper mystery.
You may judge
others only according to your knowledge of yourself.
Tell me now,
who among us is guilty and who is unguilty?
The truly just is
he who feels half guilty of your misdeeds.
Only an idiot and
a genius break man-made laws; and they are the nearest to the heart
It is only when you are pursued that you become
I have no enemies, O God, but if I am to have an
Let his strength be equal to mine,
That truth alone may
be the victor.
You will be quite friendly with your enemy
when you both die.
Perhaps a man may commit suicide in
Long ago there lived a Man who was crucified
for being too loving and too lovable.
And strange to relate I met
him thrice yesterday.
The first time He was asking a policeman
not to take a prostitute to prison; the second time He was drinking
wine with an outcast; and the third time He was having a fist-fight
with a promoter inside a church.
If all they say of good and
evil were true, then my life is but one long crime.
but half justice.
THE ONLY ONE who has been unjust to me is
the one to whose brother I have been unjust.
When you see a
man led to prison say in your heart, "Mayhap he is escaping from a
And when you see a man drunken say in your
heart, "Mayhap he sought escape from something still more
Oftentimes I have hated in self-defense; but if
I were stronger I would not have used such a weapon.
stupid is he who would patch the hatred in his eyes with the smile
of his lips.
Only those beneath me can envy or hate me.
have never been envied nor hated; I am above no one.
above me can praise or belittle me.
I have never been praised nor
belittled; I am below no one.
Your saying to me, "I do not
understand you," is praise beyond my worth, and an insult you do not
How mean am I when life gives me
gold and I give you silver, and yet I deem myself
When you reach the heart of life you will find
yourself not higher than the felon, and not lower than the
Strange that you should pity the slow-footed and not
And the blind-eyed rather than the
It is wiser for the lame not to break his
crutches upon the head of his enemy.
How blind is he who
gives you out of his pocket that he may take out of your
Life is a procession. The slow of foot finds it too
swift and he steps out;
And the swift of foot finds it too slow
and he too steps out.
If there is such a thing as sin some of
us commit it backward following our forefathers' footsteps;
some of us commit it forward by overruling our children.
truly good is he who is one with all those who are deemed
We are all prisoners but some of us are in cells with
windows and some without.
Strange that we all defend our
wrongs with more vigor than we do our rights.
Should we all
confess our sins to one another we would all laugh at one another
for our lack of originality.
Should we all reveal our virtues we
would also laugh for the same cause.
An individual is above
man-made laws until he commits a crime against man-made conventions;
After that he is neither above anyone nor lower than
Government is an agreement between you and myself.
You and myself are often wrong.
Crime is either another name
of need or an aspect of a disease.
Is there a greater fault
than being conscious of the other person's faults?
other person laughs at you, you can pity him; but if you laugh at
him you may never forgive yourself.
If the other person injures
you, you may forget the injury; but if you injure him you will
In truth the other person is your most sensitive
self given another body.
How heedless you are when you would
have men fly with your wings and you cannot even give them a
Once a man sat at my board and ate my bread and
drank my wine and went away laughing at me.
Then he came again
for bread and wine, and I spurned him;
And the angels laughed at
Hate is a dead thing. Who of you would be a
It is the honor of the murdered that he is not the
The tribune of humanity is in its silent heart,
never its talkative mind.
They deem me mad because I will not
sell my days for gold;
And I deem them mad because they think my
days have a price.
They spread before us their riches of gold
and silver, of ivory and ebony, and we spread before them our hearts
and our spirits.;
And yet they deem themselves the hosts and us
I would not be the least among men with dreams
and the desire to fulfill them, rather than the greatest with no
dreams and no desires.
The most pitiful among men is he who
turns his dreams into silver and gold.
We are all climbing
toward the summit of our hearts' desire. Should the other climber
steal your sack and your purse and wax fat on the one and heavy on
the other, you should pity him;
The climbing will be harder for
his flesh, and the burden will make his way longer.
you in your leanness see his flesh puffing upward, help him a step;
it will add to your swiftness.
You cannot judge any man
beyond your knowledge of him, and how small is your
I would not listen to a conqueror preaching to the
The truly free man is he who bears the load of the
bond slave patiently.
A thousand years ago my neighbor said
to me, "I hate life, for it is naught but a thing of pain."
yesterday I passed by a cemetery and saw life dancing upon his
Strife in nature is but disorder longing for
Solitude is a silent storm that breaks down all our
Yet it sends our living roots deeper into the
living heart of the living earth.
Once I spoke of the sea to
a brook, and the brook thought me but an imaginative
And once I spoke of a brook to the sea, and the sea
thought me but a depreciative defamer.
How narrow is the
vision that exalts the busyness of the ant above the singing of the
The highest virtue here may be the least in
The deep and the high go to the depth or to
the height in a straight line; only the spacious can move in
IF IT WERE not for our conception of weights and
measures we would stand in awe of the firefly as we do before the
A scientist without imagination is a butcher with dull
knives and out-worn scales.
But what would you, since we are not
When you sing the hungry hears you with his
Death is not nearer to the aged than to the
new-born; neither is life.
If indeed you must be candid, be
candid beautifully; otherwise keep silent, for there is a man in our
neighborhood who is dying.
Mayhap a funeral among men is a
wedding feast among the angels.
A forgotten reality may die
and leave in its will seven thousand actualities and facts to be
spent in its funeral and the building of a tomb.
In truth we
talk only to ourselves, but sometimes we talk loud enough that
others may hear us.
The obvious is that which is never seen
until someone expresses it simply.
If the Milky Way were not
within me how should I have seen it or known it?
Unless I am
a physician among physicians they would not believe that I am an
Perhaps the sea's definition of a shell is the
Perhaps time's definition of coal is the
Fame is the shadow of passion standing in the
A root is a flower that disdains fame.
neither religion nor science beyond beauty.
Every great man I
have known had something small in his make-up; and it was that small
something which prevented inactivity or madness or
The truly great man is he who would master no one,
and who would be mastered by none.
I would not believe that a
man is mediocre simply because he kills the criminals and the
Tolerance is love sick with the sickness of
Worms will turn; but is it not strange that even
elephants will yield?
A disagreement may be the shortest cut
between two minds.
I am the flame and I am the dry bush, and
one part of me consumes the other part.
We are all seeking
the summit of the holy moutain; but shall not our road be shorter if
we consider the past a chart and not a guide?
to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh,
and too self-ful to seek other than itself.
Had I filled
myself with all that you know what room should I have for all that
you do not know?
I have learned silence from the talkative,
toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet
strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.
A bigot is a
The silence of the envious is too
When you reach the end of what you should know, you
will be at the beginning of what you should sense.
exaggeration is a truth that has lost its temper.
If you can
see only what light reveals and hear only what sound
Then in truth you do not see nor do you hear.
fact is a truth unsexed.
You cannot laugh and be unkind at
the same time.
The nearest to my heart are a king without a
kingdom and a poor man who does not know how to beg.
failure is nobler than an immodest success.
Dig anywhere in
the earth and you will find a treasure, only you must dig with the
faith of a peasant.
Said a hunted fox followed by twenty
horsemen and a pack of twenty hounds, "Of course they will kill me.
But how poor and how stupid they must be. Surely it would not be
worth while for twenty foxes riding on twenty asses and accompanied
by twenty wolves to chase and kill one man."
It is the mind
in us that yields to the laws made by us, but never the spirit in
A traveler am I and a navigator, and every day I discover
a new region within my soul.
A woman protested saying, "Of
course it was a righteous war. My son fell in it."
I said to
Life, "I would hear Death speak."
And Life raised her voice a
little higher and said, "You hear him now."
When you have
solved all the mysteries of life you long for death, for it is but
another mystery of life.
Birth and death are the two noblest
expressions of bravery.
My friend, you and I shall remain
strangers unto life,
And unto one another, and each unto
Until the day when you shall speak and I shall
Deeming your voice my own voice;
And when I shall stand
Thinking myself standing before a mirror.
say to me, "Should you know yourself you would know all men."
I say, "Only when I seek all men shall I know myself."
TWO men; one is awake in darkness, the other is asleep in
A hermit is one who renounces the world of fragments
that he may enjoy the world wholly and without
There lies a green field between the scholar
and the poet; should the scholar cross it he becomes a wise man;
should the poet cross it, he becomes a prophet.
saw philosophers in the market-place carrying their heads in
baskets, and crying aloud, "Wisdom! Wisdom for sale!"
philosophers! They must needs sell their heads to feed their
Said a philosopher to a street
sweeper, "I pity you. Yours is a hard and dirty task."
street sweeper said, "Thank you, sir. But tell me what is your
And the philosopher answered saying, "I study man's mind,
his deeds and his desires."
Then the street sweeper went on with
his sweeping and said with a smile, "I pity you too."
listens to truth is not less than he who utters truth.
can draw the line between necessities and luxuries. Only the angels
can do that, and the angels are wise and wistful.
angels are our better thought in space.
He is the true prince
who finds his throne in the heart of the dervish.
is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you
In truth you owe naught to any man. You owe all to all
All those who have lived in the past live with us now.
Surely none of us would be an ungracious host.
He who longs
the most lives the longest.
They say to me, "A bird in the
hand is worth ten in the bush."
But I say, "A bird and a feather
in the bush is worth more than ten birds in the hand."
seeking after that feather is life with winged feet; nay,
it is life itself.
There are only two elements here, beauty
and truth; beauty in the hearts of lovers, and truth in the arms of
the tillers of the soil.
Great beauty captures me, but a
beauty still greater frees me even from itself.
brighter in the heart of him who longs for it than in the eyes of
him who sees it.
I admire him who reveals his mind to me; I
honor him who unveils his dreams. But why am I shy, and even a
little ashamed before him who serves me?
The gifted were once
proud in serving princes.
Now they claim honor in serving
The angels know that too many practical men eat
their bread with the sweat of the dreamer's brow.
often a mask. If you could tear it you would find either a genius
irritated or cleverness juggling.
attributes to me understanding and the dull, dullness. I think they
are both right.
Only those with secrets in their hearts could
divine the secrets in our hearts.
He who would share your
pleasure but not your pain shall lose the key to one of the seven
gates of Paradise.
Yes, there is a Nirvanah; it is in leading
your sheep to a green pasture, and in putting your child to sleep,
and in writing the last line of your poem.
We choose our joys
and our sorrows long before we experience them.
but a wall between two gardens.
When either your joy or your
sorrow becomes great the world becomes small.
Desire is half
of life; idifference is half of death.
The bitterest thing in
our today's sorrow is the memory of our yesterday's joy.
say to me, "You must needs choose between the pleasures of this
world and the peace of the next world."
And I say to them, "I
have chosen both the delights of this world and the peace of the
next. For I know in my heart that the Supreme Poet wrote but one
poem, and it scans perfectly, and it also rhymes
Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never
be reached by the caravan of thinking.
When you reach your
height you shall desire but only for desire; and you shall hunger,
for hunger; and you shall thirst for greater thirst.
reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for
revealing them to the trees.
The flowers of spring are
winter's dreams related at the breakfast table of the
Said a skunk to a tube-rose, "See how swiftly I run,
while you cannot walk nor even creep."
Said the tube-rose to the
skunk, "Oh, most noble swift runner, please run
Turtles can tell more about roads than
Strange that creatures without backbones have the
The most talkative is the least intelligent,
and there is hardly a difference between an orator and an
Be grateful that you do not have to live down the
renown of a father nor the wealth of an uncle.
But above all be
grateful that no one will have to live down either your renown or
Only when a juggler misses catching his ball
does he appeal to me.
The envious praises me
Long were you a dream in your mother's sleep,
and then she woke to give you birth.
The germ of the race is
in your mother's longing.
My father and mother desired a
child and they begot me.
And I wanted a mother and a father and I
begot night and the sea.
Some of our children are our
justifications and some are but our regrets.
When night comes
and you too are dark, lie down and be dark with a will.
morning comes and you are still dark stand up and say to the day
with a will, "I am still dark."
It is stupid to play a role with
the night and the day.
They would both laugh at you.
mountain veiled in mist is not a hill; an oak tree in the rain is
not a weeping willow.
Behold here is a paradox; the deep and
high are nearer to one another than the mid-level to
When I stood a clear mirror before you, you gazed
into me and saw your image.
Then you said, "I love you."
in truth you loved yourself in me.
When you enjoy loving your
neighbor it ceases to be a virtue.
Love which is not always
springing is always dying.
You cannot have youth and the
knowledge of it at the same time;
For youth is too busy living to
know, and knowledge is too busy seeking itself to live.
You may sit at your window
watching the passersby. And watching you may see a nun walking
toward your right hand, and a prostitute toward your left
And you may say in your innocence, "How noble is the one
and how ignoble is the other."
But should you close your eyes and
listen awhile you would hear a voice whispering in the ether, "One
seeks me in prayer, and the other in pain. And in the spirit of each
there is a bower for my spirit."
Once every hundred years
Jesus of Nazareth meets Jesus of the Christian in a garden among the
hills of Lebanon. And they talk long; and each time Jesus of
Nazareth goes away saying to Jesus of the Christian, "My friend, I
fear we shall never, never agree."
May God feed the
A great man has two hearts; one bleeds and the
Should one tell a lie which does not hurt you
nor anyone else, why not say in your heart that the house of his
facts is too small for his fancies, and he had to leave it for
Behind every closed door is a mystery sealed
with seven seals.
Waiting is the hoofs of time.
if trouble should be a new window in the Eastern wall of your
You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but
never the one with whom you have wept.
There must be
something strangely sacred in salt. It is in our tears and in the
Our God in His gracious thirst will drink us all, the
dewdrop and the tear.
You are but a fragment of your giant
self, a mouth that seeks bread, and a blind hand that holds the cup
for a thirsty mouth.
If you would rise but a cubit above race
and country and self you would indeed become godlike.
were you I would not find fault with the sea at low tide.
It is a
good ship and our Captain is able; it is only your stomach that is
Should you sit upon a cloud you would not see
the boundary line between one country and another, nor the boundary
stone between a farm and a farm.
It is a pity you cannot sit upon
Seven centuries ago seven white doves rose from a
deep valley flying to the snow-white summit of the mountain. One of
the seven men who watched the flight said, "I see a black spot on
the wing of the seventh dove."
Today the people in that valley
tell of seven black doves who flew to the summit of the snowy
In the autumn I gathered all my sorrows and buried
them in my garden.
And when April returned and spring came to wed
the earth, there grew in my garden beautiful flowers unlike all
And my neighbors came to behold them, and they all
said to me, "When autumn comes again, at seeding time, will you not
give us of the seeds of these flowers that we may have them in our
It is indeed misery if I stretch an empty hand to
men and receive nothing; but it is hopelessness if I stretch a full
hand and find none to receive.
I long for eternity because
there I shall meet my unwritten poems and my unpainted
Art is a step from nature toward the
A work of art is a mist carved into an
Even the hands that make crowns of thorns are better
than idle hands.
Our most sacred tears never seek our
Every man is the descendant of every king and every
slave that ever lived.
If the great-grandfather of Jesus had
known what was hidden within him, would he not have stood in awe of
Was the love of Judas' mother of her son less than
the love of Mary for Jesus?
There are three miracles of our
Brother Jesus not yet recorded in the Book: the first that He was a
man like you and me, the second that He had a sense of humour, and
the third that He knew He was a conqueror though
Crucified One, you are crucified upon my heart;
and the nails that pierce your hands pierce the walls of my
And tomorrow when a stranger passes by this Golgotha he
will not know that two bled here.
He will deem it the blood of
You may have heard of the Blessed Mountain.
the highest mountain in our world.
Should you reach the summit
you would have only one desire, and that to descend and be with
those who dwell in the deepest valley.
That is why it is called
the Blessed Mountain.
Every thought I have imprisoned in
expression I must free by my deeds.
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