SAND AND FOAM
by Kanhlil Gibran
SAND AND FOAM(third part)
Yes, there is a Nirvana; 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.
Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.
When either your joy or your sorrow becomes great the world becomes small.
Desire is half of life; indifference is half of death.
The bitterest thing in our today's sorrow is the memory of our yesterday's joy.
They 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 perfectly."
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.
If you 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 angels.
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 swiftly!"
Turtles can tell more about roads than hares.
Strange that creatures without backbones have the hardest shells.
The most talkative is the least intelligent, and there is hardly a difference between an orator and an auctioneer.
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 your wealth.
Only when a juggler misses catching his ball does he appeal to me.
The envious praises me unknowingly.
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.
And when 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.
The 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 either.
When I stood a clear mirror before you, you gazed into me and saw your image.
Then you said, "I love you."
But in truth you loved yourself in me.
When you enjoy loving your neighbour 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 passers-by. And watching you may see a nun walking toward your right hand, and a prostitute toward your left hand.
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 over-abundant!
A great man has two hearts; one bleeds and the other forbears.
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 larger space?
Behind every closed door is a mystery sealed with seven seals.
Waiting is the hoofs of time.
What if trouble should be a new window in the Eastern wall of your house?
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 sea.
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.
If I 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 in disorder.
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 a cloud.
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 mountain.
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 other flowers.
And my neighbours 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 gardens?"
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 pictures.
Art is a step from nature toward the Infinite.
A work of art is a mist carved into an image.
Even the hands that make crowns of thorns are better than idle hands.
Our most sacred tears never seek our eyes.
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 himself?
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 conquered.
Crucified One, you are crucified upon my heart; and the nails that pierce your hands pierce the walls of my heart.
And tomorrow when a stranger passes by this Golgotha he will not know that two bled here.
He will deem it the blood of one man.
You may have heard of the Blessed Mountain.
It is 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.