One of my favourite spiritual writers has to be Khalil Gibran. I have quite a selection of his works, some of which are so deep and intricate that I don’t understand the point he’s making but the vast majority truly speak to my spirituality. His most popular work, The Prophet, is, to me, a true manual of life. Anyone who hasn’t read his work, I would urge you to fill this gap in your being.
My own place of worship, New Chapel, Denton, has a bimonthly newsletter which is carefully and lovingly put together by one of the Chapel members. There is, more often than not, a selection of poetry in each issue and the latest edition has an entire centre piece dedicated to some wonderful works. Amongst the selection in the latest issue there is a piece by Khalil Gibran that I have not come across before. On reading it, yet again, as usually happens with his work, my spirit danced in agreement of his words. It is such a beautiful piece that I would like to share it with you.
A Tear and A Smile
I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart for the joys of the multitude.
And I would not have the tears that sadness makes to flow from my every part turn into laughter.
I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.
A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding of life’s secrets and hidden things.
A smile to draw me nigh to the sons of my kind and to be a symbol of my glorification of the gods.
A tear to unite me with those of broken heart;
A smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.
I would rather that I died in yearning and longing than that I live weary and despairing.
I want the hunger for love and beauty to be in the depths of my spirit, for I have seen those who are satisfied the most wretched of people.
I have heard the sigh of those in yearning and longing, and it is sweeter than the sweetest melody.
With evening’s coming the flower folds her petals and sleeps, embracing her longing.
At morning’s approach she opens her lips to meet the sun’s kisses.
The life of a flower is longing and fulfilment.
A tear and a smile.
The waters of the sea become vapour and rise and come together and are cloud.
And the cloud floats above the hills and valleys until it meets the gentle breeze, then falls weeping to the fields and joins with brooks and rivers to return to the sea, its home.
The life of clouds is a parting and a meeting.
A tear and a smile.
And so does the spirit become separated from the greater spirit to move in the world of matter and pass as a cloud over the mountain of sorrow and the plains of joy to meet the breeze of death and return whence it came.
To the ocean of love and beauty – to God.
These are certainly words for the heart to hold in consideration when life deals its ration of pain and despondency, they are also words to hold close when our path is filled with joy, so that we remember how precious all the moments of our lives truly are.
Thank you to Keith Hinds for putting these words into print for me to read and absorb.
May the Divine unfold in our lives in all its forms and colours and may we learn to see our own moulding in every manifestation of life.