Viral Gratitude ~ 4.18.20

Sad news abounds. Death is close and remote at the same time. I now know of three deaths of the siblings of friends. There will be more. Communities grieve for the larger loss. Handshakes and hugs are bygone. Tears flow, and for this I am grateful. When Death and its companion Grief, visit—I turn to the wisdom and sage counsel of poets and prophets. Kahlil Gibran is always a comfort. His healing words from The Prophet::

“Then Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of Death.

“And he said:

“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt into the sun?

“And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its relentless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? 

“Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

“And when you have reached the mountaintop, then you shall begin to climb.

“And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”

~~~

Gibran is asking us to understand this both metaphorically which applies to life and physically for those called to death. 

The Unfinished Poem

Yesterday morning, over a breakfast quesadilla and too hot hot sauce– a discussion took place on sadness, particularly how it looked on my face. 2018 was particularly sad year in terms of loss. So I turned to one of my favorite sages on this and other wisdom– Kahlil Gibran in his seminal work: The Prophet. Thus his writing 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”.

I confess to really not understanding this. How can sadness be contingent on joy or vice versa? And yet I do understand–the greater the love–the deeper its response (sorrow) when that joyful love is perceptively lost. Perception is the key.

“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.”

The takeaway here is that sadness is truly an act of love–damn that it just doesn’t feel that way. So I’m learning not to push it away, and instead invite it in for conversation.

walking with sorrow
around the corner
a begrudging friendship
~
long after
the after
lingers on
~
if not for sorrow
the unfinished
poem