on friendship

"And a youth said, Speak to us of Friendship.
And he answered, saying:
Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "ay".
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.
And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."
~Kahlil Gibran
I found a book of Kahlil Gibran's at my parents' house the other day, and as I flipped through his pages I became entranced by his depth. I asked to borrow the copy and since then have been reading and re-reading his work with a deep seated love in my heart.
I was reminded by my mom that today, in honor of national poetry month, is a day to keep a poem close to your heart and mind.
And this one has been particularly close to me the past week.
I have been thinking of closeness...of friendship...of how friendships form and how they thrive. I have been thinking of who I make friends with and across different spectrums of meeting, how I come to "know" them.
Sometimes, even with my dearest friends, with whom I can laugh, and sigh, and be somewhat inappropriatte with...I fall short of this example of friendship. And I notice that whenever I feel that limitations are put on me through a bond...it may likely come from the very limitations that I place on them myself.
I can plunge into that thought if I let myself...but instead, I will just say thank you. Thank you to my friends near and far. To my friends I have come to know in this space. To my family of friends that, through expansion and contraction, circle around and always offer support.
With hours to live...


daisies said...


Sara said...

I am most positive that everyone that is blessed to have you in their life feels your love, kindness, warmth...your friendship... I know I do! As for pictures I would love to get together and maybe we can both get in some practice and confidence with our cameras...hugs

Nonnie said...

ooohhhh.....i love it jess....beautiful....a wonderful one to read many times!
thank you for sharing,
love you!

Debbie said...

Beautiful words. You are an amazing friend to so many people. It is impossible to not know how deeply you care about your friends and family. Thanks for sharing a wonderful poem!

Just Joni said...

beautiful poem and beautiful response...there is so much here to soak in and the meaning of friendship gets deeper and sweeter..."seek him always with hours to live" really resonates in my heart...what greater joy is there than to spend time with a genuine friend in the context of laughing, sharing, being...makes life all the more richer.

thank you for sharing such a lovely poem ~

cassie said...

it is something that i will have to read over and over again. so often we are selfish with our friends...seeking them out for reasons of our own. but it is the true unselfish friendships that really delight the soul and give a deeper meaning to what this life is about. so glad you are my friend.

Jme said...

Thank you for sharing, my sweet friend. :)

Elizabeth said...

I love, love, love Khalil Gibran. Thanks for reminding me.

Annette said...

A very pretty and powerful reading, and so true in so many ways......I feel that very same about my friend's. Annette

p.s. Thank you for your comment on my blog, I'd like to add you my list if it's o.k. with you.

Gillian said...

Oh the Prophet is like sinking your teeth into a juicy steak with bearnaise, and washing it down with a primo sauv cab!
I adore Kahlil, ever since I found out we shared a birthday, (he was a fellow Cappy!!) and I just adored ON Children, On Love, On Friendship...all of it.
(Madelyn's testimonial for flickr, I posted On Friendship...it really does say so much)
I am sure those of your readers who haven't read him yet will be thanking you up and down for this recommendation!!! Now, due to your influence, I shall read him tonight before bed.

bella said...

Just lovely.
As I prepare to fly tomorrow morning to go be with my dear friend for the week, I take in these words. They are just what the moment asks for.

Thank-you for continuing to share your great big heart with us.

Kirsten Michelle said...

i love this passage so very much...
thinking of you, with love, my friend.