"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."
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...