Kahlil Gibran: On Joy & Sorrow [with a personal reflection]
Posted from: Vale of Glamorgan CF61 1ZH, UK
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was often times filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
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.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
• • •In this poem ‘Joy & Sorrow’, Kahlil Gibran likens the two as being inseparable. He beautifully encapsulated this conflict so wonderfully and succinctly. Even in this pain, there is a sense of wonder and bewilderment that the heart can feel a depth of sorrow by the very same instrument that delivered the sense of abounding happiness in the first place.
It is a curious, baffling sensation. Where he used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly wandering around in lost the daytime, and falling into its depths at night. My knees are skinned from falling down into the unforgiving, cavernous abyss which he left behind.When hearts break, the scar-tissue and calluses on the heart amount to wisdom with time, or so we are told… If only that time would come sooner for healing to begin. Until then, I rest, and I hope that there really is hope, and I try… and I wait…