Friday, August 16, 2013

On Joy and Sorrow

Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

"There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior,
like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us."

From Kahlil Gibran:

Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow."
And he answered:
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.
Is not the cup that hold 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 than 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.


robert said...


This is a wonderful post.

I so love Gibran. He speaks in a manner that is, to this person, unique, and unusually strong.

Thank you for this Connie.

All good wishes,


CN said...

My comment should show-up soon.

If not, a shorter version:

That your description of Gibran's voice as:
unique and unusually strong
are apt.

I hadn't quite put my finger on why I like this poet.

You have helped me to see why.

So good to have another Gibran fan in my life.