Monday, October 5, 2015

Kahlil Gibran: "On Pain"

And a woman spoke, saying, Tell us of Pain.
And he said:
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses
       your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its
       heart may stand in the sun, so must you know
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily
       miracles of your life, your pain would not seem
       less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart,
       even as you have always accepted the seasons
       that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the
       winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen,
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within
       you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy
       in silence and tranquility:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by
       the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has
       been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has
       moistened with His own sacred tears.

"On Pain" by Kahlil Gibran. Text as published in The Prophet: A New Annotated Edition (Oneworld Publications, 2012). Introduced and annotated by Suheil Bushrui.

Art credit: Untitled image by unknown photographer.


  1. Love "On Pain"...I have much physical pain, though, I know it is of my mind and there to teach and guide me to awaken. I wrote this the other day out of that pain...

    Waited for the night to fall
    Covering me with its transparent embrace
    Alone I sat to see the light retreat
    Having no trepidation
    Light withdrawing through a crack in the dark
    Midnight enveloping my small frame
    Comforted by the silent sky
    Stars dancing to unheard songs of the universe
    My spirit flew to greet the moon
    My body, burdened, now found peace
    Not wanting to disturb my soul’s flight
    All my senses took in the night
    Feeling the moon reach toward me
    A shimmer of unadulterated love on its face
    Encircled me in its adoring arms
    Hugging the sadness from my being
    Releasing me to danced on stars beyond
    A smile overflowing from my disappointed eyes
    The Light that I Am seeped through the fracture
    To light the sky from its quiet solitude
    My friends, the stars, had recognized me
    As the star who forgot her way
    Galaxies from which I came
    Chanting the breath of the wind
    Lighting the path to my heart’s home

    alea plumley10/4/15

    1. I'm sorry for your pain. But I'm glad you're finding ways to work with it....

    2. I like the quiet rendition of pain by "Anonymous." And Gibran's poem has been my favorite for a long time.

  2. Love this poem. I have owned a copy of "The Prophet" for over 40 years!
    Amy, thank you for sharing your beautiful words! Writing from the heart can heal so much! I wish you the best in your healing journey :-)


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