just before the end

The Prophet
Khalil Gibran

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be space in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shore of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from the same cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping,
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of a temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

[one night, within the first month of going to college, i had a breakdown of fear and sadness, and he was near me then, and i asked, finally, ‘do you feel trapped?’ and he said, ‘yes.’ and really things ended there, but i didn’t want them to. i showed him the original of this journal either that night or the night after, when both of us kept cracking open, and i showed him this poem, which my sister had posted on her blog, inspired by a friend who had just given it to her boyfriend, and he cried.]

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