Friday, August 24, 2012

The arrow that flies

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.


Thank you, Mel, for reminding me of these words. They resonate now.
Alvin Ailey dancer Aisha Mitchell, photographed by Richard Calmes


17 comments:

  1. This one definitely struck a lot of chords, didn't it?
    Beautiful photo.

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    1. Ms. Moon, i read this poem as a teenager and loved it in a very breezy way, in the sense of feeling the freedom it granted me, never till now contemplating how it would strike me when i was the parent, the bow in my hands, trying to fire it far and true. Well, you know.

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  2. Replies
    1. Mark, all does indeed appear to be well, my daughter very happy so far in her program. Thanks, friend. Hugs.

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  3. What a beautiful arrow. And a poem for your now.

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    1. Dear Kristin, I went through a stage of thinking Khalil Gibran corny, but I think that is just because I found him at a young age, and it's easy and very often a mistake to think that what we loved in our youth we should outgrow, but in fact, i think he is a philosopher, and i love him again. I understand his words in a whole new way now.

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  4. Lovely but terrible poem. My friend's father read it at her poem. It was heartbreaking then and is resonant now that I have three children of my own. It comes into my head every day.

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    1. Annicles, I can see how you would feel it is both beautiful and terrible. I know what you mean. Really, I just want to fold those babies to me always and not let them go. But they won't let me, LOL

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  5. This a beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing this and that beautiful photo.

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    1. Kimberly, it is a beautiful poem, requiring wisdom and generosity from parents, and the photo says flight as brilliantly as anything I ever saw.

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  6. Excellent. I especially love "For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow." Fab!

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    1. Steve, you and I are of a similar vintage (smile). Did you read Gibran as a teen?

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  7. I love Khalil Gibran!! I've had his book for years and never tire of reading it. And what a beautiful dancer!!
    Haven't been checking blogs lately, because of "stuff", and really missed yours!
    Hugs, my friend ~

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    1. Dear Gabriele, it is always so lovely to see you here. I hope the 'Stuff" is just life getting busy and nothing too hard. Take care, my friend. Hugs.

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  8. What lovely words to start my day by! Beautiful picture, beautiful poem.

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    1. Andrea, thank you for being here, friend. I am happy for you that you have a few years yet before reading this poem in the very immediate way i read it now. enjoy your beautiful babies! xo

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  9. I always loved that poem and shake my head, now, at my youth when I thought I understood what it meant.

    Sigh.

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