Friday, October 21, 2011

On Death

Then Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of Death.
  And he said:
  You would know the secret of death.
  But how shall you find it unless you seek
it in the heart of life?
  The owl whose night-bound eyes are
blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery
of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of
death, open your heart wide unto the body
of life.
  For life and death are one, even as the
river and sea are one.

  In the depth of your hopes and desires
lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
  And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow
your heart dreams of spring.
  Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden
the gate to eternity.
  Your fear of death is but the trembling
of the shepherd when he stands before the
king whose hand is to be laid upon him in
  Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his
trembling, that he shall wear the mark of
the king?
  Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

  For what is it to die but to stand naked
in the wind and to melt into the sun?
  And what is it to cease breathing, but to
free the breath from its restless tides, that
it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

  Only when you drink from the river of
silence shall you indeed sing.
  And when you have reached the mountain
top, then you shall begin to climb.
  And when the earth shall claim your
limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Kahlil Gibran
photo:  Peter Bowers