Monday, January 2, 2012

my friend

My friend, I am not what I seem. 
Seeming is but a garment I wear - 
a care-worn garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee from my negligence.

The "I" in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, 
and therein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable.

When thou sayest, "The wind bloweth eastward,"  
I say, "Aye it doth blow eastward";  
for I would not have thee know that my mind doth not dwell upon the wind but upon the sea.

Thou canst not understand my seafaring thoughts, 
nor would I have thee understand.  
I would be at sea alone.

When it is day with thee, my friend, it is night with me; 
yet even then I speak of the noontide that dances upon the hills 
and of the purple shadow that steals its way across the valley;
 for thou canst not hear the songs of my darkness nor see my wings beating against the stars - 
and I fain would not have thee hear or see.  
I would be with night alone.

When thou ascendest to thy Heaven I descend to my Hell 
- even then thou callest to me across the unbridgeable gulf, " My companion, my comrade," 
- for I would not have thee see my Hell.  
The flame would burn thy eyesight and the smoke would crowd thy nostrils.  
And I love my Hell too well to have thee visit it.  
I would be in Hell alone.

Thou lovest Truth and Beauty and Righteousness; 
and I for thy sake say it is well and seemly to love these things.  
But in my heart I laugh at thy love.  
Yet I would not have thee see my laughter.  
I would laugh alone.

My friend, thou art good and cautious and wise; nay, thou art perfect 
- and I, too, speak with thee wisely and cautiously.  
And yet I am mad.  But I mask my madness. 
I would be mad alone.

My friend, thou art not my friend, 
but how shall I make thee understand?  
My path is not thy path, 
yet together we walk, hand in hand.

~  Kahlil Gibran
from Poems Parables and Drawings