Home » Fiction & Literature » Kahlil Gibran » Sand and Foam

January 28 , 2008

Sand and Foam


I AM FOREVER walking upon these shores,
Betwixt the sand and the foam,
The high tide will erase my foot-prints,
And the wind will blow away the foam.
But the sea and the shore will remain

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The Prophet

Then the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul.But as he descended the hill, a sadness came upon him, and he thought in his heart: How shall I go in peace and without sorrow? Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city.…


Once I filled my hand with mist.
Then I opened it and lo, the mist was a worm.
And I closed and opened my hand again, and behold there was a bird.
And again I closed and opened my hand, and in its hollow stood a man with a sad face, turned upward.
And again I closed my hand, and when I opened it there was naught but mist.
But I heard a song of exceeding sweetness.


It was but yesterday I thought myself a fragment quivering without rhythm in the sphere of life.
Now I know that I am the sphere, and all life in rhythmic fragments moves within me.


They say to me in their awakening, “You and the world you live in are but a grain of sand upon the infinite shore of an infinite sea.”
And in my dream I say to them, “I am the infinite sea, and all worlds are but grains of sand upon my shore.”


Only once have I been made mute. It was when a man asked me, “Who are you?”


The first thought of God was an angel.
The first word of God was a man.


We were fluttering, wandering, longing creatures a thousand thousand years before the sea and the wind in the forest gave us words.
Now how can we express the ancient of days in us with only the sounds of our yesterdays?


The Sphinx spoke only once, and the Sphinx said, “A grain of sand is a desert, and a desert is a grain of sand; and now let us all be silent again.”
I heard the Sphinx, but I did not understand.


Long did I lie in the dust of Egypt, silent and unaware of the seasons.
Then the sun gave me birth, and I rose and walked upon the banks of the Nile,
Singing with the days and dreaming with the nights.
And now the sun threads upon me with a thousand feet that I may lie again in the dust of Egypt.
But behold a marvel and a riddle!
The very sun that gathered me cannot scatter me.
Still erect am I, and sure of foot do I walk upon the banks of the Nile.


Remembrance is a form of meeting.


Forgetfulness is a form of freedom.


We measure time according to the movement of countless suns; and they measure time by little machines in their little pockets.
Now tell me, how could we ever meet at the same place and the same time?


Space is not space between the earth and the sun to one who looks down from the windows of the Milky Way.

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