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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kahlil Gibran -- Letters

Excerpts from Kahlil Gibran's letters for his family works translated from the Arabic by Anthony R. Ferris

The most beautiful thing in life is that our souls remained hovering over the places where we once enjoyed ourselves. I am one of those who remembers such places regardless of distance or time. I do not let one single phantom disappear with the cloud, and it is my everlasting remembrance of the past that causes my sorrow sometimes. But if I had to choose between joy and sorrow, I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart for the joys of the whole world.
 - letter to Nakhli Gibran, 1908

...Do you believe that you can help me with your thoughts and affections? Can you look into the depth of my heart and understand the misery which God has placed in it? All I ask of you is to feel with me and have faith in me and believe in me
 - to Nakhli Gibran, September 27, 1910

I became desperate, but despair... is an ebb for every flow in the heart; it's mute affection.
...yet in every winter's heart there is a quivering spring, and behind the veil of each night there is a smiling dawn. Now my depair has turned into hope.
 - to May Ziadeh, November 1, 1920

So you are on the brink of madness. This is a good bit of news, majestic in its fearfulness, fearful in its majesty and beauty. I say that madness is the first step towards unselfishness. Be mad and tell us what is behind the veil of "sanity". The purpose of life is to bring us closer to those secrets, and madness is the only means. Be mad, and remain a mad brother to your mad brother.
 - to Mikhail Naimy, 1921

21st February 2003
kaigachi is a conjugation of the Japanese term "kigaicha" or crazy. It roughly translates as "crazy about something."

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious." - C.Jung

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