The Oak Tree and the Cypress grow not in each other’s shadow

Dear Lesley-Ann, this is the second of the two missives from the Prophet. I was re-reading the book again this morning. It is a bit like reading the scriptures. My take-aways from this missive will be very different to your take-aways. Enjoy.

Kahlil Gibran on Marriage

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Let their be spaces in your togetherness, dear Lesley-Ann

Thank you for sharing your big day with all of us.

We wish you all the blessings for a very happy life together!


When Love bekons to you, follow him

I said that my next post was my speech on Saturday. A change of mind. Instead I am writing a letter to my daughter Lesley-Ann, before her big day! These are not my words as I am not very original in my thinking. All the same I think it is great advice.

Dear Lesley-Ann, this is the first of two missives from the Prophet.

I came across the book “The Prophet” when I started college (age 18) and found it a great source of inspiration. I hope you like these two missives from the book.

Kahlil Gibran on Love

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

And so dear Lesley-Ann, wake at dawn and give thanks for another day of loving and then to sleep with a prayer for Mike in your heart!


Do It Anyway

Day +9. The mouth is not as sore as before. This is very strange. It is meant to get worse before it gets better. So much for my saying, “pump up the positives” yesterday. I seem to always fear the worse. Maybe Lesley-Ann is right, I like playing the martyr. It was a disturbed sleep last night. The blood counts continue to drop, the platelets are now down to 11. I was told that I will have no energy, feel exhausted  and so on. Why am I not there? Where does this energy come from? I have been in a room (about 10×14) for nearly three weeks now. I don’t see anyone in the outside world except for the nurses, doctors and the family. I don’t watch TV or listen to the radio, but my day seems to be full. My spirits are high and I am in good form. I asked for a miracle, and the miracle is what I am experiencing right now! Thank you for your prayers and support.

I am invited to talk about my entrepreneurial journey to students. Usually I use a title like “Entrepreneurship & Leadership: Lessons Learnt”. I generally end my talk by quoting this poem that is supposed to have been on Mother Theresa’s wall. I aspire to this:

People are often unreasonable,
illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind,
people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful,
you will win some false friends and true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you;
Be honest anyway.

What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Tomorrow I’ll write about the alternative treatments that I looked at. That’s all for now folks!