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Sunday, February 26, 2012

1st post in 2012



I have been reticent in writing partly by choice and partly because of the vigor of living being thrust upon me. In the past few months, people have said to me that I have changed them in ways that they can and cannot express. This has something to do with just becoming attuned to what was needed - a gesture, an encouragement, a mouthful of words, my chest opening up to hold my heart in my sleeve.

I think I'm getting the hang of being alive, not just surviving but actually living and, ultimately, loving.

Because what does it mean to love?

I think it's been written best before so I will just quote.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13


1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a sounding [piece of] brass or a clashing cymbal. 2 And if I have the gift of prophesying and am acquainted with all the sacred secrets and all knowledge, and if I have all the faith so as to transplant mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my belongings to feed others, and if I hand over my body, that I may boast, but do not have love, I am not profited at all.

4 Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5 does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But whether there are [gifts of] prophesying, they will be done away with; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will be done away with. 9 For we have partial knowledge and we prophesy partially; 10 but when that which is complete arrives, that which is partial will be done away with. 11 When I was a babe, I used to speak as a babe, to think as a babe, to reason as a babe; but now that I have become a man, I have done away with the [traits] of a babe. 12 For at present we see in hazy outline by means of a metal mirror, but then it will be face to face. At present I know partially, but then I shall know accurately even as I am accurately known. 13 Now, however, there remain faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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But then again, there was something else written about love that is just as biblical and epic.

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.

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