READING TIME 7 Minutes
Kahlil Gibran has crafted some of the most beautiful sentences and poems in literary history. Of course, like every writer, the stories he lived through is what defined his writing, and that's something that's always fascinated me about him.
See, Kahlil Gibran led a life that was ridden with violence, fear and intense love. It showed in his writing, and in the beautiful thoughts he left us with.
Kahlil came from a home with two polar opposites - his father was a strong, violent man who squandered money to feed his habits, while his mother was gentle and loving. Managing the house, and especially in a violent terrain like Lebanon was not easy. The difficulties his mother faced while still remaining a pillar of strength is what inspired a quote that'll speak to every fighter out there.
Gibran was born in Lebanon, but fled with his family to America. This was just when the Ottoman empire fell, and innocents died violently in the country everyday. But if any of you have ever had to shift cities when you were younger, you'll get precisely why Gibran's experience of violence and new found safety inspired these lines - even though his home had been torn to bits, it always held a place in his heart. But away from people who he could call his own, he celebrated his solitude, and I find that beautiful.
One of my favourite things about Gibran, apart from his beautiful writing was the fact he was always an outsider. In the war torn Lebanon, he was a dreamer. In America, he was an Arab outsider. Whether you fit in or you're misunderstood, remember the fact that each one of us are magical.
Gibran apparently penned this down in memory of all those who suffered in the Middle East, and more importantly, in memory of his mother who was physically abused by his father. The pain we feel does not define us. I'm not sure if Gibran, given his young death and tragic life, ever managed to live by these words, and found himself beyond the pain, but I'd like to think that he did. Because every one of us are so much more than the nightmares we've lived through.
Allegedly written after "The Prophet" received a very lukewarm response by Western critics, Gibran told them to fuck off in the most poetic way. Of course,"The Prophet", went on to becoming one of biggest selling poetry books of all time, but that's barely the point here. The ultimate lesson- don't be a sell out.
Well, I don't have any legitimate sources for this, but I think it's safe to say that Gibran was talking about every writer's favourite figure of speech - the hyperbole. So the next time you gossip and add that extra bit of masala to what you were told, just tell everyone that the truth has lost its temper. #LifeLessons
Written in honor of his father, this Gibran quote tore me apart. After all, how do you accept that someone you've been conditioned to love may not be the best person for you? That in his own way, your father might be just slightly evil?
Gibran lost his mother, and two of his siblings, all in close and heart breaking succession. All this happened when he returned to Lebanon and remembered what it was like to live in a country where your basic rights were stolen from you. I love this quote because it reminds us that while some may be shut away behind bars, others are caught up in the prison of their own mind.
Gibran died at the age of 48, after battling tuberculosis for a painfully long time. Before that, he had lost his mother, and 2 of his siblings in very close succession. His sister Mariana claimed that he wrote this as a consolation, and as a way of accepting that maybe, just maybe, death would treat his loved ones and himself better than life did.
Gibran had quite the love life, but he never did marry the love of his life, Mary Haskell. She remained his friend, patron, and editor, but more importantly, she remained the one that got away. She claimed that Gibran was ultimately, more in love with the idea of her than the person she was. It's nice to know that even one of literature's greatest writers experienced the most cliched of heartbreaks.
Gibran never gave up on his homeland, and despite being crushed by the critics, he never gave up on the possibility of his greatness. Most importantly, however he never gave up on the possibility of him and Haskell.
Mariana claims that this truly beautiful line was inspired by the women in his life - his sisters, his mother, his lovers. Beauty doesn't always have to be sexual, and I smile every time I read this quote. Boyfriends, fathers, and brothers - this is how you make a girl feel better. Or really, make any one feel better.
Errrrm...candid Facebook DP, anyone?
Written when he had accepted his fate, this quote will melt even the coldest of hearts. Apparently, Gibran wasn't allowed the pleasure of having lived twice. Lesson learnt here? Go for everything you want and set your eyes on. Look back in satisfaction.
Written once again for his father, this quote is curiously beautiful. His father didn't achieve much in his lifetime, but despite his own shortcomings, aspired to provide a happy life for his family. What you do does not completely define who you are - it's what you aspire towards that defines you.
Written once more for Haskell, this was allegedly penned down when she got married to another man. It doesn't matter if you're separated by physical or emotional distance, because true love will survive it all.
The final, most romantic quote on this list hasn't been written for Haskell. Apparently, this quote was inspired by another one of his lovers, a woman he broke up with because Haskell disapproved of her. She may have been his life, but so was Haskell. He chose, and left us with a bit of his heart.
When I began researching for this, I was just writing about one of my favourite poets. He's turned into so much more now though - he was a fighter, some one who experienced immeasurable pain, fell in love, and never quite fell out of it. He left us with words that inspire, and as terrible as it sounds, I'm grateful for the life he lead. Thank you, Kahlil Gibran.
Fact Source: www.nytimes.com
Feature Image Source: www.ghadachmeissani.com