Dec 17, 2008

spaces in togetherness

by Khalil Gibran

Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

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.

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.

by Henry Nouwen

… we are encouraged to explore our communicative capacities and experiment with many forms of physical, mental and emotional contact, we are sometimes tempted to believe that our feelings of loneliness and sadness are only a sign of lack of mutual openness.

Sometimes this is true and many sensitivity centers make invaluable contributions to the broadening of the range of human interactions. But real openness to each other also means a real closeness, because only he who can hold a secret can safely share his knowledge.

When we do not protect with great care our own inner mystery, we will never be able to form community. It is this inner mystery that attracts us to each other and allows us to establish friendship and develop lasting relationships of love.

An intimate relationship between people not only asks for mutual openness, but also for mutual respectful protection of each other’s uniqueness.


  1. Jess I like the first two stanza and I longing for more then suddenly it finished

  2. Very true...our dependence on each other out of our own insecurities can be stifling in a relationship, not allowing the other person to grow into the person that God made them to be.
    I used to tease my ex-fiance about using me as his "social security" ... it can be very smothering when we don't allow each other to be their own person. Still have to be careful of that.
    We do need to withdrawal to times of solitude, being alone with our Creator, in order to have something to contribute to the community later on.

  3. Amen, Amen, Amen!

  4. Luta M Garbat-WelchNovember 4, 2009 at 8:04 AM

    Thanks for sharing Jess. I am in a period of deep loneliness so this was uplifting for me to read.
    Much love to you! Luta

  5. thanks jessie :-)

    you should put together an anothology or something, entitled 'an accompaniment to life' or how evr u might want to spell such a long word. That poem by Khalil Gibran has really hit the spot beign as though i am so very far away from my loved ones so often. Distance and the inner mystery that Henry Nouwen speaks about is certainly something worth celebrating and cherishing rather than labelling as a bad thing to be avoided.
    love you.... Cez xx

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful insight that we are too quick to forget... outward seasons reflect inward seasons and winter is apart, but spring is together...

  7. i like the first one...a lot. its not always the physical space that counts...