Thursday, February 14

space in your togetherness*

me & boho boy in san francisco, taken by jon-erik kroon

I want to taken an opportunity, since it is Valentines day and all, to post one of my favorite poems by Kahlil Gibran. Boho Boy and I had this read to us by our dear friend Christina when she married us (and made all the single men at our wedding fall in love with her).

What I love about this poem about marriage is how it emphasizes the importance of not losing ourselves in one another. That being an individual in coupledom is vital to personal growth and having a healthy relationship. Although, he says it much more poetically and it is the very reason I connect with his writings.

I am careful to talk much about Valentines day. My husband and I have a bit of an aversion to it, despite the hopeless romantics we can be. We just feel that love in general should be celebrated all year long and not give people an excuse to wait until one day a year to create huge gestures of romance. We also feel that commercially, it focuses a bit too much on couples rather than relationships between friends and family. This can always leave a bitter and sad feeling in someones heart if they are not in a relationship. I've been there. I've been the one to dial up my girlfriends and go out and get sloshed over pink drinks in the name of loathing this day. Now that I am in a relationship and this day comes around, I am sensitive to my friends that are single, always asking them to be my valentine. I carry some guilt around that they are alone and I am not. So, this day, as beautiful as it can be when I hear some lovely stories and gestures, I am quiet about it and so is my husband.

I believe though, that it is a good day to post this poem because in order to be in a healthy relationship, it is so essential to love yourself so that you are able to give the way you want and need to. This provides more time and freedom as a single person to date yourself, find yourself and not need another to complete you. This all prepares us to step aside from someone else's shadow and to shine all on our own.

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.

~ Kahlil Gibran


Blogger kelly barton art + design said...

oh my gosh....i had this read at our wedding. i walk down the aisle to the beatles, in my life
and we walked out together to john denver's lady. i love that you gave me this to remember.


February 14, 2008 at 10:20:00 AM PST  
Blogger boho girl said...

kelly...that's so fabulous! the Beattles...love it.

after being pronounced "marriaged"...we walked down to In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel.

thanks to Say Anything. ; )

February 14, 2008 at 10:25:00 AM PST  
Blogger pERiWinKle said...

I sense that while you are waiting...you are 'relishing' (is that the word) in your and Bohoboy's love...you still sound peaceful...

At our wedding a friend read 'how much do I love thee...let me count the ways"...it was magical...and this poem of Kahlil...magical...and powerful...it is one of my favorites...enjoy the time loving! You are so good at it...and always so sensitive to other's feelings...you are such a beauty! xx

February 14, 2008 at 10:43:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is beautiful. thanks for sharing.

February 14, 2008 at 10:45:00 AM PST  
Blogger Silvia said...

just beautiful!

February 14, 2008 at 12:25:00 PM PST  
Blogger kristen said...

you are a sweet lady to remember that love comes to us in many ways - our friends and family especially, need to know they too are our valentine.

lovely poem and photo.

February 14, 2008 at 12:42:00 PM PST  
Blogger Cali said...

Amazing poem. I so admire couples where I still see the individuality... watching couples where this isn't the case has made me vow that whenever I have a boyfriend, I will be VERY careful to keep myself ME. I think it is so important and a sign of mutual respect between both people.

Happy love day to you, dear. No need to feel guilty for having a love... as sad as we single people may feel on this day, it does not take away from the joy we feel seeing those we love IN love. We just continue to pray for it ourselves... and hope. And when it comes, it will mean that much more.

February 14, 2008 at 2:31:00 PM PST  
Blogger sas said...

Wow this brought tears to my eyes! The best Valentines Gift I had this year :)
I have been single for the best part of a year because I want to meet another whole person, as a whole person. I have realised that I need to be able to grow in the space of togetherness.
Thank you for sharing it - this gives me hope that what I want is worth waiting for.

February 14, 2008 at 3:50:00 PM PST  
Blogger Susannah Conway said...

you guys are both my valentines - and i was listening to In Your Eyes on the beach this afternoon, right before i blasted Jenny Owen Youngs :-) x

February 14, 2008 at 4:30:00 PM PST  
Blogger meesh said...

we had this read at our wedding as well. we walked in to neil young's harvest moon and walked out to nils lofgren's shot at you.

or maybe the songs were the other way around... it was 16 years ago. wow!

happiest days to you denise.



February 14, 2008 at 7:02:00 PM PST  
Blogger about me said...

I had this read at our wedding too! We played Townes Van Zandt and Cheri Knight and the Cowboy Junkies. Nice that we share this in common.

February 14, 2008 at 7:31:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a wonderful woman. Thanks for shareing. For years I had such a hard time as a single woman and it really hurt me to see people in love on this day. Then a few years ago it hit me that I have to love me. So I use this day to love me. I take myself out to a fancy dinner and dine at a table for one around all the couples. After all I am in love with me. And you have been such a big part of the journey. Thanks for being one of the wonders of life.

February 14, 2008 at 9:15:00 PM PST  
Blogger Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose) said...

it's been years since i've read the prophet...which this is from...it's one of my favorite books...small but packed with so much wisdom...

February 15, 2008 at 11:21:00 AM PST  
Blogger Stacy said...

now do you see why i love you both so much, individually and as a couple?

we had kahlil at our wedding too, kindred.

kisses to both of you.


February 15, 2008 at 4:49:00 PM PST  
Blogger kirsten said...

beautiful boho girl,

thank you for sharing this. i've peeked in here at your space so often, but never left so much as a footprint.

today is the day.

thank you for sharing the from love within & around you, for sharing this poem, & for lending words to this need: to be ourselves, to be together, to love love love in both those places.


February 18, 2008 at 10:33:00 AM PST  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have this quote framed and hanging next to our wedding picture. It carries such truth and wisdom.


February 20, 2008 at 10:12:00 AM PST  

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