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