Monday, September 26, 2011

"And if you cannot work with love..."

We're in the last quarter of 2011 and I can't believe how turbulent it's been. In this 9th month, I'm looking back at months of loss, death, fatigue, mistakes, and worst of all betrayal by people who I thought were compassionate human beings. I feel as though I was born all over again, at 43; as though I just arrived on planet earth; as though I was made to learn some of life lessons from scratch, like a new born.
And most of the turbulence this year has been centered around work - or from people at work, or from the fact that there is so much work, that I can't ever seem to get a break from work, or that people don't want to pay for work, or that people disrespect my work. Rarely a minute to exhale. I do understand why some people seek refuge. Some do it by partying, with addictions, through seclusion. We all need exit routes.
But then Khalil comes to mind. He has been a source of clarity since I was introduced to him by my father in my teenage years. I hope this excerpt from The Prophet helps you as it did me this morning.

...Speak to us of
And he answered, saying:
You work that you may keep pace with
the earth and the soul of the earth.
You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save where there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save where there is work,
And all work is empty save where there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.
Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you break bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger...
-- Khalil Gibran
Lebanese Poet, Philosopher, and Artist (1883 - 1931)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Dear sister whom I do not know personally but through your writings and "blasts" I have come to get a sense of the good work you attempt to do. To educate, to inspire, to organize, to love Black people. Do not be weary, nor give refuge to the cynicsm that seems inevitable when we deal with other human beings. May you continue to love and serve finding strength in the Creator and your ancestors knowing that ultimately the burden must be carried and it is seldom given to those not strong enough to shoulder the weight. I send you this little anonymous note of gratitude for your efforts.