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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Exile

Aside from the occasional quote or lyric, I don't normally copy out other people's words on my blog. In my infinite modesty, I find my own quite sufficient. ;)

But these words...they absolutely took my breath away when I read them.

(They are from the book "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran. An exiled prophet is waiting to return to his homeland and when the day comes that he can, he is filled with first joy and then sorrow."

"How shall I go in peace and not without sorrow? Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city.

Long were the days of pain I have spent within its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness; and who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret?

Too many fragments of the spirit have I scattered in these streets, and too many are the children of my longing that walk naked among the hills, and I can not withdraw from them without a burden and an ache.

It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands."


I can't claim to have been in physical exile before although occasionally, in utter exasperation with a country not my own, I have felt as though I was. :) But more seriously, I have experienced somewhat of an interior exile...a time of brief but extreme isolation from myself, others, joy and even I felt at the time, God.

I think that the returning to a place you have been exiled from, whether a tangible country or your own precious self and life, must be very similar in some ways.

I know my observation isn't terribly profound but then, who am I to compete with Kahlil Gibran in the space of just a few moments and paragraphs? I'm better off retiring gracefully tonight...

Good night and sweet dreams.

11 comments:

Red said...

"interior exile...a time of brief but extreme isolation from myself, others, joy and even I felt at the time, God."
This was my Hallelujah moment today. Your words convey an honesty that is profound. Thank you Colleen.

Michael Khatcherian said...

Earlier today and before reading you post, I talked about exile and how often I think of myself living in Norway, but still calls it exile. It's like Colleen is reading my mind.Thank you

wafaa said...

Nice chosen I think... being of my favorite writers, Khalil Gebran will always be joyful to read for me....
BTW, I think you write so beautifully as I have read your previos posts...

Janet said...

That is such a beautiful quote and in many ways so true!

I have often felt when I leave places that I leave part of myself behind. That, even though I am leaving in peace, I am leaving with a great sorrow as I have shared part of my soul with its people and streets. When you live somewhere it becomes part of you, part of your identity and you leave part of your identity imprinted in the people you encountered. Both you and that place are forever changed, however greatly or minutely, by each other. To me it's such a beautiful encounter, however sad it might be upon leaving.

This part of the quote has to be my favorite: "It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands." Reading it brings tears to my eyes... how often have I torn a part of myself when I leave a place? How often have I bled as I leave? Memories for me are more precious than gold or silver. I have left pieces of myself scattered all over the world and it never gets any easier...

Just Be Real said...

Colleen, thank you for your visit and your kind encouraging words. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful post. Amen and Hallelujah! Blessings.

Colleen said...

I appreciate your compliment Alicia, thank you!
Michael, that is so strange!:) I guess I have a gift for mind-reading.;) Thanks for your comment my friend...sometimes I can't believe how long you've been away from your home. Praying you get to go back soon.
Thank you for your kind words Wafaa. I just began reading The Prophet and am struck by the beauty of his prose. I find your writing beautiful as well! Take care!
Dear Janet, no, it really doesn't, does it? I think I need to copy out and remember what you wrote about the place you live becoming a part of you...so perfectly written. Love you Girl.
JBR, it's my pleasure and thank you so much for stopping by. God bless!

Sara Padrusch said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a kind comment! I have been reading your amazing blog- what a journey! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Sara
www.shinyredhouses.blogspot.com

Life with Kaishon said...

Beautiful, as always.
Thank you for sharing this profound thought.

Crown of Beauty said...

SOmetimes it has happened to me that I gained a different perspective on life during my times of exile...

A different appreciation on where I came from and got my upbringing.


Love
Lidj

Colleen said...

Sarah and Becky, thank you for the comments!
Lidj, I understand exactly what you mean...it does change ones perspectives! It causes growth if we just allow it to. Thank you for your thoughts. I am thinking of and praying for your family today.

Lori said...

I love your depth, honesty and that you make me think. I too have experienced exile at different times in my life. I love Kahlil Gibrans words. Going through these times of exile does change our perspectives on life in general. We are changed. Thank you for sharing this. XX