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.