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Kahlil Gibran on Relationships

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.

Recommended reading: The Prophet.

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The Island

Beyond atolls and old blue seas
Along the silver streaks of moonlight
An island stands, alone and proud
A dot in space, not to be found
In this place, we’re lost in time
Unspoiled by the world’s turmoil
Deeply in love, slowly sinking…
Moved by a strong current
A persistent underflow
This tide… a different kind
It’s impossible to define
It’s the two of us, but unified
An undertow… of you and I.

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Parker Palmer on solitude

Solitude does not necessarily mean living apart from others; rather, it means never living apart from one’s self. It is not about the absence of other people – it is about being fully present to ourselves, whether or not we are with others. Community does not necessarily mean living face-to-face with others; rather, it means never losing the awareness that we are connected to each other. It is not about the presence of other people – it is about being fully open to the reality of relationship, whether or not we are alone.

Recommended reading: A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life.