The word love is the most used, misused, understood, misunderstood, simple yet profound word in language.
It is the most poignant, powerful, beautiful, and fulfilling concept placed in the heart of man—a thought given man of God so that man might be God.
Our capacity to love is all-encompassing. We love life, God, nature, creatures, the land of our birth, ideas, causes, things, places, memories, dreams, aspirations, and people—all kinds of people: old and young, parents and children, friends and foreigners, and that particular someone who gives joy and purpose to our soul.
Together, the accompanying poems and photographs give nuances and perspectives into the most meaningful word in language.
Oh the comfort—
The inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person,
Having neither to weigh thoughts
Nor measure words, but pouring them all right out
Just as they are—
Chaff and grain together—
Certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
Keep what is worth keeping—
And with a breath of kindness
Blow the rest away.
How can I tell the signals and the signs
By which one heart another divines?
Along with us the summer wind
Went murmuring—O happily!—
But softer than the breath of summer
Was the kiss she gave to me.
There’s nothing half so sweet in life As love’s young dream.
Two shall be born, the whole wide world apart
And bend each wandering step to this one end—
That, one day, out of darkness, they shall meet
And read life’s meaning in each other’s eyes.
None but God can satisfy the longings
of an immortal soul;
that as the heart was made for Him,
so He only can fill it.
Where true love is, there is little need of prim formality.
He who loves not his country, can love nothing.
Then come the wild weather,
Come sleet or come snow,
We will stand by each other,
However it blow.
And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide,
Let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live. For it is his to fill your need,
but not your emptiness.
Always remember, the human heart is tender, and each individual is precious to our Heavenly Father. —
Selected lines from The Prophet are used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. and the administrators C.T.A. of Kahlil Gibran Estate, and Mary G. Gibran. The words of James Joyce are used by permission of the Viking Press, New York, N.Y.
[photos] Photographs by Don Thorpe