On Joy and Sorrow

joy and sorrow winter pine snow icicle

A dear friend shared this amazing piece with me yesterday, and I had to share it.  It was in response to yesterday’s post,  Untold Story.

And this photo I took on a brief walk yesterday afternoon seemed to perfectly align with the message in the poem.

On Joy and Sorrow
Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Cheers & Hugs,

30 thoughts on “On Joy and Sorrow

  1. Hi Jodi,

    One of my best friends on the planet gave me Gibran’s “The Prophet” probably 30 years ago now. The particular quote you shared with us is from that book. If you ever have a chance to read it, do. HIs thoughts on marriage and children are so powerful. When BH and I married, Gibran’s passage on marriage was part of our ceremony. XXX


    • Thanks, Barbara. As soon as my friend shared this, I looked up the book and immediately ordered it on Amazon. Thanks for “seconding” the recommendation as I am looking forward to getting it and reading it! Have a great day!


  2. When I was in college I read a lot of Kahil Gibran’s literature. He is very wise and also a bit melancholy. I agree with him. In our world, you cannot know joy unless you also know sorrow. If I remember correctly Kahil Gibran is Islamic. Considering what is happening in our world today, do you find this thought a bit disturbing? “When we are void of both joy and sorrow we are balanced.” ??? This just occurred to me as I read your lovely post (as always lovely posts). I hope you are feeling much much better and that you have a wonderful happy day! ((Hugs!!)) xoxo


    • That line did challenge me out of the whole piece PJ. I think he is not “touting” balance as we think of balance. Maybe he is just saying balance as in a “not joy or not sorrow” place, which is a place we rarely are. We usually lean one way or the other more as we go through life, days, hours, mins 🙂 Just an interesting, though-provoking piece. The main point I got out of it is how can we realize joy if we don’t understand sorrow. Maybe I am too simplistic! 🙂 Gotta get moving here, but thanks for your insight!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m too simplistic too. I just couldn’t help seeing how those words are playing out (somewhat) in the situation with the world now. It was only a thought. I know that Kahil Gibran (or believe) that he wrote from a heart of love and peace and not of war and terrorism.

        Liked by 1 person


      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! I stand corrected. It has been many years since I read his books (more years than I care to admit). At the time I was having to do research on a religion for a class I was taking and the religion assignment given to me was Islam. It was during this time that I read his book/s and found they both seemed to flow together. This may be where I got that he was Islamic. No matter, you have corrected me and I appreciate it. Thank you again.


  3. “The Prophet” is a book I bought many years ago…this reading is so true, we just never stop to realize it! I need to reread Gibran’s work!
    What a beautiful, yet simple photo…
    Have a great day my friend!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Perfect, perfect. Photo and verse. Wonderful marriage of the two, and how thought provoking is this? I can always count on your morning message to make me stop and think, or smile, or … feel. It’s as constant as the sunrise. Way to go, Jodi. 🙂


    • I’ve ordered “The Prophet” on Amazon Prime just last night, so am looking forward to it, Kathleen. You are the second person to mention the part about our children, so I can’t wait to see what it says. xo


      • I was going to ask if you had a copy. I was going to order one for you. Too late. I know you will love the book. It is shoot and not read in one sitting. It is something that you go back to often.

        Miss you(and Arty)and the Brugnolis


  5. That is from his book The Prophet, I received it as a graduation gift from my sister-in-law. I’ve loved it since. Beautiful, poetic and thoughtful. You must read the part On Children.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I cannot wait for it to come as you are the third person to mention the part on children! I’ve ordered it. Thanks Mary!! Sounds like I’ve been missing out on some good stuff all this time 🙂


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