Of Gibran & Apai

“Shell!” Apai barked at me with all his might.

“Apa?! terkejut aku tahu tak?” I retorted back in anger, a dose of which I have been having quite a lot these days, I don’t know why though.

“Ko berangan eh? Apa tuh tuh kau baca, meh tengok sini!” In an act as smooth as a jungle cat, Apai reached for the dog-eared version of Khalil Gibran from my hand – a dead poet who can amazingly read my heart.

He disinterestedly flipped the pages of Gibran’s poem and simultaneously shaking his head in disgust. He then said, “kau nih, banyak sangat baca benda-benda macam nih, sebab tuh lah kau jadi macam nih”.

“Aku jadi macamana?” Unrelenting, I questioned him with a raised eyebrow.

“Dah lah Shell, tuh ada dua tower KLCC atas meja kau…bila lagi kau nak insaf?” He then smoothered the book on my face in an act – I would like to believe – of affection. Friendship after fourteen years could get a tad too comfortable to hide anything from him. Just for the record, I adore his pretty wife Nori, just as much.

He walked away mocking Gibran’s on top of his voice. His laughter trailed behind tempting me to smack his head with the hard-cover book. Here’s what he recited from Gibran –

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

And is that your laugh, I hear from a distance, mocking me as well? Hmmmmm…


10 thoughts on “Of Gibran & Apai

  1. Love indeed is a paradox. Tough and tender are its texture. Bitter-sweet and whimsical.

    Travel and there are travels. Some travel to contemplate on the sights. Some travel to contemplate on their own self-sufficiency. It’s a journey into our deepest inner being.

    Brother Cheang,

    Were those yours? You should really start blogging. How are things in Sabah?

  2. And another bit from Gibran:

    To the spirit that did embrace my spirit,
    to the heart that did pour outs its secrets
    on to my heart,
    to the flame that did re-kindle
    the flame of my love

    Nice, kan?

    Dear Mat,

    Nice you say those haunting words? Its legendary stuff if you asked me…

  3. Sorry, Mish. In my haste I misquoted the verse. Here it is (corrected):

    To the spirit that did embrace my spirit,
    To the heart that did pour out its secrets
    onto my heart,
    To the hand that did re-kindle
    the flame of my love

  4. Mish,

    This is much too deep for an uncouth roughneck like me. But whatever. It sounds beautiful, and the imagery it evokes — whoa… and I know enough to never mock someone like you… 🙂

    P.S. Now I know where that love / marriage bit came from!

    Dearest my brother,

    How many times do I have to tell you that you are not a roughneck? Sheesh, susah betul nak faham nih. You mock me fine all the time we have teh tarek brotherrrrr….

    Which bit from where you say?

  5. Elviza,

    You get better by days……when is the book coming out?

    Dear Papa,

    What book? I found it difficult to finish writing 800 words and you want a book? Nah… Good day Sir.

  6. Hello there, Sis!

    I’m your silent reader all these while. Only know I have the courage to leave comment here ;p

    I love your writings! And that poem : Superb!

    Love it!


    Dear Zara,

    Thank you for your kind words, I am sure my writings have plenty of rooms for improvement. See you here again soon.

  7. Elviza,

    Sorry to be candid, a book review probably? I am leaving for a holiday with the other half, so I need something easy for the long flight. Can’t trust other reviewer who does it for pay check.

    Anyway, great ain’t it this Gibran guy? But you also show a beauty friendship as well. You are so lucky to be serrounded by those who adore you.

    Would like to meet you in person too but must explain to the other half first, 🙂

    Dear Just Me,

    I know! It has been so long since I last wrote a book review kan? By the way, I have been held prisoner by this new book I just got (a gift that is) called 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff and her secret correspondent Frank Doel. I am bereft of words to describe the book, how then, can I possibly make a review?

    Would love to meet you and the other half (post your explanation though, LOL) in persons too. Hae a good holiday.

  8. Sister, you make me a believer. To believe in love again. To understand that love should not be painful, it should be about two people sharing their lives together.

    Kisses for your boy and regards to that husband of yours, he didn’t know how lucky he is!

    Dear Sister Ain,

    Uhhh? I am responsible for that? You sure? I think it is yourself who did that to your heart. I am just a medium lost in cyberspace. Thanks for the kind words though.

  9. Woman! you know this is too much already. Can take it no more. Lets go have a drink but this time ko datang ofis aku.

    p/s: apsal telepon kau off? You threw that celcom phone ker?

    Who too much? That Gibran fellow? I know… 🙂

    Okay, I ll go to your office but your are buying me latte this time. Later.

  10. Hi, I am just a visitor passing through..

    Such a lovely poem from Kahil Gibran. Very deep indeed.

    This is just my personal interpretation.
    Submit to God and surrender your life to His will. You may despise at first as it may not be according to your plan a.k.a ego. Then you realize the beauty of Life, which is unconditional love.

    Dear Just a Visitor,

    Some of us think that Gibran is overrated. Yours truly sometimes think so as well. But that aside, Gibran is one of a kind.

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