• Nellie

A tear & a smile & the sea

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Gibran Khalil Gibran, or better known as Kahlil Gibran was a Lebanese-American writer, poet, and artist most well known for The Prophet published in 1923 and translated in more than 100 languages. As an artist he mainly painted in oil and used other mediums such as pencil and ink. His art expressed his personal vision while incorporating spiritual and mythological symbolism. His writing explored diverse literary forms and discussed such themes as religion, justice, free will, science, love, happiness, the soul, the body, and death. His knowledge of Lebanon's history and struggles strengthened his belief in the fundamental unity of religions.

"You are my brother and I love you.

I love you when you prostrate yourself in your mosque, and kneel in your church and pray in your synagogue.

You and I are sons of one faith—the Spirit. And those that are set up as heads over its many branches are as fingers on the hand of a divinity that points to the Spirit's perfection."

In his life he traveled between the east coast of America and Lebanon sharing his works on both sides of the Atlantic ocean. The ocean was a source of inspiration for him and also spent much of the time before his death by the sea in an attempt to calm the ailments that he suffered from.

So here are just some of his writings that touch on the majesty of the sea...

Song of the Wave XVII

The strong shore is my beloved And I am his sweetheart. We are at last united by love, and Then the moon draws me from him. I go to him in haste and depart Reluctantly, with many Little farewells.

I steal swiftly from behind the Blue horizon to cast the silver of My foam upon the gold of his sand, and We blend in melted brilliance.

I quench his thirst and submerge his Heart; he softens my voice and subdues My temper. At dawn I recite the rules of love upon His ears, and he embraces me longingly.

At eventide I sing to him the song of Hope, and then print smooth hisses upon His face; I am swift and fearful, but he Is quiet, patient, and thoughtful. His Broad bosom soothes my restlessness.

As the tide comes we caress each other, When it withdraws, I drop to his feet in Prayer.

Many times have I danced around mermaids As they rose from the depths and rested Upon my crest to watch the stars; Many times have I heard lovers complain Of their smallness, and I helped them to sigh.

Many times have I teased the great rocks And fondled them with a smile, but never Have I received laughter from them; Many times have I lifted drowning souls And carried them tenderly to my beloved Shore. He gives them strength as he Takes mine.

Many times have I stolen gems from the Depths and presented them to my beloved Shore. He takes them in silence, but still I give fro he welcomes me ever.

In the heaviness of night, when all Creatures seek the ghost of Slumber, I Sit up, singing at one time and sighing At another. I am awake always.

Alas! Sleeplessness has weakened me! But I am a lover, and the truth of love Is strong. I may be weary, but I shall never die.

“I discovered the secret of the sea in meditation upon a dewdrop.”


It is said that before entering the sea a river trembles with fear. She looks back at the path she has traveled, from the peaks of the mountains, the long winding road crossing forests and villages. And in front of her, she sees an ocean so vast, that to enter there seems nothing more than to disappear forever. But there is no other way. The river can not go back. Nobody can go back. To go back is impossible in existence. The river needs to take the risk of entering the ocean because only then will fear disappear, because that’s where the river will know it’s not about disappearing into the ocean, but of becoming the ocean.

"The feelings we live through in love and in loneliness are simply, for us, what high tide and low tide are to the sea."

Other seas

A fish said to another fish, “Above this sea of ours there is another sea,

with creatures swimming in it

and they live there even as we live here.”

The fish replied, “Pure fancy! Pure fancy!

When you know that everything that leaves our sea by even an inch,

and stays out of it, dies.

What proof have you of other lives in other seas?”

"Does the song of the sea end at the shore or in the hearts of those who listen to it"

Upon The Sand

Said one man to another, "At the high tide of the sea, long ago, with the point of my staff I wrote a line upon the sand; and the people still pause to read it, and they are careful that naught shall erase it."

And the other man said, "And I to wrote a line upon the sand, but it was at low tide, and the waves of the vast sea washed it away. But tell me, what did you write?"

And the first man answered and said, "I wrote this: 'I am he who is.' But what did you write?"

And the other man said, "This I wrote: 'I am but a drop of this great ocean.'"

"Perhaps the sea's definition of a shell is the pearl."

The Sea

In the still of the night As man slumbers behind the folds, the forest proclaims:

“I am the power Brought by the sun from The heart of the earth.”

The sea remains quiet, saying to itself,

“I am the power.”

The rock says,

“The ages erected me as a monument Until the Judgment Day.”

The sea remains silent saying to itself,

“I am the monument.”

The wind howls

“I am strong, I separate the heavens from the earth.”

The sea remains quiet, saying to itself,

“The wind is mine.”

The river says

“I am the pure water That quenches the thirst of the earth.”

The sea remains silent saying to itself,

“The river is mine.”

The summit says,

“I stand high like a star In the center of the sky.”

The sea remains quiet saying to itself,

“The summit is mine.”

The brain says,

“I am a ruler; The world is in those who rule.”‘

The sea remains slumbering saying, in its sleep,

“All is mine.”

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