John Irving wrote “He wished he understood what made him so restless. Then it occurred to him that he was actually at peace with himself for the first time in his life. He realised how much he had been anticipating peace some day, but the feeling was not what he expected. He used to think that peace was a state he would achieve, but the feeling of peace like a force he had submitted to…”
Life is one interesting journey, and since reading the passage above in 1985, I have wanted to submit to that peace. Finding or submitting to peace might also have something to do with friendship and love, as we need to love ourselves and have people in our lives who truly love and accept us, and, who are willing to ride on our trains with us occasionally. It is a topic worthy of further exploration, and in one of my favourite books The Prophet, written by Kahlil Gibran in 1923, the topic of friendship is spoken of. I think this might answer all my questions and yearning, and am glad I remembered it existed.
About Friendship, Gibran writes:
“And a youth said, Speak to us of Friendship. And he answered saying: Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving. And he is your majestic fireside. For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the “nay” in your own mind, nor do you withhold the “ay”. And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart; For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed. When you part from your friend, you grieve not; For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from his plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of spirit. For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.
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 to fill your need, but not your emptiness. And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”
This passage on Friendship, and the book The Prophet is a must read (in my opinion), and I now plan to re-read one passage from Gibran’s book every day. I will do this is to remind myself of the beauty of his words and his philosophies, words full of incandescent ideas filled with beauty and love about subjects that are always in the back of my mind. I think this passage on Friendship is powerful and empowering and I hope you gain insight from it too.