Wise advice on marriage from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:
… let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone …
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Joyce’s debut as a novelist tells the story of Harold Fry, a pensioner who, leaving the house one morning in order to post a letter to an old friend, ends up travelling all across England from Kingsbridge in the Southwest to Berwick in the Northeast. This is a book about an old man beginning to come to terms with his life, with mistakes made in the past and the ruins of a marriage that had been dead and loveless for a long time:
… for years they had been in a place where language had no significance.
There was no bridging the gap that lies between two human beings.
However, all this is slowly changing, for Harold’s pilgrimage leads to an awakening, as he becomes more fully aware of the world around him and develops a deep sense of compassion for the people he meets:
It was hard to understand a little and then walk away.
This is a gentle book with deep, yet unobtrusively expressed spiritual truths.
There were times, he saw, when not knowing was the biggest truth, and you had to stay with that.
Not knowing, or better yet, not understanding, indeed so often is the biggest truth and one that we need to learn to stay with, difficult though that can be.