And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow ~ on love and marriage

Then Almitra spoke again and said…
“And what of Marriage, master?”
And he answered saying:

You were born together,
and together you shall
be forevermore.

You shall be together when the white wings
of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the
silent  memory of God.

But 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 of you be alone,

Even as the  strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the  hand of Life can contain your hearts.

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.

from Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet

14 thoughts on “And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow ~ on love and marriage

  1. Hi,
    I am writing a book called “So…How Did You Meet Anyway?” It is a collection of people’s “how we met” stories.
    I have posted the stories which have been sent in on;
    So…How Did You Meet Anyway?
    I am always shopping for stories and I would like to add yours. Please check out the site, and if you would like to contribute your “how we met” story contact me at;
    And if you would like any more information about the upcoming book, here is a link to a television interview I did recently.

    Take care and…congratulations!


    • Not a terribly interesting story, I am afraid, so I don’t think you’d be interested. If you were, you’d have used the contact me page to contact me privately without sticking so many links in my comments. I’m surprised WordPress didn’t flag this as spam.
      However, I shall give you the benefit of the doubt right now, but I suggest to readers they don’t click the links.
      You have a week to contact me, then this will be flagged as spam.


      • Would you consider taking your response down? Making it private? Or re-wording it? Like: Thanks for your inquiry! Contact me privately and we can discuss.

        I feel a little uncomfortable reading your defensive response to samestoy, like I accidentally stepped in on a private conversation. Awkward! Consider taking it down?


  2. Dear Vivienne,
    I wrote you a reply e-mail apologizing for infringing on your space. My collection of stories is a large and personal one. All of my contributors have welcome the request and have either replied with their stories, or have written back encouraging the theme of the book. If you do check out the site you will see how this all looks.
    Meanwhile, you should know that WordPress assembles blogs according to theme. Yours came up under wedding anniversaries. I did read your entry from The Prophet and viewed your lovely wedding photo. I did not realize that there were so many other entries discussing other things.
    Susan Amestoy


    • Susan, thank you for the email and the comment.
      Wordpress uses tags to assemble blogs; I used this one, only once. I use tags for depression, anxiety, and writing for almost every post.
      The whole blog is about a lot of things, has been running for some years and I focus on philosophy, literature, poety and mental health. I had a brief look at your blog, but as a cantakerous misliker of all things even vaguely romantic it’s not for me at all.
      Earlier this year I was almost taken in by a scheme that collected contributions from writers and then raked in the profits from those who did so and then wished to buy the book so they could have some of their own work in print. It’s made me very jaundiced, not to mention cautious, of anything that remotely resembles this sort of thing. This may well be colouring how I felt about this, though I think yours is a very different animal.
      As far as I am concerned, how some couples met is far less of interest than the relationship that resulted; I am truly someone who finds romance and romantic notions distasteful and potentially damaging to real love and real life. Horses for course, I guess and just my opinion.
      best of luck with it.


    • Thanks Jenny.
      My parents have been married since 1958 and my grandparents (who eloped at 18) were together from 1918 to 1983 when my granddad died. They had their telegram from the Queen too for their Golden and their Diamond wedding.
      I hope to emulate them all.


  3. Liked the wedding pic very much, and your attitude to ‘romance’ which is truthful and realistic, as revealed in the rather difficult correspondence. My parents & grandparents similar to yours. Feet on ground is way to go in relationships/marriage! Still together after 41 years … hoping for many more (but hardly romantic!!) Came here as you ‘liked’ my new blog. Enjoyed your Susan Howatch & Strangers & Pilgrims pages as well.


  4. Pingback: A Decade of Tightrope Walking – a celebration of ten years of blogging – Zen and the Art of Tightrope Walking

  5. Just re-visited this as WordPress suggested I might like it after I read your latest today!!!!! Enjoyed re-visiting my original comment – after all, one forgets whatone said after several years so its good to know one still agrees with it! And, to re-meet another realistic person (you) re romance…

    Liked by 1 person

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