When My Sorrow Was Born

When my Sorrow was born I nursed it with care, and watched over it
with loving tenderness.

And my Sorrow grew like all living things, strong and beautiful
and full of wondrous delights.
And we loved one another, my Sorrow and I, and we loved the world
about us; for Sorrow had a kindly heart and mine was kindly with
And when we conversed, my Sorrow and I, our days were winged and
our nights were girdled with dreams; for Sorrow had an eloquent
tongue, and mine was eloquent with Sorrow.
And when we sang together, my Sorrow and I, our neighbors sat at
their windows and listened; for our songs were deep as the sea and
our melodies were full of strange memories.
And when we walked together, my Sorrow and I, people gazed at us
with gentle eyes and whispered in words of exceeding sweetness.
And there were those who looked with envy upon us, for Sorrow was
a noble thing and I was proud with Sorrow.
But my Sorrow died, like all living things, and alone I am left to
muse and ponder.
And now when I speak my words fall heavily upon my ears.
And when I sing my songs my neighbours come not to listen.
And when I walk the streets no one looks at me.
Only in my sleep I hear voices saying in pity, “See, there lies
the man whose Sorrow is dead.”

Khalil Gibran (1883–1931) “When my Sorrow Was born”

I have given birth to more sorrows than I can count. Some just happened, and others were carefully planned. I raised them all with care and love and pampered them a bit too much sometimes. Some outgrew me, some were neglected and left in the end without saying goodbye. Some sorrows are still with me today -perhaps always will be.

As I get older, I understand that the key to my happiness is in my pocket and that I cannot walk backward into the future. The sorrows we give birth to are part of us. No need to look back all the time, they walk right beside me. It seems we are a package deal, the good and the bad and perhaps I should learn to live with it and appreciate them. I don’t know life’s purpose but I start to think it’s perhaps finding my own purpose and the meaning of life itself. Maybe it’s only my life that will get meaning in the end?

Even if life is full of pain at times, it forms us like clay on a pottery stone, and we get bigger and more beautiful with every rotation.

My life! So full of sorrows, so joyful and wonderful that I glow inside. Learning to appreciate all of it, is perhaps the wisdom I am longing to find in the end.


16 thoughts on “When My Sorrow Was Born

  1. You’ve shared so beautifully and honestly, Bridget. And your words resonate with me, for sure. I have marveled at times how despite a lot of loss and at times pockets of great sorrow, I can still be buoyed with joy and be content. And often happy! I think your reference to not walking into the future backwards is profound! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely words by Khalil.
    A few years ago I had an inspiring Yoga/meditation teacher who said, “Enjoy the good days and the bad ones too, as neither will last.” The concept of enjoying the bad days, without indulging them, was something I pondered for a while. Sitting with the sorrow or pain seemed more manageable in the knowledge that energy shifts constantly. Rather than fighting the feelings, let them be and run their course. I guess it is similar to your thoughts of appreciating the joys and sorrows. The sting of hurt is more tolerable when you know it is finite and will pass.


  3. It’s important not to create sorrow for others, Bridget, but not always easy, and that always leads to sorrow for yourself. Why do I know these things but carry on making the mistakes?


  4. I fully appreciate the sentiments expressed in this post. As I am in the midst of a rather sorrowful time, I am trying very hard to focus on the bright side of change and on putting on a brave face. As you eloquently point out, we are the key to our own future.


  5. This is beautifully, and honestly, stated Bridget. Most of us learn fairly early on that we cannot go back, and most, I suspect, would not want to anyway. May we continue to learn to accept what we are, and have, and appreciate all that has contributed to our now!

    Liked by 1 person

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