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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - She Said Yes!


Greetings, Poetry Lovers - and Happy New Year!  I've missed you.  We've been happily covered up hosting family for the past couple of weeks (everyone from the wee 18-month-old baby grand to my folks from Florida, who hadn't been on a plane in decades.  They survived!) Keeping the six-month-old pup in check was an extra adventure, with additional people around.  He loved the attention. We also had a small overnight trip in the middle. 


Said trip was to be in on the surprise for our future daughter-in-law, Ginnie, when our son Seth asked her to marry him.  He cooked up a warm event with friends and family on a very chilly night in Asheville, in the same little city park where they had their first meeting/date.


He told her,


•I promise to love you a forever full of tomorrows•


(Pretty poetic if you ask me.  He's quite the able wordsmith, crafting regular sermons and a witty family text here and there.)


I didn't have to look far to find a poem to share in their honor this week. You've likely seen it, or at least parts of it.  It's from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, published in 1923, 100 years before these two got engaged.



On Marriage

by Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931)

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.
      Ay, 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 one of you be alone,
      Even as the strings of the 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.


(Here's the link from poets.org.)


My hubby Jeff and I will celebrate our 40th anniversary in June, and I'd say that from my perspective anyway, these poetic words above contain sound advice!


Jeff's parents are no longer with us, but I would imagine they would share with Seth and Ginnie the same sentiment they gave to many other grandchildren about to marry:  love is not a feeling, but a commitment.


When my folks got married in 1980, it was a second marriage for both of them.  They'll celebrate 44 years next month.  I asked them for a gem to share, and they offered a couple of shiny nuggets.  From my mom, Nita, "Of course, have Jesus in there somewhere leading the way."  And from Jack, "Each one putting the other one first.  Respect, trust, and putting the other first."


We've seen these traits alive and well with our oldest, Morgan, and her hubby, Matt (world's best son-in-law).


Every couple finds their own way, and we'll be cheering on our young 'uns with love and support, from a respectable distance. ;0)


Congrats, Kids! 


Any pearls (or diamonds, or sapphires) you'd like to add? Please do, and then be sure to visit Marcie Flinchum Atkins for the first Poetry Friday Roundup of 2024!  Thanks, Marcie. 

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Poetry Friday - Bragging on the Teacher Daughter, and a Kahlil Gibran Poem...


Greetings, Poetry Lovers! Happy October. 


When our 29-year-old daughter, Morgan, was three years old, her "Mother's Morning Out" teacher at our church pulled me aside.  "You know, don't you," she whispered in her soft and kindly voice, "Morgan is the leader of the class."  Well, I wasn't terribly surprised to receive such news, as Morgan had been giving me driving directions from her car seat for a while at that point. 


That take-charge attitude served her well growing up, and continues to flourish in her chosen profession as an elementary school teacher for several years now.  She shepherds her third graders with confidence, compassion, and the not infrequent dance party. (Let's just say a new generation of youngsters knows lyrics to Backstreet Boys songs by heart.)


Last week, Morgan learned she had been chosen as her school's Teacher of the Year! It was a banner week in her classroom, as her exuberant charges had also won the Spirit award at the weekly assembly, and got to keep the trophy until this week.  Of course we are proud as punch of her, and not really surprised, knowing how many times she's been found underneath a desk with a troubled child who has shut down emotionally, or cheering on her kiddos like a crazy person at a Field Day tug-of-war match. And did I mention that *poetry* is a regular feature in her classroom? :0)


So CONGRATS to our Morgan, and here's a bit of a philosophical take on teaching by Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931):



On Teaching


Then said a teacher, Speak to us of Teaching.
And he said:
No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.
If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.
The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding.
The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm nor the voice that echoes it.
And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.
For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.
And even as each one of you stands alone in God's knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth.



This poem appears in The Prophet  (Knopf, 1923) and is in the public domain.


Many thanks to ALL you educators reading this right now - your gifts and commitment are appreciated! One of these superstars is hosting our Roundup this week:  Catherine at Reading to the Core. Thanks, Catherine!

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