The Prophet

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The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. It is reflective writing weaved into a fantasy that is beyond brilliant. It touched my soul and need to find Orphalese, the place I always search for… My history with the book has been interesting. I remember clearly the day my sister who was in high school was dating an “older” guy, he was 19, a hippy with wild red tangled hair. He gave her the book as a gift. I only looked at the cover, and being 4 years younger I thought she would join the Hare Krishna’s and I would see her dancing at an airport.

Years passed by, and as I got older I would find the quotes by Kahlil and I was always touched by them. Somehow the book never came across my path until I was in my late 30’s. I was taking a stress management class at the university and it was a selection on our reading list. It was divine intervention. Living in a remote area, and an LDS dominated region I did not expect to find the book. Someone suggested that I ask friends if they had copies. I asked at a party, the generation range as from people in their 20‘s the oldest one 86; this woman said she had the book, I went to her home and we searched and it could not be found. She commented how many times she read the book and found a meaningful quotes to use in a cards and writings.

I eventually ordered a used copy. It arrived, it was a 1948 edition. The book is set in Original Old Style , the paper is textured, yellowed, the binding is loose telling me it has been read many times. Inside, the cover, “To Elsa, from Mabel 1948” with a quote from the book. I often wondered who they were, and what inspired Elsa to give Mabel the book. My copy is now 63 years old. How many people have held this particular book? My mind wanders, and it never fails to come up with scenarios over the decades. I have read it in times of joy, and in times of sorrow, and the book never fails to comfort my soul.

You may wonder why I chose to write about this book. It has been setting on my desk, as I have needed it to find solace in my pain. It’s black binding and gold lettering resembles a Bible to me, and yes, it is like my Bible, and guide. Today I noticed a stamp, “Used Book” My first thought, how unfortunate that someone stamped this book, it could be valuable, and with the stamp it would lessen the value. My thought process gently transitioned, and I smiled, realizing, yes, this book is used, and valuable.

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7 responses »

  1. Clearly, this book has been searching you out. It has followed you for decades and truly has become your Bible. I hope the comfort you seek relieves your pain.

  2. My countryman, and favorite Lebanese writer. Over the last 50 years I’ve picked this tiny gem of a book up for many reasons… to be inspired, to admire his exquisite storytelling, to write down the passage on Love to read at a relative’s wedding, to quote him during a conversation with someone… So happy to know you have a well-loved copy. I bought several as gifts, slightly worn and yes more valuable. Cheers! Hoda

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