On Pain

And a woman spoke saying, Tell us of Pain.

And he said:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know the pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the physician within your heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,

And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.


Gibran Khalil Gibran, The Prophet, first edition in Italian: La Biblioteca Ideale Tascabile, Milan, 1995 (translation: Ariodante Marianni) ISBN 88-8111-019-9


Cover:  Fabio Mauri, Macchina per fissare acquerelli, detail, 2007. Iron, wood, rubber. GC.AC—Galleria d’Arte Contemporanea di Monfalcone, Monfalcone. Photo Sandro Mele (the artwork is exhibited at 56th Venice Art Biennial – central pavilion, Giardini)

Leave a Reply