A Whole Life

A friend reminded me of this Gibran Khalil Gibran poem yesterday. So beautiful.

Do not love half lovers
Do not entertain half friends
Do not indulge works of the half talented
Do not live half a life
and do not die half a death
If you choose silence, then be silent
When you speak, do so until you are finished
Do not silence yourself to say something
And do not speak to be silent
If you accept, then express it bluntly
Do not mask it
If you refuse then be clear about it
for an ambiguous refusal is but a weak acceptance
Do not accept half a solution
Do not believe half truths
Do not dream half a dream
Do not fantasize about half hopes
Half a drink will not quench your thirst
Half a meal will not satiate your hunger
Half the way will get you no where
Half an idea will bear you no results
Your other half is not the one you love
It is you in another time yet in the same space
It is you when you are not
Half a life is a life you didn’t live,
A word you have not said
A smile you postponed
A love you have not had
A friendship you did not know
To reach and not arrive
Work and not work
Attend only to be absent
What makes you a stranger to them closest to you
and they strangers to you
The half is a mere moment of inability
but you are able for you are not half a being
You are a whole that exists to live a life
not a half life

Instagram Poet

Rupi Kaur is a writer, artist, and instagram poet who has been getting a lot of attention recently. Her messages resonate with a lot of women I know -- they're straightforward, honest, and emotionally intense. In the words of her publisher, “Rupi’s honest, authentic voice speaks to young people who relate to her depiction of pain and struggle but ultimate sense of hope. Rupi is not afraid to challenge taboos, and this brave form of expression inspires her readers” (here).

Rupi explains how her identity influences her poetry: "being a brown woman growing up in the west, where the ideal woman was white, sent me on a terrifying journey. i was already doubting who i was because . . . women like me were not represented at all. anywhere. so i had no one to look up to. that looked like me. that had parents like mine. that spoke my language. that carried my strong punjabi features. it all happens subconsciously. you are convinced you are ugly. and even if you know you’re beautiful, you think you cannot be beautiful enough. those experiences pushed my work. i was forced to ask myself the difficult questions. i had to look at myself in the mirror, make a list of things i disliked about me and write about those so i could learn and figure out ways to fall in love with them. so that i could show other brown women why we need to celebrate the things that make us unique" (interview here).