The first book is "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran which I remember reading in high school either in sophmore or junior year. I think it was Rachael who introduced me to it but it might have been Becky. So many years later I can't remember but maybe they can. Anyway, I was excited that this was the first book we were reading as I had read it before and enjoyed it very much. I think its also interesting how things touch you at different times and places of your life.
If you haven't read the prophet it is basically thoughts/poetry on all sorts of things like love, marriage, joy, sorrow, buying, selling and other types of feelings or things in our everyday lives. It is a beautiful book and I highly recommend it. Its very short and easy to read but with deeper meanings that make it more than it first appears when you pick it up.
I was probably most touched by the section called On Joy and Sorrow. Gibran's take is that you can't have joy unless you have sorrow. The sorrow makes room for the joy. We know that there has to be an opposition in all things for life to be life. Gibran says joy and sorrow are inseperable and I agree with him. Sometimes in my life the things that have given me the greatest joy are those that also give me sorrow or turn out to give me sorrow.
Another section that I enjoyed was Pain. Perhaps I was just in a morbid mood when I read this book. Granted it was midnight and I stayed up for the next 45 minutes just to finish it but maybe these just jumped out on me as I was trying to find meaning for myself in the pages. Pain is necessary in our mortal lives...even if we don't like or enjoy it very much. I think we have to be greatful for our pain..to make the most of it and learn from it.
The last section I wanted to write about was the section on friendship. It spoke to me so clearly the feelings that I have for each of you who are my friends and who have supported me in my life. You have helped me to be better and make myself a better person just by knowing you. Gibran spoke to that as he said
"Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love
and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger,
and you seek him for peace."
--Kahlil Gibran from "The Prophet"
I love that first line especially because I feel like my friends answer my needs in the times when I need it most.
I would highly recommend this book to any of you who might have an interest in it. I just started "The Kite Runner" and I will let you know about that one as well.