Places on Manhatten 1

by joelmckerrow


There are a few places in Manhatten that have really stuck with me so far and all for different reasons. The first I shall put in this blog. The first was going and sitting on the street where Kahlil Gibran lived in 1923 when he wrote ‘The Prophet’. Even though the original house had been knocked down, there was still something very special about that place, about that whole street of his.  A rich sense of history and a deep resonating presence of the writer and his words that he wrote here in this place-

How shall I go in peace and without sorrow? Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city. Long were the days of pain I have spent within its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness; and who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret? Too many fragments of the spirit have I scattered in these streets, and too many are the children of my longing that walk naked among these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them without a burden and an ache. It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands…For to stay, though the hours burn in the night, is to freeze and crystallize and be bound in a mould.”

It is these words and this depth of resonant presence I felt here when I took the time to stop and listen. Paulo Coehlo calls it ‘Listening to the language of the World’ and I think it is going to be a major part of my trip. That is, learning to listen to what the world is saying and to what God is saying through the world. Slowing myself down enough to come to attention. To open my eyes. To learn not through books, but through experience and place.