I read out this extract from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet during my speech at my sister’s wedding – I was looking for a wedding-appropriate poem that a) didn’t make me vomit and b) expressed something I personally believed in. I think it puts a very practical advice on the need of space in relationships in a very beautiful way:
Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
This is my chair.
Go away and sit somewhere else.
This one is all my own.
It is the only thing in your house that I possess
And insist upon possessing.
Everything else therein in yours.
My scratching post and my Ping-Pong ball;
You provided them for me.
This chair I selected for myself.
I like it,
It suits me.
You have the sofa,
The stuffed chair
And the footstool.
I don’t go and sit on them do I?
Then why cannot you leave me mine,
And let us have no further argument?