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On Houses

Then a mason came forth and said, Speak to us of Houses.

And he answered and said: Build of your imaginings a bower in the wilderness

ere you build a house within the city walls.

For even as you have home-comings in your twilight, so has the wanderer in you,

the ever distant and alone.

Your house is your larger body. It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night;

and it is not dreamless.

Does not your house dream? and dreaming, leave the city for grove or hill-top?

Would that I could gather your houses into my hand, and like a sower

scatter them in the forest and meadow.

Would the valleys were your streets, and the green paths your alleys,

that you might seek one another through vineyards, and come

with the fragrance of the earth in your garments.

But these things are not yet to be.

In their fear your forefathers gathered you too near together.

And that fear shall endure a little longer. A little longer shall your city walls

separate your hearths from your fields.

And tell me people of Orphalese, what have you in these houses?

And what is it you guard with fastened doors?

Have you remembrances, the glimmering arches that span the summits of the mind?

Have you beauty, that leads the heart from things fashioned

of wood and stone to the holy mountain?

Tell me, have you these in your houses? Or have you only comfort,

and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest,

and then becomes a host, and then a master? Ay, and it becomes a tamer,

and with hook and scourge makes puppets of your larger desires.

Though its hands are silken, its heart is of iron.

It lulls you to sleep only to stand by your bed and jeer at the dignity of the flesh.

It makes mock of your sound senses, and lays them in thistledown like fragile vessels.

Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.

But you, children of space, you restless in rest, you shall not be trapped nor tamed.

Your house shall be not an anchor but a mast. It shall not be a glistening film

that covers a wound, but an eyelid that guards the eye.

You shall not fold your wings that you may pass through doors, nor bend your heads

that they strike not against a ceiling, nor fear to breathe lest walls should crack and fall down.

You shall not dwell in tombs made by the dead

for the living. And though of magnificence and splendor, your house shall not hold

your secret nor shelter your longing.

For that which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky,

whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of night.


Kahlil Gibran: The Prophet


Our home is our castle

Our home is a place of refuge

My home is open to all

My home is a statement of who I am

Our home needs help

My home is for entertaining, I want a showplace

Our home should be simple, easy to maintain

Money is no object

We have a tight budget

Listening to our client’s needs and wants