The collective Jewish response to grief is joy, to attempt to live in joy no matter what. Not always an easy path, but it leads to a deep healing that allows the full spectrum of emotion into our lives. Joy and grief are welcome, because they are part of accepting G-d’s world as it is. Living in joy, with all our strength and energy, is part of claiming a stake in G-d’s future world, a world of complete happiness and peace, a world that is yet to come. This piece will appear in my forthcoming book, Song of the Spiritual Traveler.
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Cannot be seen on my flesh.
They are in my lungs
And in my eyes.
What medicine will halt the smoldering,
The smoke that suffocates from within?
Cannot be seen on my skin.
They are in my heart
And in my throat.
What medicine will heal the bleeding,
The tide that floods from within?
Release me from the fire and the knife:
The flame that consumes hope and joy,
The blade that destroys time and seasons.
Rock and Shelter,
Your medicine is love.
Your salve is holiness.
Your balm is life.
Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d,
Eternal Source of wholeness and healing.
© 2012 Alden Solovy and http://www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: I originally conceived this as a prayer for men. Many of us experience our internal struggles – fears, losses, shames, angers – as fire and knife. Although I don’t know if the metaphor holds for women, this piece seems more universally prayer for healing than other of my prayers for men.
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