If you’ve ever experienced a traumatic loss, you know that there are times when you can recall your loss with a certain distance and lack of emotion because, well, as they say, time heals and life goes on. And yet, there are other moments … the wound gets reopened … your heart suddenly feels so very heavy …
There’s a poem by Rumi that always brings this heaviness to my mind and heart when I hear it. Rose Marie Petersen has set this poem to music in the most beautiful way. The poem reminds me that sometimes life’s sacrifices can seem so very great that we feel we cannot bear them, and yet we do — we bear our losses for love of something much greater than ourselves. Whatever that loss is, we beg for a holy breath or a “touch of Jesus.”
You can read the poem below or hear a portion of it on CDBaby.
I am lost, O Love, possessed and dazed,
Love’s fool am I, in all the earth.
They call me first among the crazed,
Though I once came first for wit and worth.
O Love, who sellest me this wine,
O Love, for whom I burn and bleed,
Love, for whom I cry and pine—
Thou the Piper, I the reed.
If Thou wishest me to live,
Through me blow Thy holy breath.
The touch of Jesus Thou wilt give
To me, who’ve lain an age in death.
Thou, both End and Origin,
Thou without and Thou within—
From every eye Thou hidest well,
And yet in every eye dost dwell.
(Poem of Rumi cited by ‘Abdu’l-Baha in Memorials of the Faithful, U.S. Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1971, p 30-31.)