It was my birthday. I was participating in a meditation intensive—distracted by emotions (or so I judged) of sadness preoccupying me in the wake of a painful romantic break-up. All of a sudden, eyes closed, I heard my meditation teacher read this poem.

Crying as I listened, I knew yet again that everything, without exception, can lead us to our own inner Love, even those feelings we judge as leading us astray.

ABSOLUTELY CLEAR

Don’t surrender your loneliness
So quickly.
Let it cut more deep.

Let it ferment and season you
As few human
Or even divine ingredients can.

Something missing in my heart tonight
Has made my eyes so soft,
My voice
So tender,

My need of God
Absolutely
Clear.

from: The Subject Tonight is Love: 60 Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz translated by Daniel Ladinsky

This next poem by Hafiz, another stunning reminder, has soothed me more times than I can count. I have gifted it to many others who have been deeply soothed as well. Years ago, a friend said that the blessing of us humans walking together through life is that we get to remind each other. Hafiz does that again and again and again through his heart and words.

KEEPING WATCH

In the morning
When I began to wake,
It happened again—

That feeling
That you, Beloved,
Had stood over me all night
Keeping watch,

That feeling
That as soon as I began to stir

You put Your lips on my forehead
And lit a Holy Lamp
Inside my heart.

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