Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Duet of Joy and Sorrow

“I consider it a spiritual awakening that I can hold grief and joy simultaneously, that they exist side by side,” I told Michael Liben on his “Bereaved but Still Me” podcast episode titled for this prayer/poem, “Duet of Joy and Sorrow” from latest book This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer. Hear me read the piece and talk about it with Michael by clicking here.

Duet of Joy and Sorrow

When the beginning ends,
And the ending begins,
So that the beginning
Can begin again . . .

In the moment
That the flame jumps
From match to candle,
Extinguishing the match
To bring light
Until the light is gone . . .

From the first cry of birth,
To the last sigh of death,
This precious life
Sings a duet of joy and sorrow,
The song of living,
Sung to music from beyond,
Sung to the rhythm of the heavens,
And the beat of your heart.

Let this day be for song.
Let this day be for joy and laughter.
Let this day be for blessing.
Let us bind our days with holiness and love.

© 2021 CCAR Press from This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer

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Please check out my CCAR Press Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. The individual books are: This Joyous Soul , This Grateful Heart, and This Precious Life. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. For a taste of my teaching, see my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer.”

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