Come by the fire

Lay down your head

My love I see you’re growing tired

So set the bad day by the bed

Sara Bareilles, “Orpheus”.

I discovered Sara Bareilles way too late in life. Apart from her well-known tracks, her performance of Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is simply outstanding.

I don’t usually like to tell people what to do, but you seriously should go listen to it right now!

And when you’re done with that, check out Orpheus, the subject of this post. I heard it for the first time a few weeks ago, and since then I’ve found myself so drawn to it, playing it over and over on repeat.

And rest a while

Your eyes can close

You don’t have to do a thing

But listen to me sing


Need to brush up on your Greek mythology? Me too! Here’s a summary of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, if you’re so inclined.

TLDR: Orpheus is rescuing Eurydice from the underworld. His gift is his musical ability, and he uses his lyre and voice to charm his way past many enemies in search of his love. (The story ends in tragedy, but that’s not the part we’re focusing on here.)

You miss the world

The one you knew

The one where everything made sense

Because you didn’t know the truth


The song opens by painting a picture of someone in a very low, sinking state of chaos and darkness. There’s something about the rhythm that keeps gently moving everything forward as if to say:

“Yes, I see you. I know you’re in such a dark, desperate place right now, but I am here with you. I can’t fix it but I can give you my presence, and please, let that be a comfort to you.

Let that be the thing that keeps you warm and holds you back from fading away completely.”

So often when we see people struggling, we want to dive in there and fix everything for them, and it’s so hard and humbling to realize that we can’t. You can’t go inside someone’s head and sort it all out for them, and you can’t magic away their life situations and make it all better.

That’s how it works

Till the bottom drops out

And you learn

We’re all just hunters seeking solid ground


But you can be with them, and you can create an environment for them where they feel safe and can find a respite. You can show them your love and your care, and hopefully they’ll feel it.

Don’t stop

Trying to find me here amidst the chaos

Though I know it’s blinding

There’s a way out

Say out loud

We will not give up on love now


It’s a song about love, and faith. About staying with a person when they can’t see a way out – not giving them the way out because you can’t – but giving them the faith, through your presence, that there is indeed a way out and they will get there.

The Hebrew word for this is nechama, meaning “comfort” or “consolation”. Don’t get me wrong, simcha – “happiness” – is wonderful. Who doesn’t love feeling joyful, ecstatic, elated?

Yet, when I think back to some of the most meaningful times in my life, and indeed the times I’ve felt the deepest emotional pleasure, so many of them were moments when I experienced nechama – of being deeply comforted in a time of pain, of having someone sit with me and listen, of feeling completely heard and seen.

I hope my love was someone else’s solid ground.


No solutions offered, no ways out given. But I knew I wasn’t alone, and somehow that was enough.