There is a Crack

There is a crack in everything that is how the light gets in ~ Leonard Cohen~ Anthem

I went to see Leonard Cohen in concert April 5th, 2009 in Phoenix, AZ.

Wow! What a concert. I aspire to be like that someday. He is 75 years old and as spry as a chick. He was skipping around on stage like he was 20. His humility and giving was surpassed only by the dependability of his lyric, word and wit delivered by his hypnotically rich baritone voice. It was a show of shows, I thank God I canceled other plans and went! I will stop here because this really isn’t a review or critique of his concert (his concert was above such things in my mind) rather this is an opportunity for me to share something he taught me that evening – something I am still learning. I always know when I have been in the presence of someone great when I look up months or years later and even in their absence they are still teaching me.

As I watched Mr. Cohen get down on one knee and deliver Hallelujah, and Anthem I was startled to remember that this gentle man down on one knee is 75 years old – as the kids say: OMG!

There was this giant in the industry of song writers kneeling before us telling us “There’s a ablaze of light in every word, It doesn’t matter which you heard, The broken or the holy hallelujah” and “Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, There is a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in.” –

Yes, if you know Leonard Cohen you know these words, but what I saw that night was this aged man so cracked and worn and yet SO FULL OF LIGHT! And his light was now coming OUT of the cracks and filling the auditorium with love, peace and wisdom.

To think: it’s okay that we are flawed. To remind us that we are imperfect and not only is it okay but its a good thing. Our flaws are a good thing and our imperfections themselves bring us closer to the light.

Maybe the light can’t get in without the imperfection because it needs the crack. That even in our euphemisms we are surrendering up our hallelujahs. Forever are my associations with Leonard Cohen’s words are caressed and soothed but the words themselves stay the same, however, my ability to interpret evolves with my personal growth:

I woke up today May 15, 2009 and looked into my face. There I saw – since the last time I really noticed – the lines were a little deeper. The nose and ears were a little bigger. These are startling times I am living in, my body hasn’t changed this fast since I was an adolescent. For a moment I was sad and experienced a brief grief at the loss of my youth – but then…
then I saw a new crack in my face…
and with in mind’s use of the word crack, I heard the Leonard Cohen lyrics:
“Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, There is a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in.” I smiled.

As I smiled this new crack in my face began to expand and stretch. As the smile blossomed into its full potential, the crack emerged as the dimple it once was.

Bob Cline – 1935 – 2007

It was in that moment I felt and saw a light slip into me. As it entered my entire body filled with understanding, love, joy and satisfaction – a satisfaction so sweet Mick Jagger would re-write his lyric.

I saw many things in that moment. It was like I saw everything completely. I saw the entire process of living. I saw the sweetness and perfection of my life. My magnificent journey intricately woven into everything complete with its flaws.

I saw the process of being young and supple with its full and buoyant energy.

I saw the process of changing into someone cracked and wrinkled enough to not just let the light in but to be so full of that light that you need to kneel down on one knee and let that light spill out. A light to illuminate all that gather. This is why in olden days they gathered around their aged, to let the light of the wise ones elucidate their lives and heal their young cracks.

Perhaps this is the process and the process is as profound in its breaking as it is in its healing:
We get cracked (broken, hurt, wounded) and…
It lets the light in to heal the crack,
The crack heals trapping a portion of the light inside.
Wounds accumulate as years pass.
Finally when the vessel is filled with light,
It begins to wrinkle then burst and shatter and crack.
As the light grows and expands it can no longer be kept inside so…
Soon the light radiates out, all over everything,
Until the light of that broken vessel is spilling faster than it can fill…
Finally it is empty.
Then dark and empty we go
Back into the void to become the light once again.

Just a thought… I am filled with Love and Light in this moment… a-ho!
I am sending that light to you!

Love & Light,
The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
~Leonard Cohen~ “Anthem”