there is a crack in everything

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

 

As I write, it is only the third day after the 2016 US Presidential Election and I can’t help but notice that one line seems particularly appropriate…

there is a crack in everything

These four lines written by Leonard Cohen arrived via email from a dear friend back around 2001. They came to me as a rope being thrown to someone who is close to drowning. I was in the midst of what became a four-year stay: years that contain some of the greatest challenges of my life, but would not trade for anything. I left the precious town that continues to be my home; left a cabin in the woods along the Puget Sound in Washington State, with Bald Eagles flying above the tree line and crows telling jokes to each other as they harassed their arch enemy, the eagle. I reluctantly returned to the place of my birth – North Hollywood, California.

there is a crack in everything

I had a two to three-hour-a-day, bumper-to-bumper commute that landed me at an apartment that was so close to the street, the sounds of the traffic continuously moved through our living room, all night long. My increasing despair about living in a world so inhospitable to my wild soul led me to drown my sorrows by watching a movie every single night after work. I walked into the apartment, turned on the air conditioning, closed all the blinds, turned off the lights and did my best to disappear into another movie. In the midst of all of this, I must have written to my friend and in response he sent these blessed words by Leonard Cohen.

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in

At the time, I did not know that these lines came from a song. All I knew was that they spoke deeply to my soul and gave me some kind of faith that the road I was traveling…had something to do with how the light gets in. It would be many months before I saw anything remotely resembling light.

By the end of the four years that I lived in Los Angeles, I had made deep and tender connections with both my mother and my father. This kind of a declaration is an absolute miracle of the highest degree when it comes to my relationship with my father. With my mother, it wasn’t that we had a horrible relationship…which is how I described what went on between my father and I, it’s more that my mother and I, at some point early on, had forgotten, or lost track of, or become frightened of the bond between mother and daughter. This is a tragedy in itself, but somehow was easy for both of us to just let lie fallow, when we compared it to the ongoing battle between my father and me.

WHAT a MIRACLE. I made a deep heart connection with BOTH of them…in person…while they were alive…while I lived close by.

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in

During these years, I was so numbed and at the same time, heart broken, I never even noticed the last line, and its optimism.

that’s how the light gets in

It wasn’t until I returned to this place that I call home, and went to see a documentary film about Leonard Cohen; I’m Your Man, that I heard the song Anthem, and realized that this poem that had kept me afloat for years was actually a song. When the singers came around to the chorus, tears streamed down my face.

that’s how the light gets in

Four days ago, at the age of 82, Leonard Cohen Crossed Over: just one day before the 2016 US Presidential Election. Timing is everything.

Bless you Leonard Cohen as you make your way Across.

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in

 

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6 thoughts on “there is a crack in everything

  1. richardindubai says:

    Thank you for sharing this Lauren. Xox

    Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE smartphone

  2. paulas says:

    Funny  that those lines come just after I listened to a book by Louise Penney ,  book 2 in her series .     those lines are incorporated into the story .    LC. given his credit . Paula 

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

  3. Grace Springborn says:

    Yes, meaningful words. Glad that you found peace on their last years. If you hadn’t, you would have live with inner pain that’s very hard to overcome.

  4. Thank you Grace. We did find peace…what a miracle.

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