Thursday, May 14, 2009

That's how the light gets in.....

Leonard Cohen Concert, Dublin June 14, 2008Image by Michael Foley Photography via Flickr

Listening to a recent ITunes download from balladeer Leonard Cohen, I came upon a phrase I was drawn to reflect upon, to explore -

There's a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.

Thinking about that phrase in relation to concepts of honesty, deceit, truth, refuge, retreat, reflection, perfection, thought, stubbornness, faith. Where would I be if there were no cracks in my being, I, this child of God's creation, if no light had crept into my heart and soul? If, I determined my destiny in only those provable black and white facts of life, refused to accept imagery, myth, story, to keep out the light of God's message and messengers, where would I be?

With this "crack" theory in my head and prepping for a Renovare study session - chapter 8 from "The God of Second Chances" by Erik Kolbell, aptly titled Reflection, I came upon stories of Jesus' transfiguration, Moses and the burning bush, lightning on Mount Sinai. The chapter was filled descriptions of light - "shone like the sun," "dazzling white," "burning," "lightning," "a light from heaven, brighter than the sun." Those visions, those stories, those revelations of God's mysterious work in the world through mankind and history were lights that crept into the cracks of humankind's minds and hearts - certainly lights, speaking for myself, that have entered into my mind and heart. Did my Creator make or leave that "little crack" in my being to allow the light to enter? What do you think? Does the light enter us or are we careful to have all of those small, fragile seams sealed safely to avoid what might be a mystery, might be a myth, might be a message, might be God's call to us?

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  1. One of my favourite Cohen songs/poems/questions. I was at the concert where the iTunes download you have was recorded, and the atmosphere when he sang that was electric.

    It's our humanity, both the cracks and the light.

  2. I think we are the light and it radiates out of us in relation to our awareness of that fact.

  3. That profound insight speaks to me of the futility of perfectionism. We are earthen vessels, full of cracks, and we grow into wisdom when we can look past the faults and our obsessing over them and see how these imperfections not only do not prevent light from entering, but actually, in some mysterious way, facilitate it.

  4. First of all, I am so thrilled to get three responses to this post as I wasn't sure I was "anywhere" with it in regards to anyone but me connecting - so thank you, thank you.

    Tess - I am SOOOOO jealous that you were at that concert. The electricity actually comes across in the recording. Since I downloaded it, I have listened to little else. I had tried Leonard Cohen's works before and never connected. I do not know why! Sometimes we're "not ready" for a connection.....The cracks AND the light - humanity - you are so right!

    Katherine, your connection about our light radiating outward is so real to me also. You, personally, certainly radiate a light of warmth and friendship that I expected even before I had the chance to meet you in person last week!

    Barbara, your words mean a great deal to me. The potter and the clay bible story always feeling so "right" to me. Our cracks, imperfections, radiating and receiving.

    Again, thanks to all three of you for such thoughtful comments.

  5. CP loves what Barbara said and would have said it himself if she had not beat him to it. CP confesses that he has no idea who Leonard Cohen is and does not recall ever having heard anything by him. That may be one reason why CP's study is called "The Cave."

  6. what a beautiful "comeback" post. i would think you were gearing up for lots of writing since i am leaving town again, but're going with me :-)

    i love that quote and with a little looking realized it is at the top of my "favorite quotes" list at diamonds.

    i think of all the years of trying to putty up those cracks to maintain an image of perfection and the ways God seeped in through minuscule fractures until finally a kid with a giant 2x4 broke me wide open to let the flow of light go both in and out.

    lately, i feel like i have putty in hand again and am trying to resist the urge to tidy everything up.

    (my blog feeder is operating quite sporadically lately and i only came across this post this morning...otherwise, i might have been one of the first with a brilliant comment or not.)

  7. what's the name of the song?

  8. CP and Lucy too - wow, thank you for your comments.

    Yes, CP, we'll have to introduce you to Leonard Cohen music. He's habit forming. His voice sounds appropriate for a small cave dwelling:)

    Lucy, I expect a week with women will give us both a lot to pray, reflect, contemplate, and to write about! Maybe that quote came so quickly meaningful to me because I had seen it before on your site. The name of LC piece on the "Alive in London Concert" is Anthem. Your comments about trying to make your vessel seamless are so real - we do all yearn for perfection and control!!!! When will we ever learn these goals are non-achievable and pointless - never?!

  9. Anonymous2:14 PM

    Great thoughts to ponder! I too believe the light is within us - reflects like a mirror. Perhaps we can overcome some of it when we let in too much darkness? Good to think about....JG

  10. I think when we try for perfection, we can become stressed, brittle, and feel like we are breaking apart ... and those cracks or fissures that occur end up being our salvation because they show us our humanity. And it is by being in touch with our humanity that our lives can be made more perfect in the end; our light and God's light is allowed to shine out and be shared. Thank you for such a reflective post.

  11. JG and Milena - thank you for your comments. The trick is certainly to realize that we'll never reach perfection but that if we're careful in keeping those cracks there in our imperfection, the light we love and need will seep into our being and light us for others to see. Come back soon.

  12. you are a beautiful gleaming glowing cracked woman :-) love you!

  13. Lucy - and smart too:)))))) Same to you, Ms. Fire!