Wednesday, December 7, 2011

On Letting in the Light


One of my favorite quotes is by Leonard Cohen, who also wrote one of my favorite songs. The song is Suzanne, which a very cool, pre-Dave boyfriend once said reminded him of me. (Yes, this was in my "deep" college days.) ;)

The quote, which I like even better than I like Suzanne, reads this way:

"Ring the bells that still can ring; forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

Besides appealing to my poetic sensibilities (I do love a deft rhyme), these words epitomize my philosophy of life, or rather, of how life works. I find it hopeful, somehow, that a rather lugubrious Jew and a glass-half-full Mormon could coalesce around any given statement, especially one so close to the very core of personal experience and point of view. It's heartening!

Even more heartening is the understanding that life on earth is not meant to be perfect, and neither are we. Perfection is neither expected nor possible in this world, and it is only through the Savior's grace that we can hope to attain it in the next. Our turn on a necessarily imperfect earth allows us to make the mistakes and endure the trials we need in order to become God's children in very deed. It's part of the plan.

That's why, at Christmas and every other time, we should by all rights ring the bells that still can ring. Yes, we are inherently flawed, but our cracks allow the light of Christ to shine in and through our souls, healing us and others in its wake.

And that makes me want to shout Hallelujah (another of Cohen's wonderful songs).

=)

15 comments:

anitamombanita said...

aha...that explains it. You'd already had experience coalescing with a Jew, although I would never describe myself as lugubrious (nor do I think would others, would they?)...no wonder we work together well, you and me. Jew with camera in hand and overflowing cup turned Mormon with poetic ebullient Mormon...oh dang! I should have saved that word for Alphabe-Thursday... heehee...

Grandma Honey said...

I've never heard that quote before. I am trying to think of a place I can bring it and have them make me a sign. Love it!

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

Wow, wow, wow! I love that so much, Sue...There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. Gotta google more Leonard Cohen! :)

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I totally agree. I don't have to work on having my cracks show, but I do need to shine forth light.

Caroline said...

This brought tears to my eyes. I needed to hear this today. Your wisdom is such a gift to the universe, Sue. I thank God for you.

Love from your friend across the way, Caroline :)

jen said...

Thanks, Sue. My cracks seem like fissures lately, so this is something I needed. Thanks for the song too. Love Hallelujah so I'm ready to add this new one to my faves list.

Brian Miller said...

nice...love me some cohen as well...and really like that quote...we waste much in the seeking of perfection, but it is the imperfections that make us truly special...

Fiauna said...

Thank you, Sue! Do you mind if I share this? Your words are very appropriate for me right now.

Garden of Egan said...

Love the quote.
I hadn't thought about something like light getting through.

I heard a talk by Jeffery R. Holland and he said that it takes broken clouds to make rain, broken grain to make bread...it was a great talk.

karen said...

I've never heard that quote before, but it's going to be entered in a little book I keep just for that purpose. I love it! So beautiful, so hopeful, and so.. so... so WISE! Thank you for that - it made my day!

Pondside said...

I love that line too - and I love Leonard Cohen. TGD and I went to see him in 1970 when he sat on a chair in a large classroom at Queen's University and we sat on folding chairs about four feet across from him - a wonderful memory.
Our western quest for perfection has, and will, get us into all sorts of trouble. As my mum would always tell us 'only God is perfect'.

Annesphamily said...

I always like coming by! You are so unique I enjoy visiting you because there is always something to think aobut and good things to take away from here! Thank you. Anne

Dixie Mom said...

So true. And do you know that this is the third time I've heard a similar message to me about perfection...in one week.

I think I need to hear that.

Terra said...

wow, that felt good to read this morning. I am almost glad I have neglected blogs all week and saved them for today...Wow, I am still thinking about the cracks and the light and well, you just made my Friday.

Farmer's Wyfe said...

Oh, so true. So full of cracks, indeed. Gotta let the light shine. :)

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