Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in
Leonard Cohen, Anthem
In 1992 he commented on the lines:
We’ve forgotten the central myth of our culture which is the expulsion from the garden of Eden. This situation does not admit of solution of perfection. This is not the place where you make things perfect, neither in your marriage, nor in your work, nor anything, nor your love of God, nor your love of family or country. The thing is imperfect.
There is a crack in everything that you can put together: Physical objects, mental objects, constructions of any kind. But that’s where the light gets in, and that’s where the resurrection is and that’s where the return, that’s where the repentance is. It is with the confrontation with the broken-ness of things.
Everyone wants you to be Atlas, to shoulder it all. Even the voice in your head insists you are behind. But I’ve seen the light in you, the one the gods finger while we sleep. I’ve seen the blossom open in your heart, no matter what remains to be done. There are never enough hours to satisfy the minions of want. So close your eyes and lean into the Oneness that asks nothing of you…. You have never been more complete than in this incomplete moment.
Consciously inhabiting our senses is a pathway to the present moment, to feeling truly alive. Tuning in to our senses in nature invites presence and joy, whether we’re smelling the first full bouquets of apple and cherry blossoms in spring, seeing a crystalline carpet of dew on the lawn in the early morning, feeling the warm moisture of a tropical breeze as it softens our bodies and melts our hard edges, or hearing the dawn chorus of birdsong. Living with such a full awareness, we can be present to life’s gifts when they present themselves.
Mark Coleman, Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path to Self Discovery
Hard times are not a mistake. You haven’t done something wrong to have hard times….. life is woven with praise and blame and gain, and loss and pleasure, and pain and disrepute for all of us. And those constantly change.
So the spiritual life is not about avoiding loss and blame and difficulty
but taking those difficulties that come to us and using them to awaken a wise and free and compassionate heart no matter what.
And often it’s in the very difficulties that the greatest freedom comes to us.
Jack Kornfield, Difficult Times and the Crystal of Liberation