“Well, maybe there’s a god above
but all I’ve ever learned from love
was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
It’s not a cry that you hear at night
it’s not somebody who’s seen the light
it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah” – Leonard Cohen
In the midst of life, its tribulations, the fallacy of our everyday priorities. The time wasted working for bare necessities traded for days we can’t get back. Time unspent with love ones to pay unto Caesar for the overpriced veil of security we receive in return for half of our lives we will regret on our death beds. The cheek kisses of our kids were too busy for, the embrace of a lover we resist to shield our hearts from the ravagement of another who shattered it. The cruelty, hunger, pain, terror, violence, malevolence, destruction and injustice we are forced to ignore every day to cope with our existence in the battered condition our souls are in. The need, want, desire to be held, kissed, touched, smiled upon, accepted and valued. The never ceasing obligation to deliver more, be more, make more. And all the while lifting our hands and hearts to an abstract entity in gratitude?
I see you; crying alone with your back against a cold wall, pain erupting through your chest, your fingernails piercing your forehead, anxiety shaking the core of your being, your eyes swollen from the tears running down your neck soaking your shirt with the sweat of terror sending chills through your entire body convulsing on the floor. You have no fight left in you to stand, to pray, to hope… and through all this to say hallelujah when you are cold and broken?
This hallelujah is not for God, this hallelujah is not for the vast unrealized dimension beyond our comprehension. This hallelujah is the feeling of a passed loved one placing their hand on your shoulder as you cry for them. The eyes of your child when you make them laugh. This hallelujah is the sound of music. This hallelujah is your lover smiling in their sleep when you pull them closer. A child running to embrace a deployed parent at an airport, the battered who find courage, the lonely who find companionship and the faithless who find hope. If not in god, then in themselves.
When the cold wall is warmed by the heat of your exhausted body, the floor is wet with sweat and tears, the tremors subside and the tears dry up all that is left is you. The tired, starving, thirsty, wounded, defeated man or woman who reaches out for anything to lift themselves up from the floor. That is hallelujah. To wipe your face, stand up, breathe in lifting your chin in defiance of depression, That is hallelujah.
This is what we have to offer each other. We know the dark loneliness in our hearts and we have this in common. We share this as a collective consciousness. That you- that is left after the emotions and pain subside. The kind, gentle, pacifist lover of anything positive you become after a breakdown is the higher power in you. We can only know joy if we have known sadness and can only know hope if we have been hopeless. It is cold and broken because it comes from the cold and broken place in us. That place hides beauty indescribable by words. That place is where we connect, where we fall in love with another person and were friendships are created. We see kindness and it makes us feel happy because we know what it feels like to need it.
I see you… the parent who feels like a failure, the awkward who exist alone, those who miss loved ones, the broken who hurt, the strong who are tired, the addicted, the shamed, the abandoned, the cheated, the sinner. I see you. We share this in secret. Our paths cross casually but our souls intertwine.
That hopelessness and sadness is what allows us to be kind, to be generous, to love. We all feel this. We need to remember this feeling as we live our lives and realize that others feel it too. Always be polite. Always be kind. The person beside you at work may have had that cry last night. The person you are speaking to on the phone may have said goodbye to a parent that weekend.
We are all secretly battling something. We are all missing somebody and we are all doing the best we can with what we have.
Let me repeat that; we are all doing the best we can with what we have.
To whoever is reading this right now I want you to know that I love you. I love the parts of you that you don’t love. I love that we both cry and I love that you lifted your hand from the wet floor, grabbed onto whatever you could and stood up. To you… Hallelujah.
photo credit DanilChepko@123rf.com