"love is not a victory march, its a cold and broken hallelujah."
I found out that Leonard Cohen died last night while arriving at a friends house. We immediately broke out the music and listened to his haunting voice. I had never heard the original recording and was a bit surprised at how different it sounded. I mean in all reality Jeff Buckley put that song on the map and it is pretty hard to be beat him. But the words came out of the mind of Cohen. And anyone that can create words that poetic and yet true will always be tops to me.
And I think this is where we are as a people today. Or at least this is where I am as an individual. I have tried to win at love. I have fought hard, given it all I had. But I failed. Or at least I thought I failed. But as this song reminds us, love is not about winning. It is about failing. Love is about breaking open parts of yourself and allowing it to be seen. Falling on the floor realizing that you have nothing left to give. Crying yourself to sleep because you feel so alone in the world. Watching your Muslim neighbors begin to have fear in their eyes as it breaks your heart wide open. Seeing your child hurt when there is nothing you can do to help. Cold envelopes, there is no warmth. Brokenness seeps through the very inner parts of your being and makes you believe that you will never be whole again.
Yet somehow (somehow!) in the midst of all these broken, bone-chilling places a light shines through illuminating what you know is true (in the words of gabe dixon). And what I know is true is that even though love is not a victory march, it does remain. It stays with you as a humble, thoughtful presence. In the end, love does win. But sometimes it is a win that no one sees. It comes in quietly and takes up residence in those broken places. Just as Leonard Cohen also once said: "there are cracks in everything, thats how the light gets through."
Thank you Leonard for showing us beauty in words all these years. Your words will remain with us forever.
And this photo made me think of love as being broken and humble... This is Trent Dabbs, an amazing singer-songwriter in Nashville. If you have not checked out his music, do so now!