Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How the Light Gets In

Today I am moved to share the Cohen lyrics to this beautiful and true song.  With the death of Robin Williams, the airwaves and social media is abuzz with heartfelt calls for understanding and kindness.  I think this song says it beautifully.  For those of us who live with the disease of depression, we understand that suicide is sometimes the outcome of this illness.  We pray it won't happen to us.  We work on good self-care.  We do what we can to cultivate the good in our lives, for there is plenty of it when the disease doesn't have us by the throat.

We are all broken, in one way or another.  Be kind.  To yourself most of all.

"Anthem"


The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

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

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

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.

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

8 comments:

  1. Beautiful song and true words. Creative people are especially prone to suicidal thoughts. Being the clown, always amusing others and unable to feel loved maybe when letting the dark thoughts out, that all might be part of the problem. You look at someone like him, who seemed to have it all, and realize it's not that simple.

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  2. I was thinking the same thing, Tara. Beautiful song that lends dignity to the thoughts of Robin Williams right now.

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  3. Robin's view, hilarious and so sadly a morbidly perceptive one...seems to have done him in....
    a warning to all, to keep things in perspective.

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    1. but Steve, it's difficult to keep things in perspective when you have a mental illness. That advice can be tried by everyone, but often will not work against a disease. When the disease is managed and controlled, yes. Not when it's not.

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    2. I understand, and agree...I sense that Peter Coyote's note about training the horse (in the good times) is meaningful, seems a good analogy....

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  4. I am often reminded of the opening words to Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts:

    "About suffering they were never wrong,
    The old Masters: how well they understood
    Its human position: how it takes place
    While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along..."

    We were driving through Tiburon yesterday, and Robin Williams was dead somewhere in the vicinity of our hearts.

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  5. Those bells came to my mind, too. Understanding and kindness. Always.

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  6. Leonard Cohen is always on my playlists. Beautiful tribute.

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