I have a friend, a beautiful, soulful, hungry, hugely talented friend who puts her brokenness out there between us like a challenge. Can I love her, wounds and all? Can I see the breaks and the fissures and the canyons currently hidden from view and not run the other direction? Can I sit quietly with it and not judge? Can I just be with the entirety and the complexity of her and not simply buy the image that’s sold to the public at large?
She makes me think of Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem” and his well cited verse, “There’s a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in”. Only she makes me see how Cohen got it backwards. For me, when I look at her, or even myself these days, I hear it this way, “There’s a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets OUT”.
I live in a world of polished images. You see what people want you to see, even when you can feel every inch of the truth lurking dark and shapeless below the surface. They plaster in the cracks, paint over it so there’s only the slightest depression to give them away.
With her, it’s there, shining out and it’s spectacular. Even when she’s manipulating you because it’s an honest sort and it’s obvious and you know it and so you go along with it because there’s a brilliance to it and you don’t mind. And because there is just so much light radiating from her, radiating directly through these breaks, I know that she is in her heart nothing but love. So it’s all okay. Only she thinks she’s pulled one over. She knows she’s manipulating and so she feels bad about it, wonders when you’ll catch on, when you’ll push her away because she’s pursuing these base angles. And maybe she even thinks you’re angling yourself. When really, it’s all just so much light.
That’s the problem with Cohen’s verse. Everyone’s worried about getting the light, about having it pour in to fill the cracks. What they don’t realize is that the light coming out is the real gift. She’s got it in spades. I bet you do, too. Goodnight, beautiful you.