Friday Philosophy – Cohen Style

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I’m doing something a bit different today.  Despite the fact this post does not have a Chicago connection, it certainly has a Canadian connection.

I present to you a portion of the song lyrics from, “Anthem” by Canadian singer, song-writer, and poet, Leonard Cohen:

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is 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.

When I was in university (college) I had a student advisor that can only be described as, “other worldly”.  He seemed to have an energy that was divine.  It was almost as if he was an angel disguised as a human being.  I have never met anyone else like him, and I probably never will.

I was nearing the completion of my degree so I made an appointment to see him to talk about the inevitable job hunting, what do I do now, kind of conversation.  He told me he was leaving the university and moving away; I knew at that moment I’d never see him again.  Holding back the waves of tears I could sense were meandering forward, I put out my hand to shake his hand.  He put a small card in my hand and wished me a wonderful journey.

I did not look at the card until I arrived home that day.  It was his business card; I thought to myself, well, I know who and where you are, and you are leaving, so why did you give this to me?  I flipped the card over; he had written the above words from Leonard Cohen’s song, “Anthem” on it.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, I did not understand what the words meant.  It literally took me years to ‘get it’, as it were.

I am so incredibly grateful to my student advisor, and to Leonard Cohen for providing me with such beautiful and wise words of wisdom.  I’d like to hear your thoughts on its meaning, so I won’t expand on my interpretation at this time.

Have a wonderful weekend, Cohen style!!

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  30 comments for “Friday Philosophy – Cohen Style

  1. February 28, 2014 at 9:45 am

    I love this quote! Not to freak you out but it’s weird I literally started drafting a little story about its meaning just this morning. We are channeling a similar wavelength!!! I believe this means that if you break, and mend yourself back together, the imperfections or cracks are how your true light shines though. I’m curious what others think!! Great post 🙂


    • February 28, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      That is a lovely bit of serendipity, isn’t it? I love your comments! Thank you! Cher xo


  2. Lorraine Emmerson
    February 28, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I like Leonard Cohen as a writer, philosphist, and fellow Canadian. I’m not too keen on his singing it. Eh!


    • February 28, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      *LOL* I think there are others who feel the same way!! Cher xo


  3. February 28, 2014 at 9:59 am

    great story!


    • February 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Thank you so much!! It’s interesting because I had no idea what prompted me to write it this morning, but I am glad I did! Cher xo


  4. February 28, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Lovely. And so true. I love Leonard Cohen’s lyrics, not so keen on his singing, I have to be honest.


    • February 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Thank you for your comments! Yes, I don’t think you are alone with these thoughts!! Cher xo


  5. February 28, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Hi Cher. Thanks for sharing your post. The lyrics to that song are both meaningful and beautiful. Lovely food for thought. Imperfect human beings can learn from the wisdom of their Creator. As scripture states, “He is the Light of the world.” Have a lovely weekend too. 🙂


    • February 28, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      Hi Iris! I love your words! Thank you for sharing! Have a lovely weekend as well! Cher xo


  6. Don
    February 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Beautiful lyrics. I know them so well. Leonard Cohen has been such a light to me as well. An inspiring artist with songs of such depth and meaning. I love his singing weird and different.Wonderful post. Thank you, Cher xo


    • February 28, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Thank you, Don! He is a unique artist and I am grateful for your words about this post! Cher xo


  7. February 28, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Love the quote and post Cher!


    • February 28, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      Thank you so much, David!!! Cher xo


  8. February 28, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Nothing can stop the light from entering our life even we are all “crack up”.


    • February 28, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      I love what you said, dear seeker! It’s a great reminder! Thank you! Cher xo


  9. Professions for PEACE
    March 5, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Another thought provoking post dear Cher. For me those wise words resonate of the Golden Scars I recently wrote about, and it is also rather Rumi-esque too, like his words: The wound is where the light enters you. Cohen’s poetry is timeless and astounding, and I adore how wonderful Don likes that rather weird voice. Way to go Don! (it’s nice Cohen has one fan for his singing 😉 ). Love and Hugs, Gina


    • March 5, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      Ah, dear Gina, what a wonderful, wonderful description. Thank you so much for that. It’s a very powerful part of the song, and my student advisor must have known it would be something I should be reminded of (once I figured it out)! Yes, Don does like his voice; I’m rather partial to the lyrics but it’s nice that Mr. Cohen’s voice brings a pleasing sound to some as well! Love and hugs back at you! Cher xo


  10. March 6, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Inspiration is everywhere. All we have to do is open our mind to the unexpected.


    • March 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Oh that is soooo true, dear belsbror! I think what you wrote should be on a poster and it too is inspiring!!! Cher xo


      • March 6, 2014 at 10:59 am

        I have an inspiring episode of writing a light poem preceded minutes earlier by a heavy one. Where did that come from?


      • March 6, 2014 at 11:01 am

        *biggest grin ever* I think you know where it came from, dear belsbror! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Yeay!!!


      • March 6, 2014 at 11:09 am

        The Whisper needs to think straight. (laughs) Should I be sad or happy? 🙂


      • March 6, 2014 at 11:12 am

        Happy; most definitely happy! Cher xo Trust me!


    • April 1, 2014 at 7:11 am

      My pleasure! Thank YOU! Cher xo


  11. laura kilty
    May 22, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    What a beautiful post Cher! And I hadn’t heard that Leonard Cohen song before- beautiful and moving, thank you for introducing me to it! WOW; the sentiment to these lyrics- clearly influenced by the Rumi quote so you know I was going to love it!! To me, it means we are all ‘imperfect’. There is always something we see as cracks within ourselves- be they scars of hurt we perceive as caused by others or ourselves, a physical lack we perceive, or a perceived distance from the perfection that is our true Spirit/Source/God/whatever you believe the ‘spiritual’ perfection is. So many of us see ourselves as unworthy because we are not ‘perfect’- perfectly good, perfectly pure, perfectly whole….the list goes on!! When actually, we are ALL perfect, just as we are. There IS a ‘crack in everything’. ‘That’s how the light gets in’- that’s how we are able to receive the light. For me, that means many things but one being, that’s how we can receive the messages we need to receive to learn the lessons we need to learn so we can be more light-filled. I know in my life, the biggest lessons and the biggest joy, development, positive changes, have happened when seemingly negative things have happened. Through things I have seen as faults. My cracks. But I have learnt from all of them- sometimes it’s taken decades and I’m now hopefully getting quicker at seeing the truth and not seeing them as negative these days!!! 🙂 There is so much in this post that resonates and a lot within that quote to think about. Thank you so much for linking me to it!
    P.s. That student adviser sounds amazing. I am sending him lots of light and hoping his journey is going beautifully too!xxx


    • May 22, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      Truly, I cannot even begin to express how incredible your words are. Your interpretation is beautiful I agree with all of it. Oh yes, the student advisor was literally like ‘light walking’. I recall often feeling in a dream-state around him, listening to his profound and meaningful words. Sometimes he would recall experiences that I know he did not share with many, for fear they would think them untrue. However, I knew they were true, and felt privileged to hear them. I think he knew that I would one day understand the words from Leonard Cohen’s song; isn’t it funny though that it took me soooo long to ‘get it’, as it were. Thank you for sending him lots of light; trust me, he’ll feel it!! Oh Laura, do come back to The Chicago Files again soon, please!! With blessings and appreciation, Cher xo


  12. laura kilty
    May 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Oh wow, he sounds like such a beautiful soul- wonderful! And when we can see it, isn’t it funny how long it takes all of us to ‘get it’?!! 😀 I will of course be back- I love your posts and the beautiful, compassionate and loving energy you give out in your pages. Thank you for being you- I feel blessed to have made this connection! Love and


    • May 23, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Hi Laura! Yes, well, I can speak for myself in saying it took me eons to get it! 🙂 Awh, thank you so much! I am honored and grateful to have made this connection as well. Your blog resonates with me! Love and hugs to you, my dear girl! Cher xo


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