The chorus of “Anthem” by poet and songwriter, Leonard Cohen, has been on my refrigerator for a long time. Upon hearing of his passing this past week, I stood and re-read it again and realize why I have put it there and why I have it memorized: “Ring the bells that still can ring; Forget the 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.”
Also on my refrigerator are a magnet for times and temperatures for brewing tea, two pieces of Halloween art work from grandchildren, and a certificate for attending a course in Polish cooking during a culinary trip to Poland this summer. Such a curious mix of statements about what is really important enough to make refrigerator exhibit status! The beautiful truth of “Anthem” is that none of these represent perfection. My tea is seldom exactly timed, there are charming misspellings on the art work, and the certificate is for showing up and paying attention—not for making the perfect pierogi.
After weeks of hearing political ads at every level, I think the concept of being able to tolerate the crack in everything may be helpful in this post election time. For most of life there are few perfect solutions. Our expectations of perfection leave us blind to some of the “bells that still can ring.” It is time to go forward and believe that whatever our situation or persuasion, light will come through if we let it.