Mar. 21st, 2012

wrenstarling: A light effect gull in flight on a black background (Default)
I am a deeply independent person. I'm an atheist who never had a need for a god, and still doesn't. These are very, very important things to know about me. While I have always and ever understood the importance of community, I've also always gone my own way, following my path where it led me, come what may. At this point in my life, that same path leaves me here, discovering the depths of humility and service that have been untapped within me all these years.

Leonard Cohen serves a different spirit than I do, but he understands. This song, as a great song can do, has grown beyond itself and become a new thing many times over, but this incarnation, the first one, is all about Mr. Cohen's service to the spirit of music, the "Lord of Song".

The lyrics, so you can read along:
"Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

The simple song that David, in legend, wrote, has moved people of all faiths since the beginning, and it was this that drove this song. He, and David, were, in his eyes, servants to the same passion, the same spirit.

This kind of service is one of incomprehensible gratitude, of deep humility, where one's willingness doesn't even enter the equation. No matter what, no matter whether we fail or succeed, no matter whether we are even understood, we will give our all.

The music came to him. He did not ask for it. The birds came to me; I did not ask for them.
But I am so very, deeply glad they came. I, who will submit to no one, who am still so intensely independent, whose most cherished concept is freedom...I am glad to be in the service of this thing that is greater than myself. It is not a yoke around my neck; it is a gift, and I am beyond grateful, inexplicably grateful for this gift for which I would never have asked.

The "hallel" part of "hallelujah" ultimately derives from the word "trill", which is a word and a sound that I, at least, associate strongly with birds.

I fall on my knees. I fall on my knees. I raise up my arms. I raise them and let them dance. And I trill with all my heart...


wrenstarling: A light effect gull in flight on a black background (Default)
Jenny "Wren" Starling

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