light and shade

In his song Anthem, Leonard Cohen, says a beautiful thing: “Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” I recently read something that Helen Keller said that mirrored these lyrics: “Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” I find these observations regarding the connections between brokeness and light, with their inherent reminder that revelation and perfection are not mutually exclusive,  compelling. Viktor E. Frankl describes another aspect of this when he says that what is to give light must endure burning.

In light of this I am less suprised by the fear I have often felt in response to life’s baptisms of fire and the countless times that I have opted for ignorance’s brand of bliss. As Plato rightly said, “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” I will thus take Ralph Waldo Emerson’s advice and continue discovering the secrets of life by seeking everyday to overcome some fear.

The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star. – Henry David Thoreau

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