The heart-stuff

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in,”

or, more specifically, how it gets out.

To see — literally — where I find myself with this famous lyric, check out this video of Leonard Cohen live and how it incorporates some remarkable footage of the natural world.

Notice where the cracks are.

The cracks are in the clouds. Behind them, the sky is always clear and the sun and other stars are always shining. The cracks let the light get *out*. Out and into the world.

And there are cracks in the earth itself — in rock — letting water pour out and over and into the world.

Just so, I think your cracks and mine let light stream out of our hearts — out of that space where the ineffable always glows, regardless of what we do or don’t do. Our cracks let it out into the world.

Happily for us, the light has to flow through our bodies and minds to get into the world. And then we get to actually believe in and experience that light, and it feels lovely.

If “light” doesn’t accurately describe your experience of this marvel/sensation, Antonio Machado has some options:

Last Night As I Was Sleeping

by Antonio Machado, translated by Robert Bly

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

The original:

Anoche cuando dormía
soñé ¡bendita ilusión!
que una fontana fluía
dentro de mi corazón.
Dí: ¿por qué acequia escondida,
agua, vienes hasta mí,
manantial de nueva vida
en donde nunca bebí?

Anoche cuando dormía
soñé ¡bendita ilusión!
que una colmena tenía
dentro de mi corazón;
y las doradas abejas
iban fabricando en él,
con las amarguras viejas,
blanca cera y dulce miel.

Anoche cuando dormía
soñé ¡bendita ilusión!
que un ardiente sol lucía
dentro de mi corazón.
Era ardiente porque daba
calores de rojo hogar,
y era sol porque alumbraba
y porque hacía llorar.

Anoche cuando dormía
soñé ¡bendita ilusión!
que era Dios lo que tenía
dentro de mi corazón.

Spring water, golden honey, sunshine, or God? Exactly.

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