ANTHEM  by Leonard Cohen  (excerpt)

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything

That is how the light gets in.

John Deere 1936!

“Dad let me drive!” / Claire O’Brien 2011

We asked for signs.

The signs were sent,

the birth betrayed

the marriage spent

Yeah the widowhood
of  government —

Signs for all to see.

Unknown-2 2

I can’t run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they’ve summoned up a thundercloud
and they’re going to hear from me.

The song our daddies sang for us/ Zoominto

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is  a crack in everything

That is how the light gets in.


You can add up the parts
but you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart to love will come –
but like a refugee.

DSCF0304 (2)

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That is how the light gets in.



That is how the light gets in.


17 thoughts on “HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN

      1. Beautiful post. My wife’s maiden name was O’Brien, Margaret Mary O’Brien, she was a magnificent human being.


  1. Dear Claire – everyone is having trouble with the like button today.
    I love this song, and I love Cohen singing it… it feels right when he does it… my favorite…
    I see the crack as part of creation… giving us the chance to see the light…


    1. I see what you mean.

      Sigh. If only it were not so beautiful, it couldn’t be so sad.
      I wonder if I dare give God (broadly defined) an ultimatum: “Okay, that’s it. If you’re real, either come back or let there be a revolution”

      However, I have a distinct feeling that there’s something to be lacking in that approach


  2. It ‘s by ignoring the crack that people gets in trouble, that they never find the light. It’s a refreshing thooght for those who are seeking real life.
    Best wishes for 2014.


    1. Thank-you! That’s an interesting way of looking at it. I was thinking maybe also the cracks are MADE by those who are meant to be silenced, and who never will be – letting in the light ignored / not recognized by the powerful. Hmm…
      Thanks a lot for writing and good wishes for the new year to you as well


    1. Oh God, yes! I’ve been ready to take Manhattan – and then Berlin – since I was eleven.
      Do you know that 90s compilation “I’m Your Fan” – a whole bunch of people, Lou Reed, John Cage, Iggy Pop, R.E.M., etc., do beautiful covers of Leonard Cohen songs? A few (don’t tell Leonard this) I think are actually better than the originals.
      It’s good to see part of every generation fall in love with him. Like, somewhere, right now, some teenagers starting a band in Hamburg or Milan or Houston are listening with dropped jaws to “Everybody Knows”


    1. Thank-you, Robyn! I was reading your blog last night and I feel the same way about what you capture.
      That song never loses its power for me. I only wish I could claim credit for having written it, but if I had, I’d be a famous 79-year-old Canadian musician.
      I tried to comment on your blog, but in spite of relentless clicking, I couldn’t. I don’t even know if my Like registered – I am having such weird and aggravating tech problems I could just scream, as Shelby would say (except she’d have a really good reason). I’ll try again tonight.


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