Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving Hallelujah

A few years ago, I moved to the small town I grew up in, Villa Rica, Georgia. At Thanksgiving that year, I was struggling to get my business going, living in a one-bedroom house with little insulation and a crappy heater. It was a tough time, but beautiful in its simplicity. And no tougher than the challenges I face now.

I can't help but wonder as I look back over my years on this blue and green planet: did I have so many ecstatic lifetimes that I chose to suffer in this one?

This feels true. But whatever the answer, it matters not. I am here. Suck it up. Make lemonade. Shine the light. Be grateful. Help another. Smile and get up. Carry on. 

It gets harder, I tell you. But I know that one day soon, the sun will shine on my life once more, and I'll be happy and loving life.

This is a post I wrote for Thanksgiving 2011. I hope you enjoy.

My friend, Ivy Bliss, mentioned Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah on Facebook this morning. Somehow, from that, I proceeded to listen to four or five different versions of this soulful, evocative song. The melody haunts, lifts, lowers and crawls, then rises up again in hallelujah.

I kept coming back to Leonard Cohen's version. It is his song, after all. He wrote it. Everyone else's? Great covers. Jeff's. Kd Lang's. Rufus Wainwright's.

But, the angels in the background (both human and organ-ic) and Leonard's breathy voice stumbling out monotone, clipped words of agony and ecstasy do something to me that the other versions don't quite achieve: it wrings tears from the cockles of my heart. Hallelujah.

Click here to listen: Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen.

My prayer today is that you find the blessing in every moment. Better yet, the Hallelujah.

Happy Thanksgiving ~ Olivia J. Herrell/O.J. Barre'

P.S. We lost Leonard Cohen in 2016, along with many other people, including my big brother. My heart cries, not for the dearly departed, but for those of us left behind in this uncertain world. Hallelujah.

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