Love… is a cold and broken hallelujah. I’ve always loved Leonard Cohen’s poetry in this song, which originally had 80 verses and currently has even more interpretations. Recently I’ve come to hear my own interpretation, which is that the divine is found in the darkest and loneliest of places. When we find ourselves face down on the rock bottom of life, when our only companion seems to be shame, we are suddenly open to the beautiful, raw truth of our holiness. Even the last stone piled upon our shattered bodies cannot suppress the whispered hallelujah that glorifies the divinity of this moment, this existence, this being. ⠀

As I anticipate my next chemotherapy treatment in a couple of days, bringing with it an infusion of poison that will break my body even as it saves my life, I recognize this experience as my hallelujah–my acknowledgment of the sacredness of this journey through the dark valley of cancer. Not because of where it came from, and not because of where it might lead me, but because of where it has placed me in this moment. In the midst of discomfort and fear I find a love that cannot be replicated through triumph, ecstasy, or joyous proclamation. Call it God, call it satori, call it neuronal friction, call it whatever makes sense to you. To me it is the pinnacle of sentient existence and it is what makes this life worth living. ⠀

I continue to be flooded with feelings of gratitude every day. I never could have guessed getting cancer would make me feel so lucky and so privileged. Bring on the poison, my cup is ready to be filled. Hallelujah.

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