Start Again

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I went to the bookstore to look for books on the subject of death and dying and was amused to find them nestled beside the books on dating. I'm not really sure why there are books on dating, but it seemed, alphabetical ordering aside, a fitting juxtaposition.

When I woke up this morning I was thinking about a Leonard Cohen lyric my friend, Timothy, sent me recently: "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."

I thought about how hard it is to find light this time of year. The days can be so bleak and dreary as we move closer to the winter solstice. But when I got up and started my usual puttering, it dawned on me that there is light everywhere all the time, only sometimes we have to look for it more carefully and think about it differently: my beautiful and talented potter friend, Katie, captured light in the bowl she made, out of which I am now drinking my tea; there is light in Helen Cooper Hood Eyre, pretending one minute that she's a lab technician doing diagnostic tests on the dogs, competing in an imaginary horse show the next and winning by a hair. Nicholas shines his light in my direction nearly every morning with his "Good morning!" voice memos, making it impossible to start the day without a giggle. There is a light beaming from Hazel and Tristan and Martin and all of the folks who check in with me just to say hi, what's going on? There is a bountiful bonfire of light, actually, in the kindness and generosity of all of the people I love who help make me whole by loving me in return.

And there is enough warmth at that bonfire to get us all through dating and dying and every other mess that life throws at our feet. It may be harder to see the light in the cracks of November, but that's what makes it so very precious. Thank you, Mr. Cohen. Welcome Monday.

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The birds they sang 
at the break of day 
Start again 
I heard them say. 

Don't dwell on what 
has passed away 
or what is yet to be. 

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