Not My Words

The lyrics of Leonard Cohen’s poem/song, Sisters of Mercy, are among the most powerful I have ever heard uttered. This morning, some of them are on my mind.

Yes, you who must leave everything that you cannot control.
It begins with your family, but soon it comes around to your soul.
Well I’ve been where you’re hanging, I think I can see how you’re pinned:
When you’re not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you’ve sinned.

And then, in a later verse, he strikes at the heart of everything that constitutes humanity:

If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn,
they will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem.

This explains, as clearly as anything I’ve ever read or heard, the reason people turn to religion. Religion provides answers, on close inspection, for questions that have no answers. Yet we insist on answers, whether right or wrong, logical or illogical, true or false. And that’s all right, I suppose. We all see the answers, and the questions, from a different perspective.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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