Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Over the past couple months I've turned to music as a source of refuge and validation of my experiences and feelings. A song that I have always LOVED is "Hallelujah." One of my favorite music artists, Kate Voegele, has recorded a version and I actually got to see her perform it live this summer. The song is beautiful, inspirational, and moving. But it was not until after the break up that I really listened to and processed the lyrics. There's a line that seems particularly salient to my life.

"And love is not a victory march, it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah."

This line has really resonated with me the past couple months. Mostly because I have been experiencing the "cold and broken" aspects of love lost. I think anyone experiencing heartbreak can easily relate to this line. However, it is important not to take the phrase out of context. It says love is...a cold and a broken HALLELUJAH. By definition, Hallelujah is an expression of praise, joy, or thanks. I interpret this to mean that there are times when love is difficult, heartbreaking, and complicated. But even when love is hard, it brings joy and reason to give thanks. And in my opinion, that is a more powerful message than providing validation for someone experiencing a broken heart. Because it suggests that being in love is not always characterized by a feeling of victory. It sometimes is a sense of loss or even failure. BUT even at what seems like the "lowest point" love is worth it. Even when being in love seems frustrating, difficult or even exhausting, it is still superior to a life without love (which may be characterized by stagnation). In my own opinion, being in love is often characterized by high, highs and low, lows. Personally, I'd rather experience more intense lows if that means I also get to experience higher highs. I'd rather experience a lower low if that means I experience those lows with the love of my life at my side. Because at least if I have intense highs and lows, I know I'm living life and not just living in stagnation.

So, while I was initially drawn to this lyric because I felt that my heartbreak could be characterized as "a cold and broken Hallelujah," I've come to realize that it is actually an eloquent expression of my own understanding of love. Because, I can't imagine a love that is anything less than a cold and broken Hallelujah.


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