Hallelujah: An Easter Meditation

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On this Easter morning that marks in many ways for many people the belief that out of death comes life; out of suffering, joy; out of despair, hope–or just out of the frozen earth of winter, the mud and flowers of spring– I found myself without a single idea for a Sunday blog.

My plan, as I crawled into bed last night, was to write a brief apology for the first Sunday I’ve missed since making this commitment to myself.

Then I considered a silly Easter Bunny blog, with lots of images of the usual eggs and bunnies and adorable children and, of course, the giant Easter Bunny at the Mall (I suspect the same person who appeared as Santa for Christmas).  This could have worked as a lead to a biting criticism of the commercialization of religious holidays.  There’s a terribly long list of these corrupted rituals.

I found I hadn’t the energy for biting criticism.

Several years ago a colleague emailed me a YouTube video of k.d. lang singing Leonard Cohen’s haunting song, “Hallelujah.” On the day it arrived I sat, mesmerized, and watched it at least twenty times.  I have since sent it to many many people.

Leonard Cohen is one of my favorite poets and the one I followed when everyone else was panting after Bob Dylan.  I am seventy years old and almost certainly qualify as a Leonard Cohen groupie.  I had heard of k.d. lang but had never seen nor heard her.

When my only grandchild was about two months old, I introduced him to this video.  He lay on my big bed and watched it on my laptop.  He never took his eyes off the screen.  We have watched it together at least once a week since then.  He will be a year old next month, and I have my own videos of him in front of the laptop.  Nothing else captures his attention in the same way.  When he was small, he watched and listened.  At eleven months, his mouth moves in a careful attempt to sing.

As I sat this Easter morning, the baby lying quietly against my chest, watching the video again, it suddenly came to me that, whatever my religious beliefs, on this first Easter of his life, this small boy is my Hallelujah.

February 12 2017
Two months away from his second birthday, Vaughn Michael now walks into my back door, smiles up at me, holds out his arms, and says
“Ahh Yoo Yah.”


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11 Responses to "Hallelujah: An Easter Meditation"
  1. So touching and refreshing, Dean.
    Thank for sharing such blessed moments.

  2. Wendy Marty says:

    Yes he is. Risen. Alive. Hope for the future. Hallelujah!

  3. Anonymous says:

    He must be such a joy.

  4. anonymous says:

    This Jewish agnostic must confess: “Hallelujah” is the song, along with “Amazing Grace,” that brings me in touch with my spirituality, my sacred space, my inner peace, my gratitude, my walks with grace, and my joy. Hallelujah manifests itself in many forms. Its stirring beauty causes tears to well up within me. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Mitzy says:

    Oh my goodness, that is beautiful! I have no grandchildren or hankering – cannot get myself reared) I also love Leonard Cohen (“Wonder boys” sound track?). I keep wondering if your writing seems more poignant because of your long wait and many personal facets (timing?) but this is joy incarnate/tactile. It is a risk to jump in and you do.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You paint a lovely picture here. Happy Easter Dean.

  7. Dean Robertson says:

    To my friend the Jewish Agnostic: so, I believe, was Leonard Cohen–and intensely both.

  8. Kat Varn says:

    Yes, I want to create a Hallelujah moment for myself from whatever tradition I find or finds me….. thanks, Dean.

  9. John Fahey says:

    Babies are the hope for our future.

  10. Delilah says:

    What an incredible bond you will always have with your sweet little guy. Music is energy for the soul and KD Lang has the most beautiful, soulful voice on the planet. What a touching tribute to them both. He will grow up with such loving role models. He’s one lucky little guy. Hugs to you both.

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