The Heartbeat of a Hallelujah

Pivotal moments occur in people's lives every single day. Moments of remarkable realizations; often referred to as "lightbulb moments". Times when it feels like something in your mind suddenly just clicks. For me, I had one of these moments on November 27th, 2013. It was a moment I remember as vividly as waking up and getting out of bed this morning. It had been just a little over a month after my 19th birthday, I was reading The Holy or the Broken by Alan Light for my English 1101 class, sitting on my bed in my dorm room with my feet dangling over the edge of the tiny twin sized comforter, half wishing I could be taking a nap instead, when all of a sudden it hit me like a ten million pound brick. I burst into tears, and I honestly didn't even know why I was crying. I couldn't even think. All I could do was cry and laugh. I laughed so hard that I couldn't breath. I didn't know why I was laughing either, but it was probably the first time in my life that I had ever laughed and cried that hard in my whole life. It was incredible. I immediately flipped open my laptop and began typing away, knowing exactly what I was going to write about in my essay for the class. To this day, it's still probably the best essay I've ever written. The Holy or the Broken is a biography dedicated to the song "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen. Throughout the book, Alan Light explains in explicit detail how Cohen's lyrics bring to life the prominent beauty of the word "Hallelujah", and the true essence of both sides of love: the magnificence and the tragedy. He explores every realm of the word, and fantastically captures its inconceivable splendor. I read every page in less than 2 days. Light truly created a written masterpiece. 

Our final assignment at the end of the semester for the class was to write an in-class essay about one word that describes us and why we believe it does.
I chose the word "Hallelujah". 
Here's what I wrote:

“It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
the minor fall, the major lift,
the baffled Queen composing

Oftentimes, people tend to live as if there is no deeper meaning to their life. It is incredibly easy to get so caught up in the tiny aspects that it becomes impossible to see the big picture and to believe that there really is more to life than just living. Because this is the way people live, this becomes the way they do everything. Their actions, thoughts, and words become so general and mainstream that they lose the importance of the meaning of words, and they limit what words can actually do for them. After much research, thought, and writing on Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, it has come to be known that a single word can precisely be defined as whatever the author chooses for its’ meaning to be. Hallelujah, for instance, is a skeptical word with many definitions. Each author who writes of the word gives it a brand new connotation. This ten letter word has a particular way of constructing the basis of my life because of its' versatile definition and real significance.
Hallelujah demonstrates a cry for help as it escapes the lips of those in desperate need. Occasionally, life becomes hard, confusing, and unexplainable. One day it seems as if nothing could ever go wrong, then the next second, my kingdom comes crashing down. It’s a never-ending cycle that represents the vulnerability I tend to have. As Samson put full faith in Delilah and gave her power over his heart trusting that she would never break it, I have a tendency of trusting people in that way, as well. Which has ultimately led to my own heart break. Never wanting to believe in the evil of this world represents the desperation in the word Hallelujah.
Alternatively, Hallelujah also gives off many representations of joy and hope. It is used in celebrations at the end of the day, and in songs written of happiness and thankfulness. In Alan Light’s book, The Holy or the Broken, Leonard Cohen explains, “The only moment that you can live here comfortably in these absolutely irreconcilable conflicts is in this moment when you embrace it all and you say, ‘Look, I don’t understand [any]thing at all—Hallelujah!’ That’s the only moment that we live here fully as human beings.” It is in those desperate times that call for a Hallelujah that we truly find ourselves. It is within this Hallelujah that grace and mercy can be found through the love that flows so freely from my Jesus. It becomes a representation of that joyous celebration when salvation is discovered. This Hallelujah perfectly illustrates the growth I’ve been forced to incorporate, and the perseverance that has only made me stronger. Through the desperation and then finally, the celebration, it has become easy to say that my heart is captivated by the people, emotions, companionship, feelings, and experiences I’ve had in my journey, so far. Just as in Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, Samson became a representation of sacrificial, true love. I can say that’s how I feel about my own life. There’s nothing I would not do to prove that the love I feel for life itself is undeniably real. Love is abstract, love is indefinable, love is vague and obscure, but, love will always radiate so brightly of an astounding Hallelujah.
Words have always been a large obsession of mine. I am fascinated by the way that letters can come together so intricately to form such beautiful designs that have meaning beyond understanding. However, I am only beginning to realize the true power that words can have when placed in the hands of a passionate writer. The possibilities become endless when given the opportunity to put words on a page. Hallelujah represents a similar idea. Occasionally, a word gets misplaced and accidentally put in a four-sided box causing society to refuse to let it live and explore all of its infinite possibilities. This hinders the word from ever finding its' true purpose for existence. The pressures placed upon it frighten it so much that it has never fought for a more thrilling life. It is aware of its' desperations, it was there for all the celebrations, and it will always believe in the simplicity, yet, magnificent significance of love. This ten letter word defines me precisely. I believe that the day will come when it will be worthy enough to have its' moment of infinite fame, earn its' rightful power, and the world will finally stand in awe of its' striking glory; just as it, one day, will of me. 

This was the realization I had that brought me to tears that November day in my cozy dorm room. The realization that I can be whatever and whoever I want to be. Just like words, people truly have no limitations. The only boundaries we are contained by are the ones we set up ourselves. It has been a little over a year since I collided head first with that marvelous idea, and there is no thought that I've ever been more thankful for. It has changed my entire outlook on life, even down to the way I see myself when I look in the mirror. It has been an amazing experience. Since then, I've changed my major to pursue a life more fitting for the person I'm becoming. I've decided I won't ever sit still, and I won't live life engulfed by normality. There's so much in this world to see, do, and write about, and I have developed a burning desire to see, do, and write about all of it. From exquisite details of breathtaking sights in big cities, to the expensive, but beautiful metropolitan fashions, to celebrities and the greatest legends, to urban treats in the desired districts and the simple foods in the southern hemisphere, to the unspoken emotions felt by the masses, to every raw, genuine, and authentic aspect of my life. My goal is for it all to be written about here.

I'm chasing my dreams and calling it an adventure. 

Here's to seizing the heartbeat of my Hallelujah

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