• Liz Moore

Broken Hallelujah

Well, thanksgiving is upon us and it’s that time year when we steep ourselves in carbs

and gratitude. Gratitude may be a little harder this year, as the universe actually seemed to conspire against us.

My good friend Jeanine and I never fail to laugh at the Eugene Levy “what a week I’m having“ moments in Splash. And 2020 has seemed to expand the week into months, and the months into nearly a full term pandemic baby. So what has this pandemic given us? What has this year birthed; what have I learned?

Resilience comes to mind as the superpower of 2020. Teachers and parents juggling online school, and work. Zoom taking over the world; book clubs, church, funerals, reunions, dance class, yoga; you name it, we are Zooming it. The love/hate relationship will go on, and for that I am grateful.

The resilience of nature was incredible as in just a few weeks of shut downs animals roamed freely, walking through town squares, and generally loving life. Of course, 2020 also gave us Murder hornets, and snakes in pipes, and all sorts of things out to get us. And yes, murder hornets are as bad as they sound, maybe worse; leading me to believe that this year might be best represented by flying insects.

The murder hornets and the common house fly, for me tell the whole story. The murder hornets representing this horrible virus; so many unknowns, horror, death and grief. Facts learned every day, but still so much unknown. Scarier for what we don’t know, and tragic for what we do. And then, the housefly, typically a nuisance, an annoying buzzing, dirty bug. Not anymore. The housefly now is the winner of a vice presidential debate. A hanger on who lit up Twitter verse, and made a nation laugh when there was very little to smile about. Ten minutes of Einsteinium relativity; ten minutes, an eternity of disbelief, conjecture and belly laughs.

I am grateful for the laughs and really am full of thanksgiving this year. Although MDC has not been able to perform my young dancers have been so hardworking and loyal; I have been humbled by them. I have almost recovered from my bout of Covid, and am feeling strong. My yoga certification is completed, and I have added yoga classes to my life. The joy of my private classes has been profound and unexpected. My teen yoga class has deepened my own practice, as I try to embody and say all I wished had been said and shown to me as a young person.

Mama Maria is still healthy, going strong with meatloaf lean cuisines and mints. She still wants no help, she still is stubbornly saying whatever she needs to say to stay independent, but her Maria spirit is winning the day. I am beginning to think that there is a miracle preservative in classic comfort meatloaf. I cannot win, and I have found peace with that. I lose it occasionally; fight her, lose again and end up laughing. Maria is my white whale, but I intend to be less grim about the outcome. She is still here fighting and that is a cause for a kind of celebration, a broken hallelujah as it were.

And that’s what it comes to, 2020 is in fact a broken hallelujah. Those who know me well, know that I am a huge Leonard Cohen fan. His depressive, seeking, joyful, questioning, life filled lyrics and poetry speak to me. I will admit to bitterness that the movie Shrek brought my favorite song Hallelujah to the masses; however, I am glad that Cohen’s masterpiece is out in the world. (I am, despite all the horrible covers on reality shows, and the total lack of understanding of what the song means.). Leonard Cohen took five years to complete the song, and wrote about eighty verses, he felt he couldn’t get it quite right, and isn’t that exactly life? Who can get it perfectly right?

This Thanksgiving might be the epitome of the

cold and broken Hallelujah. So much that I have wanted, hoped for and meditated on has come to fruition. Time has expanded and contracted so quickly in the past few days that it feels as if a time warp has happened. Joy and sorrow, those prankster twins, dance in and out of each minute. Though sorrow is putting forth a great effort I am letting joy win. I am embracing the hallelujah; despite the broken nature of it, it is still an hallelujah. I have an image in my head now of my husband Don walking outside with a tiny boy. Whatever Don did the boy imitated. Hand in pocket, little hand in pocket, a pause to check something out, a small boys pause. My heart is full, and whatever happens this memory will be a joy forever. What a cliche, but how true it is.

So here’s to gratitude in 2020. One month left ,and who know what will happen. I will be staying in each moment, joyful or sorrowful, cold or broken, I am giving a quiet shout of hallelujah.

Happy and blessed holiday to all, and may we all know peace.

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