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HALLELUJAH

Sometimes when Evil moves in, the Angels rise high. It’s hard to write during these dark days. But inspiration couldn’t come stronger from any other source. Thank you, Leonard Cohen for gracing our life with ‘Hallelujah’. He passed this week. So, I say to you, Leonard Cohen, “God bless you and comfort you on the rest of your journey. And thank you for giving us this fine gift.”

Many years ago, I had a strong déjà vu, a vision, a something. I was sitting in the student grill at college and suddenly it was as if I was walking along a narrow street in an ancient Roman city. Strictly from my view out, in the moment, as I scurried along the crowded street. People were walking beside me, going in different directions. I looked down and could see my sandaled feet just below the hem of my toga.

There was a sense of every day hustle as if we all were running our daily errands. As if I was coming back from the market, that kind of thing. There was a continuous row of stucco walls of houses lining the street. I remember I suddenly heard a team of horses racing through the streets, coming around the next corner and knew I needed to get out of the way. There was nowhere to go easily. It was nothing out of the ordinary but I knew if I didn’t, it could be deadly. The driver of the team of horses and its cart would not be slowing down at any cost.

Next I was in what I knew as a kitchen. I was looking out the stucco window opening, no glass, no frame, no curtains. And I remember thinking how beautiful the bright blue sky was. As sparse as that room was, I found beauty in that sky and I was happy. And then suddenly, I was back sitting at the student grill at my college as if nothing had happened. Nothing had changed. It was the most extraordinary thing. I’d experienced a glimpse in time, perhaps a past life. I have no other explanation for it. But, certainly, it made me a strong believer in reincarnation.

I could give you light fare. We could chat about acting careers and the deep meaning of the esoteric nuances of archetypes and the importance of overlapping choral improvisation as it relates to auditions. And yet, that seems so trivial right now. So, no thank you, not today. For the last two days, I’ve being thinking of that memory of rushing on foot along the Roman street, the fragility of life and humanity, the overlapping passage of time, and the immense power of ignorance and hate that can turn a corner and trample everything underfoot. Today, it’s not hard for me to imagine sitting up on those hills surrounding ancient Rome and knowing, watching Rome disintegrate.

Even incredible sage-journalist Bill Moyers says it will never be the same. I’ll get back on my horse soon. I’ll blend back in. And we’ll reorganize, we’ll not give up. But for now, I’ll just listen to ‘Hallelujah’ and think of those ancient hills of Rome. -–by Martha Hannah