15 thoughts on “A Hidden Hallelujah

  1. Merry Christmas…I was going to call you a BOI but I’m not sure if it’s true…so Merry Christmas will stand on its own, as does the Word.

    symonsez,

    As they say about Texas generally, I wasn’t BOI, but I got here as soon as I could. Thank you for the Christmas greeting, and the affirmation of the Word. Best wishes to you and yours for a peaceful and festive holiday.

    Linda

  2. I have read ‘Hidden Hallelujah’ and I want to shout HALLELUJAH!

    Maria,

    Sing it or shout it, paint it or write it – just be sure to find a way that’s right for you, and then do it. It would be a shame to keep all those Hallelujahs bottled up!

    Buon Natale, cara Maria, e un felice Anno Nuovo!

    Linda

  3. Hi,
    Absolutely beautiful. K.D. Lang has got a fantastic voice.
    I like to wish you and your Family a very Merry Xmas and a wonderful New Year.

    magsx2,

    She is wonderful, isn’t she? Thank you for your kind wishes, and thank you, too, for taking the time to comment.
    I hope you’ll become a regular visitor.

    A happy Christmas to you and yours, and best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

    Linda

  4. Hallelujah!! I love kd lang’s version of Cohen’s song. It’s one of the best things I was introduced to this year.

    Merry Christmas, Linda, and the best of New Years. May all of your Words be good ones!

    ds,

    What a delight to see you during this busy time! When I listened to Lang again after reading your blog last night, I couldn’t help but think the light shines through her music as surely as it did that window. Just wonderful.

    Here’s to another year of piling up words ~ Merry Christmas!

    Linda

  5. Christmas was not really celebrated when I first arrived in Japan in 1953. When I left in the summer of 1956, stores were decorated almost like they are here. Retailers were eager to adopt it as a Japanese holiday as it enabled them to sell a lot more of the cold months of winter.

    When I was a small boy – ten in 1944 – the number of people with Christmas trees in their homes could be counted on one hand and decorated with electric bulbs was 1 in the village where I lived. It was not a big deal anywhere and took a number of years to catch on in the rural communities. I think it is now just another way that retailers use to get rid of goods they did not sell during the year—so they don’t have to count it and pay “inventory” taxes.

    I just saw a photograph taken of our living room where the Christmas tree was located that year and the entire floor in the room was covered with packages. Nowadays we give the kids a gift card and are done with it for another year.

    abraham lincoln,

    Interesting, about the changes in Japan. I commented briefly today at Omar’s blog about the interchangeable nature of shopping malls. Once you enter one, you could be in the US, Canada, Europe – and perhaps even Japan. Well, except for the signage, of course.

    I was born in ’46, so “modern Christmas” was already on its way. But I do remember seeing a tree with candles instead of electric lights, and of course the “real” icicles – red, blue, silver and green metal rather than the cheap tinsel that’s the only thing available now. And my old Christmas photos show stacks of presents, too. I have a hunch that my parents, both of whom struggled mightily during the depression and had periods of real poverty in their lives, weren’t trying to spoil me as much as they were celebrating the freedom that comes with having “a little extra”.

    In any event, I’d never take my mom at her word that she doesn’t “need” anything for Christmas. She still gets her pile of presents – with even the smallest thing wrapped up to make the pile look bigger. I think it helps her feel secure, as though we really are “all right”. ;-)

    Thanks for stopping by – wishing you a festive and peaceful holiday.

    Linda

  6. Hi Linda:

    Your words on the Word struck a cord in my mind. It brought the words of the Bible I have read over and over again in Spanish. En el principio ya existía el Verbo, y el Verbo estaba con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios (Juan 1:1). Y el Verbo se hizo carne, y habitó entre nosotros. (vers. 14).

    Free translation: In the beginning the Word was already there, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and lived amongst us.

    We could go on analyzing these words till the end of time, for they are so deep in their meaning and their intent.

    Thank you Linda for showing us the path to become better beings. All your posts lead us to a one step up the ladder of happiness and inner peace.
    Wishing you the “Best of the Best”, whatever that is in the Great State of Texas. You’ve earned it!

    Omar.-

    Omar,

    You are very kind in your wishes. Truthfully, the “best of the best” isn’t much different in Texas than it is in Panama: loving family, good friends, creative work, sustenance. If each of us has that in the New Year, we’ll be blessed, indeed.

    And of course you’re right – the prologue to the Gospel of John is dear to me and obviously was on my mind when I wrote this. I was so touched by your own post today. Thank you not only for the link, but for the glimpse into your wonderful family. You have special reasons for celebration and joy, and for looking forward to the future.

    Feliz Navidad a usted y su familia, y un Feliz Año Nuevo.

    Linda

  7. “A hallelujah sung in secret by exultant, broken-winged angels” describes my bittersweet Christmas as a newly divorced woman.

    Your words are a beautiful celebration of what it means to be human!

    2010claudia,

    I suspect most of us with a few decades behind us have experienced at least one bittersweet Christmas season – or even a bitter one, for that matter. It’s one of the reasons I love Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and Lang’s cover of it. A “cold and broken hallelujah” is still hallelujah, after all, and having the courage to sing is the cold is a tremendous affirmation of our humanity.

    I still laugh when I remember something I heard almost 40 years ago at Christmas. A friend said, “Well, I suppose if God decided to become human, it wouldn’t hurt us to give it a try.” Sometimes it does hurt, but it’s still worth the try.

    Merry Christmas to you, and best wishes for the New Year. And thanks for your complimentary words. They’re a gift, too.

    Linda

  8. Hope you’re having a lovely Christmas, Linda. All the best for the coming year. Looking foward to all wonderful words you’ll write in 2011…
    Yours,
    Andrew.

    Andrew,

    It looks as though you have the corner on a lovely Christmas day – at least in terms of weather. In curiosity, I peeked at the conditions for Santiago and found you’re nearly 40 degrees warmer than Houston. Coming from snow country myself I still miss a “white Christmas”, but we had one in Houston a few years ago, and the magic still lingers. Perhaps we’ll have another “some day”.

    I am looking forward to the New Year. Who knows what either of us will discover in the months to come? What I am certain of is that it will be an enjoyable process. Thanks so much for your good wishes. May you and yours enjoy the festivities of the season to the fullest – perhaps there will be photos?

    Linda

  9. This is one of my favorite songs. I’ve not heard K.D. Lang sing it before, but she does it well.

    You have been a huge blessing to me this year, Linda. Your posts are so thought provoking, your comments frequent and profound. I have anticipated my Advent Calendar each day this December with the greatest joy. My life is enriched from blogging with you, and receiving your gifts of a gentle and kind spirit. Blessings on you always, thank you for being my friend, and Merry Christmas. Love, M.

    Bellezza,

    It’s a thrilling rendition of a remarkable song, for sure.

    You really are too kind – I would have said that you are the one to be thanked for helping me find my way into this blogging business. But we are – both of us – blessed with a fine community in which to share our convictions, our pleasures and our words, and I’m grateful for all of it this Christmas.

    Merry Christmas to you, Bellezza, and to your loved ones as well.

    Linda

  10. You already know, dear Linda, that K.D. Lang’s version of “Hallelujah” is my favorite…a Christmas gift to me as I listen to it again. Thank you. You can post it every year, as far as I’m concerned!

    The passage you have chosen is the classic text, of course, for ‘proving’ Jesus is in fact God. Jesus, the word, the Logos. It may be my favorite passge of the entire Bible, and one I committed to memory as a high-schooler, years ago. Nowadays it holds new meaning for me as I struggle with learning a new language. Word is everything. Everything outside of Word is nothing. But the way you have put it is much more poetic. Thank you for reminding us of what is important and why we celebrate today in the first place. And why the idea of giving good gifts began in the beginning with the Good Word!

    Ginnie,

    I saw something new in the video when I came back to it this year – KD’s bare feet. I’d noticed them before, but only now remembered the line from Moses’ encounter with the burning bush: “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” I find myself wondering if her bare feet might be more than a quirk, and if the power of the performance isn’t grounded not only in talent but in her understanding of the material. I’d love to ask her about it.

    I had a professor once who fought on behalf of what he called a “high” view of language. He was determined to convince us that words matter, and that every word we write or speak cries out to have its connection to that one Word made clear. His conviction wasn’t necessarily born of Christian faith, though he loved the Gospel of John. It seemed to be more deeply rooted, in his belief that language is the unique mark of our humanity.

    In any event, we have words and we have visions. When they come together, we have “Vision and Verb”, and KD Lang, and Christmas. What could be better?

    I’m so looking up to keeping up with you and your camera in the New Year!

    Linda

  11. Thanks for leading us to the Word… for ‘in Him was Life.’ Thank you for all the inspiring posts in the past year, Linda. Have a blessed Christmas and all the best wishes for another year of wonderful writing in 2011!

    Arti,

    Thanks so much for the good wishes. I’m anxious for a new year – it’s time to clear my head, and then start again! I hope your Christmas was wonderful. We didn’t get any snow, but we got some real cold – “bring in the plants before they freeze” cold! Even Dixie Rose is burrowing beneath her blankets!

    Linda

  12. Well, this Christmas has been a bit different. As you most likely know by now, we’ve been dealing with a lot of ‘sickness’ around here. Not terrible sickness, not life-threatening sickness, just general all around bah-humbug sickness. I really look forward to the holidays and all the delicious treats. I usually regret my indulgence by the unwanted extra pounds…but heck, it’s only once a year.

    I’m over my sickness, but hubby has it now. I don’t get sick often, I have a good immune system, thank goodness, but right after I am sick and I begin to feel better, it is just amazing to me how I look at everything different. My ability to get up and feel good, how food tastes good again, getting outside and enjoying the sunshine on my face! Oh – if only that feeling could last all year long! Hallelujah (for good health!)

    Karen,

    There’s nothing worse than bah-humbug sickness at the holidays! I’ve heard that some of our clan in the midwest is feeling under the weather, too, and they’re no more pleased with it than your folks. I hope everyone’s on the mend by now.

    Your comment about how good health influences our perspective reminds me of something I’ve been known to say – that there’s nothing better than feeling good after feeling bad! I hope you’re all out and about and enjoying life soon.

    Linda

  13. What a gift it is to have love and respect for words. Thank you for sharing your words over these last few years. You have helped me see the spiritual in words and not just the entertainment value of them.

    Thanks and Blessings.

    Nanette,

    I don’t know what writing instructors would say about it, but I often think there are living words and dead words – just as there are people who are vibrant and responsive and others who might as well be cardboard cutouts. I don’t yet quite know what makes the difference, but I think you and I play a role – we’re the ones who help give them life.

    Here’s to another year of “just messing about with words” – and who knows? Like your night watchman in the art museum, we may find the pleasure of it leads on to something more. ;-)

    Linda

  14. Hello Linda,

    Well, it took me awhile to get here but so happy I did. Like someone above said, you have been a blessing for me this year. To discover your stories here on WP has been a source of real pleasure.

    And I loved “A Hidden Hallelujah” one of your best works of words. I could not see the video but I do love the song so will have to come back when home to see the video.

    I love your references to “The Word” from the Bible also with Hallelujah and Christmas. As you probably know, Christmas means a lot to me and I am trying to teach my family some of these values and traditions.

    Thank you for leaving this up until I could get here!

    Happy New Year to you and your mother!
    Patti

    Patti,

    As you know, it got me a while to get back here, too. ;-) Delightful as the holidays were, I’m glad to be into the new year and re-establishing some routine.

    After – what? five years? – I do know how much Christmas means to you, and how important you take your responsibility to share your faith and your values with your family. It’s been pure delight to watch your kids raising your grandkids, all of you managing to cope with whatever life throws your way. I imagine you get worn out from it all from time to time, but you’re really the matriarch of the clan in the best, old-fashioned way.

    It makes me so happy to have had you become a regular reader. Who knows where we’ll go together in the new year? Wherever it is, we’ll try to have some fun!

    Linda

  15. Oh, Linda — all I can say is “Hallelujah.” You say it all and you say it so very well. As always, my friend. Yet another I must print out for my Christmas box…

    jeanie,

    I can’t think of any place I’d rather have my words than your Christmas box. Some posts, like this one and the cat carols, are meant to be shared – sung or spoken or silently read. You’re welcome to it.

    This post may become a tradition for me. I love it so much myself – it was written so easily, with so little editing, and it expresses my feelings about Christmas nearly perfectly. If I can have the same sort of writing experience a few times this year, I’ll be happy indeed.

    Here’s to a year of free-flowing creativity – and maybe a “Hallelujah!” note book next Christmas! I’ll have to think about that!

    Linda

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