by Alan Altany
“There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen
We are cracked, broken, scarred, always unfinished, always partial, we are part nothingness, part empty, and part lunging towards the alluring affliction and plague of classical ideals. Our common and flawed beauty frees us from the anguish of being perfect and relates us to each other in a communion of the impermanent and the worn, faulty and limited, companions of the Crucified One. Our wounds and leaking emotions allow us simply to be loved as the incomplete humans we perfectly imperfect are. Like cherry blossoms in spring and golden leaves in autumn, we fade and often fail in a blaze of breakdown and cracks that make each of us uniquely insufficient, deficient, and delightful in ordinary moments of unsought sacred enchantment.
Dr. Alan Altany is a partially retired, septuagenarian college professor of religious studies and theology who is still teaching. He has been a factory worker, swineherd on a farm, hotel clerk, lawn maintenance worker, high school teacher, small magazine of poetry editor, director of religious education for churches, truck driver, among other things. In 2020, he had published a book of Christian poetry entitled A Beautiful Absurdity: Christian Poetry of the Sacred