“Forget Your Perfect Offering”
– Leonard Cohen
There is some hubris needed, in sitting down to pen a creed, a prayer, an anthem, or other aspirational words, that is written for others to say, and yet sticks in your own throat when the same words come haltingly out. Perhaps even more hubris to pause and reflect on the same. Who the hell am I? To be writing this, to be involved in this project, to be doing any of this? And aren’t elders a bit beyond making another commitment, another pledge, another promise? Isn’t the season of the Elder, (which I’m not in) the stage in which all such silliness is abandoned as being too small, perhaps a bit precious, as their horizon gives way to the wordless Mystery which cannot be contained?
…And yet…even simple lyrics, sung in unison, somehow points us beyond ourselves, to the universal. Music, poetry, psalms, hymns and the like, open us to what flows between the words…and the words, crude though they may be, yet serve as a worthy enough container through which a larger chorus can break through….
Perhaps these “imperfect” words are not what Elders are to offer us, (if Elders were to come up with such a thing)…and indeed in the end, what we ultimately want is not words from Elders at all, but their flesh and blood, incarnate presence! But if I, and I suspect the other younger brothers and sisters around me, were to dream of a concert sang to us by a chorus of elders all over this earth, these simple words might be one of the lyrics we would relish hearing sung. Particularly if they were more heartfelt, than I can offer them as of yet…