Remembering: How the light gets in

The Statue of Liberty as seen from the Staten Island Ferry, 2007

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.  — Leonard Cohen

Update for 11-12-13:  After 365 different posts, this one remains one of my very favorites.  I have had that quote on my refrigerator for years.  And the photo of Lady Liberty at sunset brings back happy memories of the Staten Island Ferry.  I’m sure Edna St. Vincent Millay could identify, as her memories of that same ferry became one of my favorite poems when I was a young girl!  To see the original post with comments, click here.

Have you ever struggled with a “perfect offering” that just didn’t turn out as well as you planned?  Does it ever seem to you that pretty much everything in life is imperfect?  Although the connection between the photo and the quote isn’t as obvious as with many of my photos on this blog, perhaps you will understand why this seemed to me the perfect illustration for an unsettling but paradoxically comforting thought.


  1. In this photo, clouds cause the setting sun to provide only dim illumination of Lady Liberty. Therefore it only seems appropriate that the sun’s reflection off the water is not past the bow of a passenger liner, bringing emigrants; but instead reflects the pall of September 11, 2001 by silhouetting a Coast Guard vessel, complete with deck gun. (That’s what I see.)

    • Yes. “There is a crack in everything.”

  2. raynard

    right after we got married, “I think the trip we made to the Statue of Liberty was our first””Smokey& the Bandit/Cannonball Run .. We didnt have passes to go inside( after 9/11 a security requirement).But When one of the Rangers seen my Veteran’s hat, he informed me he was too. Then he reached into his back pocket and pulled out 2 passes and gave it to us.. ( That made up for the field trip in 3rd grade I missed cause of “bad behavior yes me lol). I use to tell a story about people from all over the world coming to see the statue and some that live in NYC never been . Oh how we take stuff for granted and then make “bucketlist , right. Traveling around the world and cross country several time via The U.S Army was a blessing to me which I’ll share with others to encourage them to”travel& see the world ” and never stop dreaming”..( now about that half cup of soda on “dee plane and “does the “rain in spain stay mainly on the plane? lol

    • Raynard, we have done the same thing here in the DC area. When we moved here (part time) more than three years ago, I had these notions that Jeff, Matt and I would get to see (or see again) all these wonderful sights, but I feel that we’ve scarcely scratched the surface. When you live somewhere you think “we can do that anytime” but that thinking (whether applied to travel or photographing everyday moments or writing a loved one or whatever) can come back to haunt us someday when “anytime” slips away from us.

  3. Ann

    Beautiful photograph and wonderful quote.

    • Thank you, Ann!

  4. Sheila

    Julia, I started my day so early that I signed in at my doctor’s office at 8:09:10 so I added
    11-12-13 (the date). I just couldn’t help myself. Who knows, it may have brought a smile to those that signed in after me! I love the quote, your photo and it really works for me! I’m just so happy to still have your blog every morning. 🙂

    • Sheila, I had not even REALIZED that despite writing the date several times myself today! How fun. I am so glad you are enjoying the blog. I know I will post SOMETHING each day, even if it’s only a photo and a link to last year’s post. Thanks for being here and for the encouragement!

  5. Beautiful photo and ideal quote you have given in this post dear…lovely post..

    • Thank you so much Kavita! I love that quote too. I’m glad you like it!

  6. My hubby was just in NYC for some training and took a photo of Lady Liberty from Battery Park. It’s just one of those iconic things that you can’t wait to see in person. Did you know there is a mini Liberty on a tiny island in Paris?

    I do like the line, “the cracks let the light in” Without the cracks, there’d be no hope in a desperate situation would there? I’m thinking of it as definite glimmers of hope that might light your way as you navigate the darkness.

    • No, I didn’t know about the miniature Lady Liberty – was that on Île de la Cité or Île Saint-Louis? Or someplace else? The Statue of Liberty, along with the Golden Gate Bridge, was one of those sights that took my breath away the first time I actually saw it, despite having seen countless photos of it before. In person, it’s just much more impressive. Some things require three dimensions to be fully appreciated. Yes, those tiny glimmers of light are what get us through, and they appear so much brighter in the pitch dark, don’t they?

  7. Thankfully yes, there’s always hope, even on the darkest days.

    Sounds like there may also be a Mini Liberty in a garden in Paris too. The one I referred to is on a tiny island in the Seine called Swan Ally, it’s near the Grenelle Bridge. Here’s a link about the mini Liberty’s you might enjoy…

    Have a lovely weekend Julia. I may not be around too much, I’m hosting out of town guests for Mr B’s 50th. We’re all going to a restaurant downtown with a whole bunch of friends and two couples will stay at the condo while I’m surprising Mr B with a stay at a nice Hotel 😀 Sneaky stuff. xo

    • Wow, I totally missed the one in Luxembourg Gardens! Both times I went to Paris we stayed in Montparnasse just a couple of blocks from there, and we prowled all over those gardens (GORGEOUS – I’ll have to post some photos here sometime) but I never saw Lady Liberty. Thanks for telling me about it, I hope I can go back someday and look her up! Happy 50th to Mr. B – what fun plans. Don’t you love the birthday surprises!! Jeff and I have the same birthday. This year, though, we are scheduled to be spending it in Walter Reed hospital 😦 where he will be recuperating from surgery, but hey, we are grateful they are pulling out all the stops and going for the cure! Have a great time at Mr. B’s party and tell him people born in November are fabulous!

      • LOL, I have to agree with you on that one. I take it your birthday is just around the corner. I hope next year you and Jeff can do something way more fun 😀

        We didn’t get to visit Luxembourg Gardens, we only had 3 days, I will plan to visit on my next trip. It does look so beautiful.

        I’ve been going non-stop since 7:30am, while you I’m sure are used to it, this retired crafter is not…LOL
        Have a wonderful weekend Julia.

        • Actually Boomdee, Matt and I have been sleeping in quite often since he doesn’t have a job or any vocational program right now. I told Jeff that we sort of look on this as one of the few perks from the current situation. Sleeping in is a real treat for me. I have a hard time getting up even when I do sleep in, though. I guess I’m just sort of lazy or maybe our beds and linens nowadays are just TOO comfortable! This morning while I was being lazy I told myself to enjoy it while I can – soon it will be back to those plank-style “chair beds” in the hospital room!

          • I doubt very much that you’re lazy 😀 I envy gals who can sleep in. For example, we went to bed at Midnight and it’s only 5 am and I’m wide awake. But I get to snoop around WP and see what ya’ all are up too 😀

            • Hee-hee, if I stay up late enough and you get up early enough, we might actually be on at the same time…except that your clock is earlier than ours anyway (are you on PST?) I aspire to get up earlier, and sometimes life forces me to do it, as it will tomorrow morning (early appointment with Jeff’s liver surgeon). It’s always an honor to have you snoop around here! Thanks for being here with us.

              • I guess you are EST and we are MST. So I would think there is a 2 hour clock difference as long as you also use Daylight Savings Time there. So if you got up at 5am and I stayed up till 3am we could have a cup of tea 😀
                I sure hope Jeff’s appointment goes well! Take care you two.

                • Hmmm, I guess we should shoot for morning. If I sleep in and you rise at your normal time, that should work! Just got back from talking with the liver surgeon which was a reality check. It’s going to be a tough one but it will give Jeff his best shot at longer-term survival. We do trust the surgeons and that helps. This morning I told Dr. H “I still have PTSD from Jeff’s first liver surgery” and he said “So do I, believe me,” and he wasn’t joking.

                  • That is really something that you’re Dr is in the trenches with you. It takes a good head on your shoulders to manage the emotional and physical challenges of being a good patient, a good Dr and a engaged and optimistic support person too. Sounds like you’re all a good team 😀

                    • I surely hope so. I was telling Jeff today, I’ve gotten used to being of such an age that most all the doctors are younger than we are. In a surgeon, that’s a good thing! But they do seem to really know what they are doing. Dr. H spends about half his time doing surgery at Georgetown and the other half at Walter Reed. It seems like every time we talk to one of the residents they say “I’ll have to talk to Dr. H this afternoon, he’s doing a transplant right now.” I know doctors have this reputation of being arrogant but I’ve hardly ever run across one in all the years I’ve been working for them, taking Matt to them and now listening in on Jeff’s appointments. Matt has had some very prominent heart surgeons but all were caring and respectful. When we count our blessings, there are quite a few doctors among them!

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