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  • Writer's pictureJustin Key

Behind the Title - Hallelujah

“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen

Fog covering a mountain in black and white.

The water was blue, so was the sky. The sand was gold, the trees green, the clouds white. But they weren’t the typical blue and gold and green and white. The water sparkled like melted sapphires, fizzing as it singed the hot beach glowing like freshly polished gold. The emerald palms, sprouting from the rich earth, frolicked with the friendly breeze. The billowing plumes of vapor drifted through a deepened atmosphere with a purity as if they’d never tasted exhaust. Through that gateway to the universe, the bombshell sun was given a permanent right of way, its energy humming on every surface, sparking the color spectrum into high frequency. 

The beaming orb flooded the island with sunshine, caressing the skin with a homely, loving warmth so tender it blushed. The heat radiated just enough to tickle the core temperature, leaving the body in a comfortable state of glisten. With joyous intent, the rays melted the soul into the luxurious sand, fusing a maternal connection with the divine creator.

This was heaven, a harmonious climate perfected for comfort and happiness, where troubles evaporated like the salt water off your trunks. Rainbows plagued the sky, blossoming from a garden of Eden being fed by a network of spouting waterfalls. Bliss swelled from the earth, replenished by the infinite sea and the eternal sunset on its horizon. Even the rain doused the sun stung skin with rejuvenating relief. 

But beyond the dazzling rainbows and endless waterfalls is the kingdom of this utopian wonder. A castle shrouded in fog, this crown jewel offers respite from the pleasures below. While lacking the sparkling appeal of the diamond encrusted tide, this is the destination for those seeking an encounter with god. 

The environment changes rapidly during the ascent. The haze enveloping the mountain thickens and as it does the light beaming from the golden sun begins to dim. As the light fades so does the color, draining from the tropical forest to feed the saturated coast below. The fog thickens as the elevation increases until the lush trees run as gray as the encompassing smog. 

With the dwindling light goes the heat. The refrigerated peak is insulated by its vapor armor which keeps the temperature set to brisk. The cool air nips the sting of the sunburnt skin, licking the sweat off the body, and tickling the hairs to attention. Nearing the top, the haze condenses into a mist, swirling through the diluted jungle like a continuous rinse cycle. Collecting in the canopy, the moisture rains down in swollen drops before running downhill to feed the gushing waterfalls below. 

At the center of this monsoon stands the king, a stoic structure conducting the forces amongst which it resides. Obscured by the wisping fog, it looms over those who venture to pay tribute. As the wind howls, the mist bites, and the air chills, the almighty ruler remains distant, daring the zealot to balk. But the profound scene generates a paralyzing wonder that easily exceeds this test of patience. Once deemed worthy, the benevolent ruler ushers the elements away and transports the virtuous into the realm of the gods.

While the body is left dripping in the swirling hurricane, the soul elevates into the mist. As immovable as the righteous mountain, it rises through the fog, an effulgent glow emanating from within. Encased in an aura of calm, a welcoming presence summons you to the summit. Faith guides you to the peak, prepared to drink from the infinite wisdom of the universe. Atop this heavenly perch, suspended above the world, the gaze is drawn up into the blinding atmosphere. With the power of the mighty gale surging through your veins, the divine shower cleansing your soul, and the hand of god hoisting you beyond your physical bounds you are close enough to steal a kiss of eternal peace. That’s when you hear the faint whisper wafting through the ether, an angelic chant echoing in the heart about to rupture with elation.


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