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Monday, 24 October 2016

Sight Failing: Aim Still True

“It’s over now, the water and the wine … 
I wish there was a treaty between your love and mine.”
I wrote this upon release of Leonard's latest and last release.
There'll be a host of stuff written.
Why add to it?
Leonard gifted us a warm farewell embrace and, like a homeward dove, eyes soft with sorrow, with a tip of the hat, he left the room.
We should laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all day long.
And then we should return to his words and music.
And then?
We should raise a glass to the few who forgive what we do and... go back to the world.

Leonard Cohen: You Want it Darker

I'm hearing criticism of this; folk saying that Leonard is no longer vital, sharp tongued; that the poet's pen is blunt. Folk expecting 'Hallelujahs' and disappointed by a simple 'thank you'...
It's a bit like ordering Sherpa Tenzing 'once more back up the mountain please.' Ambition is fine but there are some heights that you can only hit once. Anything beyond is a peak out of reach and the hopeful grasping can become flailing affectation, parody or parade. Some summits are beyond most of us; some journeys can only be taken by those with a golden ticket.
Everyone expects different miracles from their heroes and expectation doesn't always equate to delivery. You wanted loaves and fish? You get red red wine... Oy vey!
I hear the sound of a conflicted man pulling a blanket (or shawl) closer to chin, dissing and dismissing his Lord yet counting on his presence, and counting his blessings... still cursed by memories of lost lovers and possibility. Skeptical but still spiritually inquisitive, worldly enough to recall the earthly pleasures, still keen enough to remember the hurt.'Disappointment' is a station that we're all bound for. That we journey with dignity is the unspoken rule of travel; one rule that most of us are bound to break. Bitterness and disappointment stamps our golden ticket so indelibly that we can barely be bothered to decipher its value.
Leonard reminds us that death isn't defeat, it's a destination that we all wish to arrive at dapper and undisappointed.
Is that a word?
I hope so.
It would befit any gravestone.
And will he be met at the station?
The Maker and this holy, conflicted man: that'd be a challenging chat for both..

"A million candles burning for the help that never came... 
I'm ready my Lord... You want it darker? Let's kill the flame."

Adam has certainly captured his father's rich, faltering voice beautifully. Unadorned, unfettered from the now unneeded support of woman. Perhaps this suggests relief at desire's decline. He's travelling light; resigned to going it alone. There's a treacly lustre to the luxuriant production: perhaps a son's desire to ensure that the father's travelling clothes fit and befit. And yet this is no cosy impotent decline; "I'm angry and I'm tired all the time... the poison enters into everything". But whilst Leonard's understandably tired and tetchy, with once perfect vision dulled and dimmed, this is the wondrous sound of a wise man clinging to dear life, not raging, but going as gently as possible, with grace and dignity; surely eyeing the destination but still absorbed by the journey.

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