Me and Leonard Cohen go way back. He and my mom were born in Montreal around the same time so I’ve always felt this strong connect. And it was a thing of beauty to finally get out of the Covid-house and see this film gem in a theater. Plus it was with my friend who is just as gaga about this incredible songwriter. I never knew the whole story behind his most famous song, which took him seven years to write and longer than that to become known for the masterpiece it is.
Poetry is a form I’ve played in on and off since I was just a wee one. I can feel the way regular writing in essay form has pulled me away from the virtue of verse. I suppose inspiration from this film immersion after so many hours of silent isolation was the fire that ignited this poem. By the time you’re reading it I’ll be resting in the Sierras, looking out over Tahoe’s Emerald Bay. It is my offering.
No longer searching, said Leonard Cohen.
Just softly alive, befriending myself,
off the record.
Feeling the urge to activate rise up,
then nimbly sidestepping,
as the impulse fizzles
in the absence of outcome or documentation
or Brownie points.
Letting the itch die of its own accord.
There’s liquid mass melting off my bones,
sensory tides that ooze porous on erratic currents.
I’m adrift on the ebb flow of theta waves.
Slow is an elusive rhythm
that seduces then repels us,
that promises then lies to us,
that tempts us, then asks for restraint.
He also said, I reside in the foothills of old.
Practice death little bit every day,
K Pattabhi Jois said that.
Every moment we opt for a stop,
cease fire to pause and be chill,
take the silent stand as witness…
we shed gestures of testimony,
smack dab love arrows aimed
right into our weary hearts.
And, in an act of concurrent genius,
we infuse the needy breast of this planet.
May you be inspired this week to opt for a stop, pause and be chill, take the silent stand. Send love arrows just where they are needed. And let’s be together soon.