Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:47 am

B4-
Thank you for the link. Jennifer Warnes has a beautiful, beautiful voice. Her back up in Take This Waltz is perfect.

There have been one or two other female recording artists that I love completely on their own. Obviously Janice and maybe Jewel and Kate Bush, but otherwise I'm not sure what my problem is. For some reason, there are very few women that don't sound much better to me with the oomph of a man's voice to lead them.

However, the lyrics from female recording artists are completely another story! In my eyes, they can hold a candle to any man and often eclipse them.
I can see why you love these lyrics of Jennifer's!

Vickie
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Jean Fournell » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:11 am

vlcoats wrote: I guess there would be a bit of a language barrier
Hi Vickie,
yes, there is a language barrier indeed! I would never be able to answer your posts after reading them only two or three times...

I stopped riding the Thoroughbred (the brown horse) a good three years ago, and ever since it's only the Camargue I mount. Before, it was one or the other.
The reason is the bad left hind-foot of the Thoroughbred, which is also the reason why she was put on early retirement at only 13 years of age and given to me when my Oldies died (the Camargue's foster-parents) and I was looking for a new companion for her.

Here two photos showing the rings on her hoof, due to her crises since mid-May.
Pieds1.1.jpg
Pieds2.1.jpg

vlcoats wrote: As far as real cowboys go, I guess this isn’t the first time their mentality has been questioned.
I guess it's not. But the racing business is probably worse, riding too young horses and all.
The first humans my Camargue bore (aged two) were tourist children, three or four years old, playing in a lake. She was belly-high in the water, so the kids couldn't have fallen too deep nor too hard. Afterwards she was as proud as proud can be! (Like each fist time she was allowed to do a "big horse" thing.)

vlcoats wrote: it is the practice of accepting grace and seeing it more clearly instead of letting your ego (or your intellect, or your religion, or your desire to win, or your envy, or a million other things) get in the way. Is that close to right?
Yes, I think that's about as close as words can come to that which cannot be put into words. (The zen term used for "accepting grace" is: "just sit, merely sit" (in the Buddha posture), that is without hoping for any gain, neither material nor spiritual. And from there onwards, not only during seated meditation, but otherwise as well. Which means, none of the habitual "give me money, and give me health, and give me enlightenment, and bust my neighbour's lawnmower" only "be graced with being here and now".)

vlcoats wrote: And although I said “struggle with the ox”, “herding the ox” is a more appropriate way of looking at it.
Agreed whence the name Ox-herding pictures, and Kodo Sawaki's gentle word of the "vast field".
Desperate people might have quite some fighting to do, but that's not the root of the thing. The historical Buddha almost killed himself with asceticism, before understanding "not to harm the body". Then he tried to force things through vowing to meditate under that tree until he'd find the solution, before understanding "not to harm the mind".

vlcoats wrote: I assume practicing Zen helps people to round up those things that get in the way so they can move on to accepting grace. I hope I am making sense. You will just have to trust that I understand it a lot better than I can articulate it. ;-)
I never doubted that, Vickie. You are making sense, and you're not alone: nobody can articulate it.
An example: Everybody knows what riding a bicycle is, but nobody can describe which brain centres give which nerves which impulses for which muscles, so as to keep things in balance. And if science finds out one day, their book "Teach Yourself How To Ride A Bike" would be worth no more than any other "Teach Yourself How To Read And Write" book.
Hold the bike's saddle, then walk, then run beside it, until you get the feeling that the kid got the feeling that's all. But "get the feeling that the kid got the feeling" can't be done by words. We need our conscious reason for it, and also our non-conscious brain apparatus, and also our body, and then our empathy...

vlcoats wrote: I sometimes wonder if Leonard might have been happier if he had been a farm laborer or a construction worker instead of a talented and gifted musician and poet.
That's quite possible. Happier, yes but not happy.
The road he travelled was his road; any other road would have been a "wrong" road, and we can only cheat ourselves for a while before our truth calls us by our name. He chose to listen to that voice.

vlcoats wrote: I think he would have benefited from the routine of being tired in his body and not just his mind and to be in a place where his own needs were not exactly top priority. There is something to be said for that practice too. But I know a lot more about hard work than I do about depression or poetry or Zen or even Leonard for that matter… not that hard work is exclusive of any of those.
Just as the Roman Catholics have their "Ora et labora" (pray and work), zen has its "A day without work is a day without food". Leonard Cohen referred to Mount Baldy as a kind of hospital. (But not only because of the physical work, of course.)
(Edit: corrected it's to its)

vlcoats wrote: I think I get your final comment about The Ballad of the Absent Mare being a man and woman thing. Since the song stopped at the 8th ox picture, it was about personal salvation, a more intimate and earthly attainment of enlightenment (such as that between a man a woman) rather than the larger salvation of all sentient beings. I am glad that Leonard just "let it go by” at that. I was also glad to hear that you found more in The Ballad of the Absent Mare than you expected that you would. Goes to show that you can find anything you want if you look hard enough, right?
Yes indeed Leonard Cohen is known for his many-layered songs.
And just to avoid misunderstandings: I don't think the persona "Leonard" in the song and the real Leonard Cohen are perfectly interchangeable...
Last edited by Jean Fournell on Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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Hartmut
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Hartmut » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:30 pm

This is a very long thread ...

Has someone already mentioned Emmylou Harris' excellent version of "Absent Mare": "Ballad of a Runaway Horse"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLnncuskFhc

Leonard wrote this about it:
"Thank you for singing that song of mine. You brought it to a place I could never get to."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DkQUgtvcnY

viewtopic.php?t=36063
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:13 pm

Hartmut post wrote: This is a very long thread ...
Yes it is! If you have read it, you must be a very patient man. Thank you for attempting it. Thank you also for the links, and no I don't think we spoke of Emmylou Harris's version. I see she sang the female version from Jennifer Warnes. I loved the pictures on the video too! The second clip of her reading the letter from LC was pretty cool. I wonder if she ever got to meet him. I hope so.

Jean Fournell wrote:… Yes, there is a language barrier indeed! I would never be able to answer your posts after reading them only two or three times...”
Jean,
Thankfully you are able to overcome that barrier. Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to have a conversation at all. I would be struggling forever if I were trying to read what you are saying in French or any other language than English. I would need a dictionary, a cultural guidebook, and way more time than I would ever have at this point in my life. So thank you for taking the time.

You obviously love your horses very much. Sorry about the Thoroughbred’s hoof. She is lucky that she has you to care for her. My Sam (the large spotted donkey) had hoof issues when I got him, but I didn’t know that. He was my first equine, and I was happy to hear that I could ride him, which I tried to do, pretending to know what I was doing. He tolerated me until he got wise to me and bucked me off (although donks don’t really buck, it is more of a stop and shrug and you roll over their shoulders). After several visits from the farrier and the vet, his feet are better now, but our riding relationship has yet to be fully realized. Donkeys are very slow and methodical and proceed when they want to proceed. They are not flight animals, like you have described horses. They are “I will stop until I am ready to move on” animals. If you try to push them, they square their feet and become a mountain which refuses to move. No amount of whipping would have the effect on a donkey that it would on a horse. Not that it is okay to use the whip on any animal. This is one of the reasons why I compared them to Leonard. From what I have learned about him, he took his sweet time with his writing, his music, and everything because he had to. He could not be rushed.

Your Camargue horse is beautiful. I watched your last YouTube video with her mane fluttering when she ran and her feet clip-clopping and how she trusted you. I had never heard of her breed, so I looked it up and learned it is an ancient breed. I was taught that white horses are lucky. My dad played a game with us in the car we called “White Horse”. We would all watch out the window, and if you saw a white horse, you quickly licked the thumb of your right hand and put it in the palm of your left hand. Then you made a fist with your right hand and holding your thumb up, hit the palm of your left hand with the bottom of your fist and yelled, “White Horse!” Whoever was first to spot the horse was the one who received all of the good luck from that horse. If you called it too soon and then realized the horse was not pure white as you got closer (or worse yet, a cow), you not only lost the luck but tempted bad luck in its place. To this day, I quietly lick my thumb and put it in the palm of my other hand if I spot a white horse (not easy to do when driving).

I appreciate your information on Zen. The biography “Various Positions” goes into Leonard’s relationship with Buddhism more than the other biographies I have read. I am on the chapter “New Scripture” where it talks about Rinzai Buddhism and discusses Roshi’s take on it. Although I appreciate some of the concepts, I don’t agree with others or maybe just don’t understand them. Especially the absence of self. I mean, what if you like yourself just fine as you are? There are other parts of it that I agree with more though.
I like what you said about riding a bike. I also liked the part about the Buddha and ‘not to harm the body’, ‘not to harm the mind’ and the “just sitting” thing. But I guess the discussion of Zen is probably better elsewhere than this thread since it might be considered off topic, although it does have a lot to do with Leonard’s music.

Lucky for us that Leonard stayed on the road he had to travel and did the job he had to do. We needed him to have that job. Still, I think there was a way he could have been happier much earlier, but he just ran out of time. Like we all will.

I told my husband that I don’t feel like this is only about the music and the poetry anymore. I am starting to feel like I am studying, not just listening to Leonard Cohen’s music or just reading about him. He answered by saying, “No, you are just crazy.” But he likes to tease me. ;-)

Vickie
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:52 pm

B4real post wrote:
its4inthemorning wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:02 pm
A few weeks ago I thought about posting an occasional cartoon drawing for levity, with the theme being Dave enduring Vickie's discovery of Leonard Cohen
Ah 4, in Aussie strine words - just aveago! And also to everyone avagoodweegend ;-)
Hi B4!
I have a treat for you from 4. Here it is:
Curts cartoon (500x391).jpg
He asked me for help to change the pdf file he had into a jpeg file so it could be posted. I used the Window's Snipping Tool (and no 4, it is not a garden tool, LOL!) and it worked out just fine. I think I sized it down a little too much and made it a little fuzzy as the pdf was more clear, but isn't it wonderful? I told 4 that he is very talented and he should draw more. I also told him that I am even more annoying than he betrayed me, as I would have skipped saying hi to Dave and went straight to bombarding him with my thoughts on Leonard Cohen music or poetry and asking him a million questions before he put his keys down.
Thank you for sharing this 4!!
Vickie
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby B4real » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:10 am

hehehe! Thanks 4 and Vickie, for exposing 4’s hidden artistic talent!
....and his not-so hidden wonderful sense of humour :razz:
Totally enjoyed it!
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:45 pm

Good morning!

I finished the Nadel biography Various Positions and I think it is my favorite so far. The ending bothered me a little because it ended when Leonard was still on Mt Baldy before he had more trouble with his depression, so it sort of had a "waiting for the other shoe to drop" feeling for me.

I should have ordered another one before I finished this one. I am really curious about his life, it's crazy. No, I am not obsessed. Not obsessed at all. B4 supplied that wonderful list of biographies earlier in this thread, and I am thinking of reading A Broken Hallelujah by Liel Leibovitz. It seems to be the most recent one that is strictly about him. Does anyone here have an opinion on that one? I am curious about Leonard's take on Judaism since I know it was so important to him that I might learn something from him there. I am most curious about the time period leading up to and including his last 3 albums. Those 3 albums have a real sense of honesty to them, and with each one, he seemed to become more centered and I wonder why that was. But, it looks like I will have to wait for that biography to be written.

I am also going to move on to the Cohen Live CD. I have really enjoyed the Field Commander Cohen Tour of 1979, and I am ready to declare it my favorite live album, but I guess I should wait until I have heard them all.

Thank you again for your advice.
Vickie
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby its4inthemorning » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:54 pm

Interesting, Vickie, that you say Nadal's biography is your favorite. I loved it when I read it, but once Sylvie's came out, that became my favorite. Perhaps this is partly due to it including years not covered by Nadal, but if my memory serves me, I think Sylvie's research may have been more extensive. Maybe this is a good time to go through Nadal's book again.

I was surprised to see the the encouragements to ride a horse. Evidently, there is something about that experience that you feel I shouldn't miss. I may actually have an opportunity to do so next month if a short holiday in Nova Scotia pans out. If so, I will post my reactions to the experience.

A while ago Alan mentioned that he thought "New Skin for the Old Ceremony" could easily have been called "Songs of Love and Hate" part 2. Maybe this would be an interesting topic to delve into?

4
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
2017 NOVEMBER 4-8 - MONTREAL "TOWER OF SONG" CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:38 pm

its4inthemorning post wrote:Maybe this is a good time to go through Nadal's book again.
Funny! I was just telling myself the same thing about Simmons' book!

Would love to hear what you think of riding!

Great idea for a topic. I have always loved New Skin for the Old Ceremony, and I remember you saying something like I was more appreciative of it than you were. I have always wondered why.
My first question for Alan is why did he say that it could easily have been called "Songs of Love and Hate part 2"?

Vickie
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby its4inthemorning » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:19 pm

Quick post.

I have not really paid much attention to Allan Showalter's site since the original one shut down, and today I thought I would take a quick look at what he's posted since his mention of this thread. Wow, there is an incredible amount of information, ranging from short tidbits of trivia to interesting videos and audios. I can see I will be spending some time there going forward. Vickie, perhaps of particular interest to you (and Dave?) since you seemed to enjoy "Isle of Wight" a lot is an audio posting of Leonard live at Leeds in 1970. The few snippets I listened to exhibited the same sparse instrumentation, and very slow pace, of the "Isle" concert. Such a difference from the renditions in his 2008-2012 tours.

Happy weekend to all!

4
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
2017 NOVEMBER 4-8 - MONTREAL "TOWER OF SONG" CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby B4real » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:10 am

vlcoats wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:45 pm
I am thinking of reading A Broken Hallelujah by Liel Leibovitz. It seems to be the most recent one that is strictly about him. Does anyone here have an opinion on that one?
Vickie, I haven’t read A Broken Hallelujah so I can’t give you any first hand comments on the book.
I am also going to move on to the Cohen Live CD. I have really enjoyed the Field Commander Cohen Tour of 1979, and I am ready to declare it my favorite live album, but I guess I should wait until I have heard them all.
FCC :) hehe! Is this the point where I say something like I knew you knew that!
Anyway, I thought I’d continue with my different LC lines for this Cohen Live album too.

Those alternate lines we previously spoke about that LC has used over the years for Bird On The Wire are also repeated here –
Like a knight bent down in some old-fashioned book
It was the shape of our love that twisted me...
It's just that I thought a lover had to be some kind of liar too...
(The next lines below of BOTW are akin to the Neville Bros cover of LC’s song and here he has covered the cover of his own song!)
Ah don't cry, don’t, don’t cry, don't cry no more
It's over now, it's over baby
Don't cry no more
I said, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don't cry anymore
It's over, it's finished,
it's completed and it has, it has been paid for...

Everybody Knows –
Take one last look at this Mighty Heart
before it blows...

Joan Of Arc –
No man to get her through this dark, this very smoky night...
Well, I'm glad to hear, to hear you talk this way
You see, I've watched you riding almost every single day...
"And I love your solitude, and oh, how I love your sense of pride”...
It was deep into his fiery heart
he took the dust of our Joan of Arc,
and high above all of these assembled wedding guests
he hung the ashes of her very lovely wedding dress...
It was deep, deep into his fiery heart
That he took the dust of our precious Joan of Arc...

There Is A War –
I guess you call this love, I call it Room Service.

Sisters Of Mercy –
Your loneliness tells you you’ve sinned...

Hallelujah –
Baby, I've been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you
Yeah, and I've seen your flag on the marble arch
but listen love, love is not some kind of victory march
no it's cold and it's a very broken Hallelujah...
There was a time you let me know
What's really going on below
Ah but now you never show it to me, do you?
Ah but I remember, yeah when I moved in you,
And the holy dove, she was moving too,
Yes every single breath that we drew was Hallelujah...
Maybe there's a God above,
As for me, all I've ever seemed to learn from love
Is how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
Yeah but it's not a complaint that you hear tonight
It's not the laughter of someone who claims to have seen the light
No it's a cold and it's a very lonely Hallelujah...
(I hate it when covers don’t say the word “at” – the whole meaning is altered!)

I’m Your Man –
I'll wear my leather mask for you...
If you want a Jewish doctor
I'll uncover every inch of you...
or only want to walk with me another mile
across the sand
I'm your man.

One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong –
And he locked himself into a library shelf
Ah with all of the details of our, our shabby honeymoon
And I hear from his nurse, yeah, that he's got much worse
And his, his practice has fallen into ruin...
I suppose he froze when the wind tore off your clothes...

Suzanne –
And you know he will find you
For he’s touched your perfect body with his mind...
And you know she will find you
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind.

If It Be Your Will is my favourite song from this album. Although I enjoyed watching the Webb sisters singing it exclusively over the last long tour, I simply prefer Leonard’s voice because it is his prayer and associated with his Jewish faith (full explanation in the bio you have just finished reading, so I’ll let you discover it ;-) again). He was once asked in the 90's which song he wished he’d written. He replied, “If It Be Your Will ... and I wrote it!” His favourite line is “all your children here, in their rags of light”.

Joan Of Arc will always be a favourite with me which seems to contradict my preference for Leonard’s voice alone as this song is usually a duet as it is here. Leonard’s melody for it is simply hypnotic! To watch I’m You Man live is quite an experience and talk about tongue-in-cheek; well here he’s really being cheeky! By memory, this song was inspired by his relationship with a woman at that time which was detoriating. She was also his long time photographer, Dominique Issermann. Another favoured song is One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong and it has a wonderful under-utilized melody for the violin, which I might add I haven’t been playing too much lately (family history research takes a lot of time!) and my fingers are getting soft!
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby AlanM » Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:10 am

p.s. Jean I have been unable to look at your videos due to my aged computer. Fear not, it is to be replaced next week!
I'm baaa-aack, but I have not really been away. I have been following the thread on my phone, but I find keying in more than a few words on a phone is very frustrating.
Also (don't laugh) until Monday I was still using Vista and I am now struggling to come to terms with the differences manifested in Windows 10.
Jean, Your videos are still on my "to do" list, but I'll look soon.
4, ride the horse! Many years ago there was a BBC series called The Ascent of Man by the brilliant Dr Jacob Bronowski. In it (and the book from the series) he says:
The horse and the rider have many anatomical features in common. But it is the human creature that rides the horse, and not the other way about. ... because man was not created to ride the horse. There is no wiring inside the brain that makes us horse riders. Riding a horse ... less than 5000 years old. And yet it has had an immense influence, for instance on our social structure.
So - do something that your brain is not hard wired for.

Bev I agree completely with the penultimate paragraph in your posting above. My favourite version of If It Be Your Will is the Austin City Limits one.

New Skin For The Old Ceremony = Songs Of Love And Hate 2
1. Is This What You Wanted? - Hate
2. Chelsea Hotel #2 - Love
3. Lover, Lover, Lover - Resentment = Hate
4. Field Commander Cohen - Love
5. Why Don't You Try? - Love
6. There Is A War - Hate
7. A Singer Must Die - Resentment = Hate
8. I Tried To Leave You - Love
9. Who By Fire? - Neither and/or both
10. Take This Longing - Love

Disclaimer - ALL Leonard Cohen's lyrics are multi-layered and complicated and cannot be summed up in one or two words.
However, I find the hate expressed in Is This What You Wanted? and There Is A War is as great as any of his songs, and the love and longing in Why Don't You Try? and Take This Longing is as intense as anywhere else in his works.

So, that's my current position, I am prepared to be persuaded otherwise.
As you may have observed already, I have never been concerned about hanging out my ignorance in front of others.
Also - there is no such thing as a stupid question - you just haven't made your explanation clear enough.

Alan
Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:08 am

AlanM post wrote:...I'm baaa-aack...
Yay! I haven't had a chance to read your entire post because we are in the middle of a home improvement project, but I will ASAP and then respond. Just glad you are back. I was worried and of course blamed myself. I will get back to you as soon as we are done with our first attempt at installing carpet in our fixer-upper, and if history tells me anything, I will be lucky if we are not at each other's throats by tomorrow night!

B4-... I had a chance to read your post quickly too and will get back. Of course you knew that I would love the Field Commander CD. I have already started to listen to Cohen Live and love the "holy dove" verse on Hallelujah (who wouldn't!).

4... Thank you for the reminder to look at Allan Showalter's site. I could spend a lifetime getting to know Leonard's writing and music, and everyone here on our thread has given me so much that I haven't felt the need to look anywhere else. But I know that I will, and I should.

Jean...You're here still too, right?

Thanks again everyone.. Please say a prayer to the saint of home remodeling and fixer-uppers for me. Surely there must be one.

Vickie
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:03 am

Alan-
I hope you are getting along with Windows 10 now. Don’t you wish you were like the Millennials who understand technology because it is like the air they have breathed their whole lives?

Thumbs up on your comments to 4 on the horseback riding. In my opinion, it is the closest you can get to be a Centaur, ha-ha. Although I am not that big on astrology, I have always loved my sign of Sagittarius. Galloping is the most fun of all, which unfortunately, donkeys do not partake in.

I pretty much agree with all of your Love/Hate comments on New Skin. Except for Lover, Lover, Lover. How can a song that brings so much joy to me be a song that comes from hate? For one thing, the music is so upbeat and engulfing. For another thing, I don’t think it is resentment. I think the crux of that song lies in the lyrics of the 4th verse. It is more a desire for atonement (I think that is the word I am looking for) than resentment. If not atonement... then maybe it is at least a desire to say “I am ready to move on and ask for your blessing, even though I have been dealt a crappy hand and things have kind of sucked lately”.

As for your comments in your penultimate paragraph … by the way, thank goodness I didn’t have to look up that word (penultimate). I learned it as a school librarian. The children’s author Lemony Snicket wrote a series of 13 books, and his 12th was called “The Penultimate Peril”..... Anyway, I agree with you very much on your comments in that paragraph, especially about the ‘love’ songs. Why Don’t You Try has always piqued my interest. And Take This Longing is another favorite.

A Singer Must Die is one of the few songs that Dave has ever commented on. He repeated the lyric “I'm sorry for smudging the air with my song” and laughed. It’s one of my favorite lines too.

We survived our first try at carpet installation without killing each other. If you have gone through home improvements with your significant other, you know what I mean.

This Monday, I am back to work in the school library. I have promised myself to save time for practicing guitar (B4- I am trying to keep my fingers from getting soft again!) and also for practicing my try at learning a little of the French language. I added a free app to my phone called Duolingo in hopes of learning something before going to Montreal. It is a very difficult language for me! So far, my biggest problem by far is with pronunciation. It just doesn’t make sense to me. But I will try.

Vickie
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Jean Fournell
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Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:09 pm
Location: Provence

Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Jean Fournell » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:06 am

vlcoats wrote: Jean...You're here still too, right?
Yes, I'm still here.
It should be pretty safe to say that your approach to Leonard Cohen is more structured than that of most people, and so the term "studying" might indeed be not too far from the point. And we are all of us more or less "crazy" here...

I'm a bit shy about that zen off-topic, too but on the one hand this forum is lavishly generous in such questions, and on the other hand zen and Judaism are two important aspects in Leonard Cohen. Without a few details, we will understand much less than we might.

For my part, I was delighted to learn that "I lit a thin green candle" refers to the Jewish Friday evening ritual of preparing the Sabbath, and that the "famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder" as a sign that the addressee was grieving. These pieces of information, learned decades later, shed a fabulous new light on the songs. The meaning of "Hineni" was revealed straight away, and so it never was some strange kind of "Lalala" for me, but always "Here I am", not like in "Here I stand, I'm your man", but the answer which Abraham gave his Lord when being asked to kill Isaac. I'm not a Jew, nor otherwise very versed in any monotheism, and texts like the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, or the Qur'an are too difficult for me. Such information allows me to, secretly and from a distance, realise and bow before the Buddha-nature of those who practice such things.
And that's maybe not so far off topic when it comes to "discovering", after all...

Anyway, I'm not qualified to speak about the particularities of Rinzaï zen, and I never read Ira Nadel's "Various Positions". Nor did I know Roshi. Which puts an easy limit to my verbosity. So just a brief comment on this:
vlcoats wrote: Although I appreciate some of the concepts, I don’t agree with others or maybe just don’t understand them. Especially the absence of self. I mean, what if you like yourself just fine as you are?
Here like elsewhere: "If it's not broken, don't fix it." Someone (Jesus?) once said that only sick people need a doctor, not the healthy ones. Which then means that the healthy ones can straight away "just sit" (in case that should be their lot...), without an initial healing phase.

"Absence of [permanent] self" is a global term, where Western languages prefer more specifically detailed expressions: selflessness, to change one's mind, to be of two minds, to make up one's mind, etc. Nothing very extraordinary; it's the thing that allows us to learn, to get over preconceived ideas, and such.
We must bear today the consequences of our errors committed yesterday but we needn't uphold the errors themselves, as tokens of a fake personal identity.
vlcoats wrote: We would all watch out the window, and if you saw a white horse, you quickly licked the thumb of your right hand and put it in the palm of your left hand. Then you made a fist with your right hand and holding your thumb up, hit the palm of your left hand with the bottom of your fist and yelled, “White Horse!” Whoever was first to spot the horse was the one who received all of the good luck from that horse.
That's a very nice pastime for children on a long car ride! Took me a few times before I could do it, and surely not as fast as "well trained" kids would.
And yes, Camargue horses are (obviously!) the very best horses on Earth along with all the others, but still: the very better best.
As for the Thoroughbred, she sure is a source of worry. I'll surely have to send her over the rainbow-bridge one day, but keeping her moving has always permitted so far to pull her out of her crises even if she never had so many in such a short time as right now.
She is a fighter, and bravely musters ever new pleasure to be alive. That's all I know.

Once I had borrowed a donkey, for a few months, to see if a mare of mine would accept him and make a mule (which explains why I like that old postcard). They didn't take to each other, but he was a fine fellow except that he was frightened of crossing roads, and once he grew roots right in the middle of a pretty busy road, in a bend with no visibility from either side. Causing me quite some "panic of loss"...

@ Its4inthemorning: That's a nice drawing. I like your sense for detail, such as the lintel. It is absolutely unnecessary, but you took the pains to give it a place. If I could draw, I'd draw you in the process of drawing "purposelessness".

@ Alan: I wouldn't know what to say about Windows 10.
Once you get the knack, Ubuntu is so much easier... Hope you'll find your way through and get it to work properly.

@ Lover Lover Lover: Seems to me that this song is about difference, otherness, alterity here between God and His lover.
Very similar to
Hartmut wrote: Leonard wrote this about it:
"Thank you for singing that song of mine. You brought it to a place I could never get to."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DkQUgtvcnY
And Emmylou Harris' reaction to it in the video.

I like the knowledge that if I cannot do a given thing, this doesn't necessarily mean that it can't be done...
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)

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