Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

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

Postby Jean Fournell » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:08 pm

Two points I forgot to mention previously:

● A hunch had got me toying with the internet, and I found this:
In the Bible, Isaiah 43:1, God says:
"I have called you by your name; you are mine."
Maybe this could be seen in parallel to "Love calls you by your name".
(Some say that God is Love...)

The incongruous places are necessary in order for love (to try) to catch us off-guard.
If we were more open-minded, maybe it could reach us the normal way.
The non-existing no-man's-land is a kind of heliport for a fifth dimension, after three spatial dimensions and passing time. It is a second dimension of time, at right angles to the dimension of passing time, as it were; and it is commonly named "eternity". And just as "breadth" uses up zero "length" or "height", eternity "uses up" zero passing time.

And of course in reality, dimensions are not mutually exclusive. A thing can easily have length and breadth and height at the same time. In reality, "eternity" is everywhere in our ordinary daily life.
In reality, love calls us by our name all the time but only rarely does it find the incongruous corkscrew to unplug our ears...

● The fingernails, especially of the plucking hand, can be an important factor for a guitar player become a singer-songwriter in order to seduce women.
The women in your scrapbook
whom you still praise and blame,
you say they chained you to your fingernails
and you climb the halls of fame.


Some use artificial fingernails:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificia ... ical_usage



Now for the main subject of this post:
vlcoats wrote: I do have a question though about what you said here

Jean Fournell wrote:
The impermanence of the centaur.

What does that mean? I know equines through history have allowed man to be transient and therefore not permanent, but I am sure that you are talking about something else.

Yes Vickie, I am. What I said is:
Jean Fournell wrote: ... with horses this human characteristic shows.
Because horses can't complain.

Now the clasp of this union
who fastens it tight?
Who snaps it asunder
the very next night
Some say the rider
Some say the mare


The impermanence of the centaur.
(And yet, for 6000 years horses were a precondition for the development that turned out to be ours...)

In the "Ballad of the Absent Mare", this is preceded by
And they turn as one
and they head for the plain
No need for the whip
Ah, no need for the rein


The impermanence of this centaur, of this "as one" ("Who snaps it [= the clasp of this union] asunder / the very next night")
on the surface level refers to a) our urge to dominate others (sentient as well as non-sentient beings). This urge is a major part of our human psyche and pops up whenever it will ("Some say the rider").
And it refers to b) the fact that horses don't have two options (flight and, if it is too late, fight for survival), but only one option: flight.
(Donkeys can fight, which allows them to "stand their ground", and so can dogs, cats, cows, chicken, humans...)
Therefore horses are lost (killed) if they miss the moment to run; and so they sometimes react in a fashion that's surprisingly different from what we'd expect ("Some say the mare").

The image of the centaur is the idea of oneness with the horse, when for mysterious reasons the above two difficulties are absent ("Now the clasp of this union / who fastens it tight?") or at least reduced to such a point that they are not too much of a nuisance anymore.

But of course there is a lot more to the whole thing than this surface level. These last 6000 years since the domestication of horse and donkey have brought about the wheel, metalwork, writing, towns, and quite a few more inventions the basics of Afro-Eurasian culture (the American and Australian cultures developed without the horse and without the wheel).

The underlying question of oneness with the horse, oneness with Nature, oneness with God is a pretty important spiritual question:

In the Ox-herding version quoted in Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Bulls, the eighth picture is the Empty Circle, the circle around Yin and Yang, transcending both of them like the 24-hour day transcends night and day. If this circle is empty now, it becomes pure (and purely theoretical), like the 24-hour day without day and night in it.
Purity and theory have something dreadfully incomplete about them.
Their hall-mark is self-reflexivity, sainthood, being judge and party at the same time. Depending on the individual case, this might be a very salutary illusion but an illusion.

The tenth Ox-herding picture, in the same version, on the contrary shows a ragged, dusty beggar, using no magic (It's over now, the water and the wine "Treaty") who has returned to society's vanity fair, his empty hands full of gifts. Right into the world of duality; a bodhisattva, or messiah.
(The most famous among them, Jesus, is considered as fully enlightened (God), and yet incarnate as a helpless baby, in practice needing very impure diapers.)

There is no self-reflexivity left here. The bodhisattva is nothing. Not without the others.
Or as Eihei Dogen (1200-1253) has it:
To practice seated meditation (zazen) is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget the self is to be certified by all existences in the cosmos.


As long as we feel "as one" with the horse (or with the world, or with God), as long as we think "this is the centaur" (or "this is the mystic union"), we are in the world of illusion. When we are really one with the horse, there is nobody left to think such stuff.
It's not that we are not allowed to be both judge and party (as would be the case in a legal context) here we cannot, it's technically impossible: in order to be able to say "this is one", there must be the observer and the observed, as Krishnamurti would put it. And that makes it two of them.

When there is a centaur, I'm not aware of it, and therefore it's incomplete.
When I become aware of it, we are two, and it's not a centaur anymore.
Impermanence.

That's why it's only others that can certify us, and it's only we that can certify others.
(If I didn't have your love / To make it real)
The name for this is "interdependence".

The question deals with the dialectics of dvaita and advaita (duality and non-duality; or dualism and non-dualism):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvaita_Vedanta
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Vedanta
(No need to read all those things...)
This is the stuff Leonard Cohen studied with Ramesh Balsekar.
There is, and must be, an oscillation one-two-one-two...

We can't block the world in either state, however much we'd like to:
We find ourselves on different sides
Of a line that nobody drew


That's not necessarily two different persons on two different sides it may well be one person in two different states.
Duality and non-duality are like Yin and Yang: mutually exclusive and yet one inside the other.
And since all this stuff is desperately complicated, and becomes ever more complicated the more we think about it (the world of illusion going on and on and on):
"just let it go by"



A basic human question, and a poor attempt of mine at answering.
Thanks for asking.
___________________________________________________
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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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:42 am

Jean Fournell wrote: .... In reality, love calls us by our name all the time but only rarely does it find the incongruous corkscrew to unplug our ears...
Jean,
Regarding this first subject of your post, although you say it wasn't the main subject, you certainly had a special way of saying it. I really liked it.

As for your main subject--the impermanence of the centaur-- it took me some time to try to wrap my mind around the concepts you were talking about. Anyway, I think I got there in the end though, at least for the most part, getting lost a few times and not totally grasping all of it.

When you talk of the centaur you are really talking about everything and nothing. There are other parallels to the centaur concept that I think everyone has felt from time to time, things as simple (or complex) as that moment between trying to learn to ride a bicycle and then actually riding the bicycle, where you wonder 'how did I do that', but just the fact that you are wondering how you did it proves that the moment is over.... Is that close?

I didn't get quite what you meant exactly by "That's why it's only others that can certify us, and it's only we that can certify others." and then as you went on to talk about duality and non-duality, I was mostly lost as well, but I think I grasped enough of it to understand that I need to try to understand it better, although not entirely because it sounds like that would be impossible. And I agree with what you said in the end and how it related to Leonard's last lines of Ballad of the Absent Mare:
And since all this stuff is desperately complicated, and becomes ever more complicated the more we think about it (the world of illusion — going on and on and on):
"just let it go by"
Thank you for explaining that this "was the stuff Leonard Cohen studied with Ramesh Balsekar". I have read often in the biographies on Leonard about his going to India and meeting with Balsekar, but they never specified what he was talking to him about and what it was that drew him there. When I think of religion, I want to think of G-d, but you have reminded me that the concept of G-d is only part of it.
A basic human question, and a poor attempt of mine at answering.
Not hardly, Jean. You do very well at trying to explain a very complicated concept. Thank you again for getting me to think and giving me something to learn more about. You seem to be very good at that. I don't often get the chance to have many conversations like this. Have you ever been a teacher, as in a profession?

On another note..... you all might remember the dog who was shot across the river from us last March, who we searched for like he was our own 'Absent Mare'. We named him Lucky and have been fostering him as we worked with a local animal welfare organization to find him a permanent home. He ended up to be a wonderful dog, but we already have 4 dogs. This weekend we received not one but two successful applications for his adoption! As his fosters, we were given the final word. The choice was easy because Lucky was obviously drawn to the second applicant himself. I know my dog story doesn't have much to do with Leonard, beyond the fact that it was during the time that I was listening to Recent Songs for the first time, but I just wanted to share his happy ending. It was a long time coming.

If we are ready to think of another topic... I would like to hear everyone discuss anything related to one of his last 3 albums. 4, you are so good at coming up with topics, will you think about it?

Vickie
I edited to fix a typo, I do not dare to edit more because I could be on here forever lol... thank you Jean again and I hope you understand what I wrote
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Jean Fournell
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Jean Fournell » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:45 pm

vlcoats wrote: ... that moment between trying to learn to ride a bicycle and then actually riding the bicycle, where you wonder 'how did I do that', but just the fact that you are wondering how you did it proves that the moment is over.... Is that close?
Oh yes, it most certainly is.
In that privileged moment between "I can't do it!" and "How did I do it?", there is no ego. Gone, evaporated. The body-mind continuum operating without "me".
vlcoats wrote: I didn't get quite what you meant exactly by "That's why it's only others that can certify us, and it's only we that can certify others."
"The other" in the case of the bicycle our helper holding the saddle and running beside our bike "certifies" the reality of that moment when our body-mind continuum "gets it"; and thus our helper can let go of the saddle and stop running.
This intermediate moment of "absence of self" is not "real" for us (since our ego is switched off and "we" don't know anything); but it is very real for the helper, who was getting impatient already for this moment to come (since it's a bit awkward and tiring to run beside a bike and hold the saddle, isn't it).
(Such moments also occur in situations of stress, of extreme danger or pain: our body-mind continuum does the right thing, without letting our ratiocinating ego interfere and make a mess.)

The difference is: we know now how to ride a bike, and that's that. For the rest of our life; we'll never forget.
Whereas outside such a specific learning situation, the process is never over: life itself is always new. The only serious thing that can happen to this new-ness is our becoming blasé. Then love needs that incongruous corkscrew, in order to revive our "beginner's mind" (Shunryu Suzuki).

vlcoats wrote: When you talk of the centaur you are really talking about everything and nothing.
In French "talking about everything and nothing" means a loose, friendly conversation, about no particular topic. But that wouldn't fit into the context.
Are you referring to nihilism versus somethingism? Like in:
You know who I am,
you've stared at the sun,
well I am the one who loves
changing from nothing to one.


vlcoats wrote: Have you ever been a teacher, as in a profession?
Good guess: Yes, I'm a retired teacher indeed.

And good news that the dog is fine and has found a new home!
___________________________________________________
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)
its4inthemorning
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby its4inthemorning » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:25 am

To continue with the canine theme: Jean, you are a clever dog!

Through his posts (at least many of them) Jean has subtly urged/enticed/dared the reader to reflect on and contemplate the deepest of matters ("the stuff Leonard Cohen studied"). Reflection and contemplation are processes that I think all noninfant humans have, but which are rarely employed by most, myself definitely included. Why is this? People tend to develop and use those mental capacities that will come into play in day-to-day living, and the ability to ponder and contemplate that which does not affect our daily lives is often/usually relegated to the back seat.

Leonard Cohen's lyrics provide a portal into a place where reflection and contemplation--about life, love, hate, religion, existence--are encouraged. We all start at the same level: we like the lyrics, we like the imagery they provide, and we like to--albeit briefly--let our minds drift a little bit deeper. But the song ends, and we have the next set of lyrics to consider. Maybe this level is "Cohen for Dummies." Nothing wrong with this level, nothing at all.

But occasionally there are Cohen fans whose minds, through prior learning or inclination, are fertile beds where the seeds of contemplation and reflection flourish under the mystique of Cohen's lyrics. Jean is one of these.

I admit that I am firmly at the "Cohen for Dummies" level, my contemplation and reflection muscles remain mostly underdeveloped. Moreover, I may be approaching the time where the "can't teach an old dog new tricks" adage starts to come into play (another canine reference!). But--and here is the point of the opening sentence above--Jean has somehow managed to get me to read and reread and reread again his intricate and challenging posts because he has interested and motivated me to do so.

It hadn't before occurred to me that Jean's profession was teacher (I am less astute than Vickie), but now it seems so obvious. Thank you for your efforts Jean, I am trying to follow along even if that is not always apparent. And I enjoy that you are able to wrap up certain points with eerily-appropriate Cohen lyrics to bring us back to the purpose of this thread.

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 5-8 - MONTREAL LEONARD COHEN MEMORIAL CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:59 am

Hi Jean!
Thank you for reiterating some of our conversation and then adding more to make it easier for me to understand.
Jean Fournell wrote:.....Such moments also occur in situations of stress, of extreme danger or pain: our body-mind continuum does the right thing, without letting our ratiocinating ego interfere and make a mess.
I read this aloud to Dave (as I do when he is willing, lol) because I was sure he would identify with it. As a retired EMT and Rescue Swimmer in the Coast Guard, he agreed that there are those moments where you just "go" and react without thinking. Some of it is training, but some of it is who you are.
In French "talking about everything and nothing" means a loose, friendly conversation, about no particular topic. But that wouldn't fit into the context. Are you referring to nihilism versus somethingism?
I looked up 'nihilism' and didn't realize that it is something that I am familiar with, because it is a very tempting and easy-to-fall-into idea-- "the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless"--- I mean... is there any real proof otherwise? Unless you count crazy visions from random people and actual saints, none of whom I have actually ever met, there is no proof whatsoever. But still, people continue to believe. Even Leonard himself, or so it seems. At this point, I am not really sure what he believed! I am reading "A Broken Hallelujah" (Leibovitz) and am trying to wrap my mind around it, as well as an earlier biography "Prophet of the Heart" (Dorman/Rawlins). Each have their opinions of what Leonard was trying to say.

Add in what 4 has to say tonight
its4inthemorning post wrote:Leonard Cohen's lyrics provide a portal into a place where reflection and contemplation--about life, love, hate, religion, existence--are encouraged. We all start at the same level: we like the lyrics, we like the imagery they provide, and we like to--albeit briefly--let our minds drift a little bit deeper. But the song ends, and we have the next set of lyrics to consider. Maybe this level is "Cohen for Dummies." Nothing wrong with this level, nothing at all.
... and I don't know where I am. :?

As for you being a teacher, Jean, it wasn't really a guess but more an observation I think. I work with teachers and the real ones always have certain things in common. The ability to check for understanding is one.

It has been a weird couple days here. On one level, we have lost Lucky and also rehomed one of our donkeys this week- both are positive but an adjustment nonetheless. On another level, there is the news regarding Tom Petty which came so quickly on the heels of the Webb Sisters confirming they would be in Montreal after touring with Petty. I didn't realize they were touring with him, but have always liked him after seeing him in Hartford, CT when he was touring with Bob Dylan. In fact, it was the night that I shook Bob Dylan's hand. And then there is what happened last night at a music festival in Las Vegas. My sister lives there, so it was a scary day until I found out that she was safe. Life has a way of making you realize how unimportant certain realities are in the face of others. Again... nothing and everything.
Vickie
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Jean Fournell
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Jean Fournell » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:09 pm

Thanks for your appreciation! :oops:

But in fact the merit is Vickie's: She asks when I express myself too incomprehensibly. A rare thing, and much appreciated it's difficult to perceive one's own inadequacies.
Thank you, Vickie.

vlcoats wrote: ... there are those moments where you just "go" and react without thinking. Some of it is training, but some of it is who you are.
Quite and like everywhere, with more training the spiritual muscles develop...

vlcoats wrote: I looked up 'nihilism' and didn't realize that it is something that I am familiar with, because it is a very tempting and easy-to-fall-into idea-- "the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless"--- I mean... is there any real proof otherwise?
This "rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless" is more like the attitude of the sociopath in fact, however, this does not generally concern "nothing". It's often rather a case of an enormously bloated ego, thinking itself all-important. Only the rest of the world is nothing, in the eyes of this ego...

The real question is, if it wouldn't be sensible before discussing one-ness and two-ness and many-ness to find out whether indeed there is anything at all, or whether everything is illusion...

When it comes to this fundamental question, philosophers tend to become very evasive and to juggle with concepts, trying to avoid straight talk through swamping our mind with explanations, until we are lost and give up:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilism
One way like any other to get rid of the problem. (Or is it just poor devils struggling in vain, like fish in a net?)

And this attitude is not entirely incomprehensible because: "What if..."
What if really "it's all an illusion"?
(The fact that then this judgement itself would be an illusion, too, only invalidates the competence of the judge, not the potential truth of the judgement.)

What (in "If I Didn't Have Your Love")
If the stars were all unpinned
And a cold and bitter wind
Swallowed up the world
Without a trace

?

"Thus conscience does make cowards of us all" (Hamlet)

Only a desperado or a fool unaware of the danger would seriously tackle this question, allowing "nothing" a fair chance to be indeed the only actual reality.

Presently, in the members' writings section of this forum, there happens to be a fool doing precisely that:
http://leonardcohenforum.com/viewtopic. ... 18#p366384
(The fragments follow a logical order, as shown by their numbers. But maybe the stuff is vaguely comprehensible even without reading it all from the beginning.)
___________________________________________________
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)
its4inthemorning
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby its4inthemorning » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:19 am

This Thread:

Vickie wanted me to come up with a topic dealing with something from Cohen's last three albums. I did come up with an idea, but am not entirely happy with it, so I would rather defer to someone else--maybe someone down under?

Also, we continue to drift a little away from LC here. If others think we drift too much, please, please do not hesitate to nudge us back on topic.

Nothing vs Something:

Jean, it seems as if you were rather prepared to discuss this topic! I almost did not notice your fine-print note about a fool's writings elsewhere on this forum, and the link. Just a cursory look at the page I was directed to made me realize I should start at page one, which I will do now that I took your bait.

I do not want to ask questions before I spend an appropriate amount of time on that link except, can you clarify what is meant by "hallucinations hallucinate"? (Don't construe this to mean I understood everything else!)

The Rilke poem is just exquisite. Almost exactly five years ago we spent a sunny fall afternoon at Jardin du Luxumbourg. We did not see the carousel (it may be long gone), but the park was filled with happy children running, playing, and sailing toy boats in the pond and grown-ups enjoying a day off in the fresh air. Rilke's poem brought me back to that happy day.

Geography Anecdote:

When he was in his teens Winston Churchill aspired to being accepted to study at the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. The first hurdle was to pass a preliminary exam which involved three parts, one of which would be a "map question" where one would be asked to draw a map, in as much detail as possible, of whichever one of 25 countries the exam stipulated. For whatever reason, Churchill never got around to studying the geographies of those 25 countries. The night before the test he realized it was far to late to study all 25 countries, so he decided his only chance was to study one country and hope that was the one on the test. He wrote the country names on pieces of paper and drew one, New Zealand. Churchill spent all night studying the mountains, rivers, towns, and cities of that island country. The next morning when it came time for the "map question," he was elated to hear, "Draw a map of New Zealand." Imagine how much history might have changed if Churchill had studied any other country and failed the preliminary exam, in which case he might never have entered the military, in which case he might never have entered politics, in which case.... (To the best of my knowledge this is a true story.)

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 5-8 - MONTREAL LEONARD COHEN MEMORIAL CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Jean Fournell » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:00 am

Its4inthemorning,
let me reassure you: we are not exactly off-topic here.
We are (secretly, I must admit) discussing the meaning of
well I am the one who loves
changing from nothing to one.

(You Know Who I Am)

The "loves changing from..." implies: at least several times.
Maybe not regularly but certainly more often than once or twice or thrice.
We are trying to find out about the "nothing", like that in "You Know Who I Am". Afterwards there is the oscillation. We already had the oscillation one-two-one-two... but since this was considered more or less in empty space, as it were, we'll have to secure it by the oscillation zero-one-zero-one...

And since "hallucination hallucinates" is preparatory to understanding "nothing", we are discussing an important aspect of Leonard Cohen's work.
(Always good at finding excuses, ain't I...)
He we go:

The fool naively examines Descartes's "I think, therefore I am" and finds that, on the given premises, the mental content Descartes is referring to as "thinking" is in fact "errors, dreams, falsehoods, illusions" in short: not thinking but hallucinating.
Which makes it "I hallucinate, therefore I am".
Now "therefore" is logic, that is: mental content and thus hallucinatory. Which means that the whole "therefore I am" is flawed. (The fool nevertheless has a closer look at "I am".)
We are left with "I hallucinate".
But "I", too, is mental content (and absent during dreamless sleep, for example). This means that "I" is a hallucination, just like the rest.
Which leaves us with "hallucination hallucinates"; and the fool is willing to leave it there, to let "conjugation" pass.

(If he were less generous with this stowaway "conjugation", we'd be left with "hallucination" alone but that would still be "something", and so the fool's kind heart does not lead us astray...)

Hope you don't regret that you took my bait...

The merry-go-round should still be there:
https://carouselparis.wordpress.com/201 ... uxembourg/
___________________________________________________
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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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:04 am

Oh you guys…. I really love this thread. I could have listened to ‘our man’ without you, but I would have been adrift.

I love that Jean has continued to remind us of the very complicated points that Leonard has made regarding spirituality and his take on that. Please continue to do that Jean, and to refer us to your other posts on the forum, because I have questions. I am very interested in why people feel so strongly (like I do) that “our man” really was a teacher, and/or a priest/prophet and why. I have some thoughts on the nothing/something (not that you will like them, lol), but I will post them on your thread you referred us to when I have a chance, if that is okay?

Thank you 4 for bringing us back to topic, as I really want to discuss something from the last 3 albums. Anything would be fine or at least... fine for a while. ;-) I remember Alan saying a couple months ago that he had been listening to the last 3 albums as a unit.

So, Uncle Alan, if you are with us… why did you chose to listen to them as a unit and what did you discover by doing that?

B4- I have missed your much needed input. I have been listening to Can't Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour, and I will be posting my questions and thoughts on that in the next couple days. I am especially curious about the song La Manic, which is all in French. There was nothing in English in the liner notes and in spite of my recent attempts to learn a little French before we go to Montreal, I understand NOTHING of it, lol ..I am sure you have some info on it.

Thank you all again for being here for me. I think I would have felt I were crazy in this past year if it were not for you.
Vickie
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby B4real » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:29 am

Vickie wrote: B4- I have missed your much needed input. I have been listening to Can't Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour, and I will be posting my questions and thoughts on that in the next couple days. I am especially curious about the song La Manic, which is all in French. There was nothing in English in the liner notes and in spite of my recent attempts to learn a little French before we go to Montreal, I understand NOTHING of it, lol ..I am sure you have some info on it.
Vickie, Please forgive my absence here but I’ve been mentally (it feels like physically) walking through the most interesting pages of personal history again! But before I give you some info about La Manic I must say that’s a great photo of Dave’s daughter and the koala. Just my type of Aussie animal!

Here’s the English translation. Due to my recent family history discoveries I simply must find time to go back to learning French and not have to depend on goggle!

http://lyricstranslate.com/en/la-manic-manic.html

The Manic
If only you knew how long the time is at Manic
You’d write way more often, to the Manicouagan
Sometimes I think so hard about you
That I recreate your soul and your body
I look at you and I am filled with wonder
I throw myself into you
Just like the river into the sea
And the flower into the bee

My beautiful lover, what do your silken forehead
And your velvet eyes become, when I am not there
Do you turn towards the Côte-Nord
To see a little, to see some more
My hand signalling you to wait
At twilight and at dawn, I reach out
I meet you wherever you may be
And I keep you

Tell me what’s going on in Trois-Rivières and in Quebec City
Where there’s so much to do, and eveything we do with it
Tell me what’s going on in Montreal
In the dirty side streets
Where you’re always the more beautiful
Because ugliness can’t get to you
You, who I’ll love until I pass away
My eternal

We boast around all day long
But we’re all good guys faithful to their loves
Some play guitar
Others play accordion
To pass time, when the time is long
But me, I play of my love
And I dance, saying your name
Because I love you so much

If only you knew how long the time is at Manic
You’d write way more often, to the Manicouagan
If you don’t have much to tell me
Write the words ‘I love you’ a hundred times
It will be the most beautiful of poems
I’ll read it a hundred times
A hundred times, a hundred times are not a lot
For those who are in love

If only you knew how long the time is
At Manic
You’d write way more often
To the Manicouagan
-----
You may know La Manic was written by Georges Dor.
Here’s a bit about him and his song -
http://www.cshf.ca/song/la-manic/

As it says in the link Georges song La Manic was inducted in the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006. I remember in 2006 that LC quoted from this song in his acceptance speech when he also was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Possibly that song was inducted before LC was and that prompted him to quote his words from Georges’ song –

“If you knew how life drags on at le Manicouagan
You’d write to me a lot more often at le Manicouagan”

I haven’t seen this video for so long and I’ve just watched it now. It was a moving experience back then and you can times a thousand fold that emotion today! I know you are going to love it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq3tMW65t60

I love Adrienne Clarkson’s entire intro to Leonard and she begins with this, “Before Leonard Cohen there were songs, and after hearing Leonard Cohen there are no songs; quite like his....”
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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Jean Fournell
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Jean Fournell » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:20 pm

B4real,
that's an honest translation of "La Manic", giving the gist of the original.
There is just one problem towards the end (S5L7):
A hundred times, a hundred times
The translator's additional comma is not in the original
Cent fois cent fois
and it changes the meaning from multiplication to repetition.
"I love you" written one hundred times, and then the letter-poem read one hundred times, makes it "I love you" read ten thousand times.
My own translation is
A hundred times a hundred times
ain't much for lovers.


vlcoats wrote: I have some thoughts on the nothing/something (not that you will like them, lol), but I will post them on your thread you referred us to when I have a chance, if that is okay?
Well, "The Fool" is rather a story-telling thread, and I'd prefer it that way at least until the remaining fragments (some 10 to 13 to go yet) are translated/rewritten. Maybe a few questions will find their answers in those fragments already.

However, in order to discuss more freely, "The Fool" as well as other questions that don't really fit anywhere, I just started a new thread in the members' writings section: Discussing "The Fool" and similar things.
That doesn't mean I can answer every question, though. We know that the poor stuff comes out of our mind, because we want to say something.
But we don't know where the good stuff comes from, nor necessarily what it means. When we are not trying to say anything, others are generally better at understanding...
___________________________________________________
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)
its4inthemorning
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby its4inthemorning » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:35 pm

I recall reading some place that Leonard had been working on and off for years to come up with English lyrics for La Manic, but he was never satisfied with the result. Or am I thinking of a different unfinished project? B4, come to the rescue!

Had the privilege of hearing La Manic live, and as might be expected the (mostly) Canadian audience went wild. The band's arrangement was outstanding, and it occurs to me that there would have to have been numerous rehearsals of any song played in concert. In this case all that rehearsal time wound up being for only a handful of performances of the song. The 2008-2012 band was a dedicated bunch. I hope that many of them will be a part of the tribute concert, but so far we have only heard that the Webb sisters will be there.

Vickie asked Alan why he considered Leonard's last three albums as a group (I do this as well). To frame this as a discussion topic, what insights do these three albums offer about Leonard's changing situation, from a vigorous touring performer (Old Ideas) to one experiencing health issues (Popular Problems) to one coming to grips with death (You Want it Darker)? This topic might be difficult, or might be too easy; in any case, I am sure there will be some interesting responses.

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 5-8 - MONTREAL LEONARD COHEN MEMORIAL CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!
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B4real
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby B4real » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:27 am

Thankyou Jean,
for your additional translation of La Manic. I should have left it for you being our resident French language expert!

its4inthemorning wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:35 pm
I recall reading some place that Leonard had been working on and off for years to come up with English lyrics for La Manic, but he was never satisfied with the result. Or am I thinking of a different unfinished project? B4, come to the rescue!
4, you are right and this is probably where you read it -
viewtopic.php?f=74&t=33156&sid=c70ce401 ... 977c62937f

And here's the world premiere of this song in Montreal 2012 -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQfyw_Lmhm0
Thank you Henry, for the video :D
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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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:12 am

Hello---
Thank you all for chiming in on La Manic! At first I was only curious about this song after hearing the audience's response to it on Can't Forget. Plus the fact that there have been only a few (is it 3?) songs that Leonard either sang entirely in French or sang a good portion of the song in French. But when I realized that it wasn't written by him, I was even more curious.

B4- Thank you for the translation. Yes, I could have Googled it myself, but I hoped you would provide extra info, and you did! The fact that Leonard quoted from this song in his acceptance speech at being inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame has made me even more curious about this song and the man who wrote it. I realize that he may not be a Lorca, but obviously he was important to Leonard. (PS- I hope you share you ancestry info sometime!)

Jean- I loved your take on La Manic. It has made me even more curious about the song and the author of it. As B4 has pointed out, you are our French language expert, so I will go with your translation over anything we could Google. I have found the French language much more difficult to learn than Spanish (which I am NOT fluent in at all, but have learned a smattering due to adopting Nick in Peru). I may have mentioned this before, but the western provinces of Canada are much different than those in the east. As my Canadian cousins in BC have said, "I visited Quebec once, and I loved it there, but I was so happy get back home to Canada". Our ancestors come from the French that settled the St. Lawrence River Valley, but they have felt shunted by the partisans I think. Sorry for mentioning politics... especially since I know little about the subject. (PS-- Thank you Jean for posting a new thread regarding The Fool...I do not have as much time as I wish I did to understand your writings, but I will try. There is something that I have a question about when I have time to post)

4- Your comment that "Leonard had been working on and off for years to come up with English lyrics for La Manic, but he was never satisfied with the result" has piqued my curiosity most of all, mostly because of the response from B4 and the links she posted regarding this topic on the forum, but also, like I mentioned earlier in this post, it has reminded me of his interest in Lorca. By the way...I feel you were very lucky to see his performance of this song in Canada.

Regarding your topic suggestion, 4,--- What insights do these three albums offer about Leonard's changing situation, from a vigorous touring performer (Old Ideas) to one experiencing health issues (Popular Problems) to one coming to grips with death (You Want it Darker), I like it, and I hope to hear your responses. As a new fan, I cannot comment much, but I trust that the rest of you can, and I look forward to what you have to say.

(PS, 4- I didn't comment on your Geography comment and Winston Churchill regarding New Zealand, but I loved it. It is another example of our lives being a result of a roll of the dice!)

Alan-?

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

Postby AlanM » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:31 am

Alan-?
In Every Breath You Take by The Police, Sting sings:
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I'll be watching you

Vickie, be assured (reassured if you prefer), I do check this thread at least once a day. BTW that's a really creepy stalker song.

One of the many joys of being retired is that I don't have to respond instantly to the demands (too strong a word?) of my clients. So ... I've been thinking. As far as the 3 most recent albums being a trilogy is concerned, initially it was just a "go for it" decision and then a "go for it" comment.
In Melbourne 16 days ago, we raised a glass to Kelley Lynch, without whose intervention we may not have experienced these very productive years of "Our Man".
I think I said, when I raised the topic of these 3 albums being a trilogy, that I was listening to them as a group primarily because the songs were not yet "old friends" like so many of the songs on the previous albums are for me. Also I have listed my personal groupings of those albums form the point of view of personally perceived similarities.

I have long held the opinion that songwriters do their best work when they are young, with one notable exception, our beloved Leonard Cohen.
I'm not overly fussed about Death Of A Ladies Man, probably because it was never finished.
Ten New Songs and Dear Heather, if they had been the first 2 albums, they would never have attracted me to LC. Other than that, you could ask me why any of the other albums are so brilliant, and I could easily justify that concept. The most recent three (note I am studiously avoiding the word "last", being ever hopeful) are equally brilliant and stand up on the top rung with all the other albums.
Take any song, without knowing the background to its origin, and you could drop it into any of the other albums and it would not be out of place.
Yes, I know that there are differences in the musicians and production parameters, but these three just seem to me to be one long album. The differences are not too dramatic, and the background of the multi-layered ideas in the lyrics, blended with that wonderful self-deprecating sense of humour, meld the whole thing(s) together.
One of the (intentional?) highlights is the Lazy bastard living in a suit in the first track on Old Ideas singing the Hallelujah hymn on the final track on Popular Problems. Just how much more critical or admiring of Leonard Cohen could Leonard Cohen, or anybody, get?
And then when he is terminally ill, he comes up with all those lyrics on You Want It Darker. Genius doesn't even come close.
A million candles burning for the help that never came ...
A million candles burning for the love that never came.

I was fighting with temptation, But I didn't want to win
A man like me don't like to see temptation caving in.


We're spending the treasure That love cannot afford
I know you can feel it, The sweetness restored.


All of If I Didn't Have Your Love

Goodnight goodnight My fallen star
I guess you're right You always are


Sounded like the truth But it's not the truth today

Steer your way through the fables
of Creation and the Fall


Where do you stop?

The music (instrumentation, arrangement, production, etc.) is similar enough in all 3 albums to listen to them in sequence many, many times. The lyrics don't just seep into the soul, they dive in. It took a while for all these songs to become "old friends" but now they are.

I just hope that somewhere in the archives there are recordings that will be released in the future.
However, if there is no more recorded music to be released, I am happy with what Leonard has shared with me, and if it came to it, I would have been happy with Songs of Leonard Cohen if that had been all that he had recorded.

That's all for now, folks.

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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