Well, I don't know if I have many other insights.
The song "Treaty" seems so crucial and is such a beautiful song that I can't help feeling that there is much here for us to ponder on.
I look back to some of Leonard's songs from Various Positions and Ten New Songs that seem to deal with this subject matter. Both "Coming Back to You" and "If it Be Your Will" seem to address Leonard (or the narrator's) position in regard to his feelings about a higher power. The lines about the water and wine seem to take us back to when his view of the Divine trended toward a certain transcendant aspect. Now I would say that Leonard (or the narrator) was involved in a quarrel with his Maker. I still think that the narrator isn't even convinced that it is a valid argument.
"I seen you change the water into wine."
Despite the bad grammar, it certainly indicates that Leonard or the Narrator has participated in a transcendent experience.
"I seen you change it back to water too."
Water is just water when it all come down to it, but the change shakes us up.
"I sit at your table every night" How many of you remember the photo that Lorca took of Leonard on his 70th birthday, holding a glass of ceremonial wine, that she called, "Sabbath Dad."
"I try but I don't get high with you." My Mom who loved wine, gave it up toward the end of her life as it just didn't do it for her anymore.
I still think that this song is a description of an argument between Leonard and his Maker, or Leonard wondering whether his Maker truly has that position.
I've quoted some of these things before. Jim Harrison who Leonard has quoted many times wrote a novel whose main character is dying of ALS. I quote him here:
I could hold a ninety pound corner block out straight and now I can scarcely hold my arm out. These things happen to people but some days it can be hard to handle. So this morning my reality broke down and I wasn’t sure of anything. Just before I got sick I finally made a three day fast, which I’d failed to do four times before I succeeded. What you do is go up into Ontario to a certain mountainside and spend three days without food, shelter or water. I’m not going to talk about my religion because it’s too private. Maybe a little. There’s another hillside from which you can see Lake Superior where I’m going to be buried. You can’t think of a thing that lives that’s not going to die. I had hoped in these three days to find out how I was going to get rid of my fears and how to grow older with grace. I found out in a hurry! Here I am on my way.
I think that Leonard (or his narrator) has begun to intensify his feelings about the end of life. The anger and pain seems to take over the philosophical thoughts that guided him earlier in his journey.
"I'm so sorry for the ghost I made you be
Only one of us was real and that was me."
This passage still mystifies me. I orginally thought it involved a renunciation of the idea of a Supreme Being, but now I'm not sure. Perhaps, it is an apology for attributing the "ghostness" to G-d, but the resolution that "one of us was real-and that was me" still makes me think that the narrator has doubts as well.
I've really given up trying to understand the verse about the snake. I think obviously it relates somehow to original sin, and the the words "born again" resonate in some degree of modernity quite like his line from Democracy-"the heart has got to open in a fundamental way."
"I haven't said a word since you've been gone
That any liar couldn't say as well."
We come down again to who "You" refers to. I really think that it refers to the Maker/Divine. And the next lines explode with longing.
"I just can't believe the static coming on
You were my ground-my safe and sound
You were my aerial."
It seems that the Narrator is feeling somehow betrayed. No wonder a treaty is desired.
This reminds me of one of Leonard's lines from "Book of Longing."
"The Lord is such a monkey when
You’ve got Him on your back."
Doron says that the song is very sad, but it is so beautiful that I find it uplifting. One of my questions involves the movement from "broken to borderline." I heard this as an improvement in the narrator's condition, but I might certainly be wrong.
But if it is an improvement, I believe that the String Reprise/Treaty is an uplifting work that somehow suggests that there is a shot at a treaty between Leonard/the narrator's love and the Lord.
I'll give you one last quote from Rilke who I think has influenced Leonard (in particularly "The Window").
We play with obscure forces, which we cannot lay hold of, by the names we give them, as children play with fire, and it seems for a moment as if all the energy had lain unused in things until we came to apply it to our transistory life and its needs. But repeatedly... these forces shake off their names and rise...against their little lords, no, not even against--they simply rise, and civilizations fall from the shoulders of the earth..