Complete Contentment

The morning ritual, with the first coffee sitting on the desk, is to read a few blogs, the news on line…check the e mail and then set out to create a day.  Tom Phillips is playing down at the Ironwood tonight, but I didn’t think to reserve a spot until last Friday…so, I’m on a waiting list. My dancing partner, Bee, says he can get me in…but New Year’s Eve is not the night to drive down to a place and then find out that they can’t sandwich you in to an event.

Being single is weird on New Year’s Eve.  Regardless, there are ways around that and things that you can do to cause you to feel those anticipatory jitters about how wonderful life is without a partner.  Like I say…going to one of those spots where people LOVE music is one of those welcoming ideas for singles.  I have many single friends who just love music so much that it’s great to be with them and their passion for all things beautiful as you ring in the New Year.  I’m pretty sure that the Gorilla House is open tonight…now, there, I could mingle with like-minded artists…maybe paint…have a drink…and one thing is for sure, have a barrell of laughs!

Being peaceful…now, that’s always a great way to bring in the New Year.  Slicing yourself up a bit of good sausage (will have to talk to the daughter about where she picked up the Christmas sausage…it was amazing!)  OH!  Here’s the information on the packaging for the strawberry/rubarb pie purchased at the same location…The Log Barn 1912!  Amazing food!

So…yeah…put on some music…slice up some good sausage…put out the gherkin pickles, cheese and crackers…for the brave, a tin of oysters!  Open a glass of wine and light up the candles.  Play some music. MAGIC!

I think one of the most memorable ‘quiet’ New Year’s Eve events I enjoyed was one shared with my son.  We went over to the movie theater and watched the Last Samurai.  We stepped into the cold winter night at around 1:15 a.m. that year.  The movie had been such a beautiful metaphor somehow.  We talked quietly about the whole experience as we drove home.

So, yeah…the point is.  Bless your own life with divine light for the new year.  Give yourself everything you need to be a healthy, positive and affirming force for others.  Be generous of heart and go easy on the pity parties.  Create!  Challenge!  Question!  Love! And…delight in the small things.

My small thing this morning… the light…a small shape of light, perhaps reflected off of a Christmas ornament on the tree on to my bookshelf.  It was beautiful and I may be reading too much into this (readers laugh here) but, I consider it to be a sign…an offering…an offering of light for this day and the year to come.  I’m taking it that way.

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A friend of mine posted the lyrics to this tune and I’m going to post the music here.  One of the deeply inspiring experiences of 2012 for me was to sit and listen to Leonard Cohen.  Sit back…enjoy…and remember to be kind to yourselves.  Happy New Year!

Old Ideas: World Tour

Leonard Cohen is not a musician who I thought would do well on ‘the big stage’.  I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t be performing at the Jubilee Auditorium instead of the Scotiabank Saddledome, but I was so blessed by the opportunity to see him, at all, that I didn’t hesitate to purchase tickets early.  In the end, he transformed this huge arena into an intimate place of heart felt music and poetry.  It was one of the exceptional musical moments of my life (and there have been many), especially while flanked by one daughter  and my son.

Cohen was extremely generous, with both the commitment and the emotion behind his concert.  The musicians that backed him up were brilliant and I managed tears through several moments; for the beauty of the music, the memories resonating, and the sense of being a part of a very long history.  I do envy the many generations who have sat in intimate spaces with Leonard and his music, but I’m so very grateful for the experience of his passionate voice filling up such a huge space.

One of the most profound moments for me was when he recited the poem, A Thousand Kisses Deep.

How spectacular is it that an artist, seventy-eight years of age, is able to sing a 31 song set…with such rich and complex lyrics?  Leonard Cohen has been a blessing in my life through his writing and his music.

This afternoon, I found the Book of Mercy in my favourite second hand shop.  Given that the Psalms sooth and comfort me so often, this will be a good read.

 

The Set List:

First Set

Leonard Cohen

I think that every person has some context with Leonard Cohen.  In fact, while skyping with my 81 year old father last night, and shared with him that I am attending a concert tonight, he asked, “Is that guy still around?”  My father and I have never talked about Leonard Cohen.

I’m including here in my post, an excellent interview with Leonard Cohen…he speaks of grace, creativity, writing and ‘the third act’.  May I suggest that my readers take the time to listen. There are things said that might forever impact your thinking. When I first read his poetry…heard his music, I would have been in high school.  Living on the fringe, I felt a tug between his words and my heart, even at such a young age. Now that age has given me more a sense of life…its joy and pain, the words mean more. Leonard Cohen’s words have reached in to many hearts over these years and they reached into mine.   He never thought he was one of the big guys.  His honest ‘confession’ writing spoke to every person in a very special way.

I reached over to my book shelf…and picked up my copy of Stranger Music.  Of all of his words, it was impossible to choose the favourite, the most poignant, the most powerful.  I only chose these because I think they represent a common story and apply to a variety of foibles.

Bird on the Wire

Like a bird on the wire,
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Like a worm on a hook,
Like a knight from some old fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee.
If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you.Like a baby, stillborn,
Like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me.
But I swear by this song
And by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee.
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch,
He said to me, “You must not ask for so much.”
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door,
She cried to me, “Hey, why not ask for more?”Oh like a bird on the wire,
Like a drunk in a midnight choir have tried in my way to be free.
“You can read the life you’re living, but you can not change a word.” Leonard Cohen

Ash Wednesday: An Old Idea

Song from Cohen’s new album “Old Ideas” (2012)

O gather up the brokenness
And bring it to me now
The fragrance of those promises
You never dared to vow

The splinters that you carry
The cross you left behind
Come healing of the body
Come healing of the mind

And let the heavens hear it
The penitential hymn
Come healing of the spirit
Come healing of the limb

Behold the gates of mercy
In arbitrary space
And none of us deserving
The cruelty or the grace

O solitude of longing
Where love has been confined
Come healing of the body
Come healing of the mind

O see the darkness yielding
That tore the light apart
Come healing of the reason
Come healing of the heart

O troubled dust concealing
An undivided love
The Heart beneath is teaching
To the broken Heart above

O let the heavens falter
And let the earth proclaim:
Come healing of the Altar
Come healing of the Name

O longing of the branches
To lift the little bud
O longing of the arteries
To purify the blood

And let the heavens hear it
The penitential hymn
Come healing of the spirit
Come healing of the limb

O let the heavens hear it
The penitential hymn
Come healing of the spirit
Come healing of the limb