#4874 - Monday, March 25, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
"Leonard Himself Has Gone Beyond The Need
Leonard Cohen at the Fox Theater in Atlanta,
Georgia March 22, 2013
By Vicki Woodyard
Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak.
Do not be ashamed to be tired.
You look good when youre tired. You look
like you could go on forever. Now come
into my arms. You are the image of my
~Leonard Cohen, Death of a Ladys Man.
What I witnessed for over three and a half hours
was a man and his touring
company hard at work to deliver the goods
Leonard himself has gone beyond the need of
reviews. The man is a legend. He is, in
a sense, a blue-collar worker. Just
like a delivery man might come into a bar with a
box of 24 glasses and say,
Heres your delivery, thus did Leonard take center
stage and humbly
deliver his body of work. Hes your man. Hes Everyman.
This was unexpectedly added to the set list in
I greet you from the other side
Of sorrow and
With a love so vast and shattered
It will reach you
And I sing this for the captain
Whose ship has not been
For the mother in confusion
Her cradle still unfilled
For the heart with no companion
For the soul
without a king
For the prima ballerina
Who cannot dance to
Through the days of shame that are
Through the nights of wild distress
Tho' your promise count for
You must keep it nonetheless
You must keep it for the captain
has not been built
For the mother in confusion
Her cradle still
For the heart with no companion ...
I greet you from the other side ...
Soft Soul Kisses in The Dark
Oriah Mountain Dreamer wrote of her experience
in a December 2012 concert.
Last night I sat in the darkness of a huge
stadium and once again listened to
Leonard Cohen singing Suzanne. He also
sang Halleluiah" and many of his other
songs over the course of a three and
a half hour concert. He was. . . . shimmering
with the heat of presence, and
the heart of humility- companioned on stage by
fellow master musicians and
But the piece that unexpectedly broke me open
was A Thousand Kisses Deep.
Maybe it was because he didnt sing it, but
simply recited it with a violin offering
soft sustained notes beneath his
resonant voice. Maybe it was the miracle of sitting
in the dark with thirty
thousand other people who were listening in rapt silence to
a Canadian poet
recite a poem, reminding me of the power of words. He held the
close and became the words:
The ponies run, the girls are young,
The odds are there to
You win a while, and then its done
Your little winning
And summoned now to deal
With your invincible defeat,
your life as if its real,
A Thousand Kisses Deep. . . .
Suddenly, my face was wet with tears.
Because its so easy not to live a thousand kisses deep. So easy to skim
surface, to write about things instead of letting the words hold the
rawness of our
particular joys and our sorrows.
Because its hard to live a thousand kisses deep, to face the smallness of
and the largeness of our loves; because it requires courage to
live with the
knowledge of our "invincible defeat" in both the small daily
things that undo our
resolve, and the knowledge of our mortality. Because
its a little crazy, when asked
about your financial plan, to talk about the
book you're writing without
consideration for what is marketable, for what
can be leveraged for other
products and spin-offs. Because living in a
secular culture with a passion for the
sacred and an awareness of the very
real magic that runs throughout life can make
you feel a little out of step
with the world around you.
But for the soul there is no other way to live, and all the fears, all the
back, all the attempts to be measured and reasonable, to not pour
the messy details
of the past, the wild dreams of the future, and the full
sensual experience of the
present onto the page just wont cut it.
Because not living our particular life, as Leonard says, "as if its real"
soul hungry and sad. And life is too precious and too short not
live to the edges and
the depths, not to live A Thousand Kisses Deep.
Oriah (c) 2012