When I was in Toronto this week I wandered into a used book store and picked up a copy of Leonard Cohen’s Book of Longing. There were other purchases, but I read this one from front to back in one sitting. Sure, its a book of poetry, so not the hardest read, but it captivated me, and time slipped away on the bench where I sat waiting.
I reread it again yesterday afternoon. Here are a few of my favourite shorter poems.
I’ve been to the sun
It’s nothing special
A place of violence
Much like our own
The sun said
I am an open book
You will find
That everything happens
The same way
Here and there
The solar winds
Are something else
No one masters them
No one really
You survive them
Or you are never
Heard from again
I love the way
The sun speaks
It is so calm and honest
Except when seized
By its own misfortunes
You have been told to
“go with the flow”
but as you know
from your studies,
there is no flow,
nor is there actually
any coming or going.
These are merely
for the novice monk.
You can start smoking again,
and what is called “your death”
and what is called “your life”
you can watch now
through the eyes of wisdom.
This is why
the Sages of Japan
named their cigarettes
“Hope” and “Peace”
and “Peace Light” and “Short Hope”
and “Short Hope Light.”
The cold seizes me
and I shiver
overthrows my tears
The night puts me to bed
and the sorrows
strengthen my resolve
Your name is burning
under a statue
Even when I was with you
I wanted to be here
The rain unhooks my belt
The wind gives a shape
to your absence
I move in and out
of the One Heart
no longer struggling
to be free
It was because I have started listening to music again before I sleep (Handsome Furs).
Or maybe it was food I ate (Cheese and crackers).
Or the last thing I watched on telly (The Simpsons).
Or the last page clicked to on the computer (Facebook).
But I had the strangest vignettes of dreams, this morning. I say this morning as they all happened from about 5am onwards.
In one I was getting ready for a stage production in my elementary school yard. Having a shower in the middle of a field.
In one I can recall a chase with someone sailing a boat, down the street.
In one I remember lots of stairs and then a cliff.
The others were more graphic and filled with people that well, shouldn’t have been there. And also water now that I think about it.
According to Mapquest.
This will be my route…somewhat. Instead of going through Edmonton, we’re heading to Calgary, then over. Originally we thought of going through the US and then up to Sault Ste Marie and take the Trans Canada Highway all the way. But I honestly fear for moose this time of year and that far north I was concerned about road conditions. Figured the freeways would most likely be ploughed.
Anyway, I leave in three weeks.
So, please send mix tape playlists my way! Seriously, nearly 50 hours in the car — I am going to need all the help I can get.
So, I have to sell my concert tickets, stop my French lessons, and abandon my pottery class…because I was just offered a curator position at a museum in British Columbia and they want me to start next month.
Apparently all I needed to do to secure employment was to start living my life here.
Its way north, too, which is kind of scary. Oh, and I’m driving cross country. Expect a video blog of that.
More later, too tired from my excusion to write anymore.
I went to the eye doctor today, and learned I am closer to my dream of becoming Mr. Peanut getting a monocle. Soon, but not yet. Blast.
I love when they shine the lights in your eyes, flip the lens about and ask, “better or worse?” And by love I mean hate.
Then when then announce what you’ve already confirmed – that your eyes are slowly getting worse (damn you, astigmatism). You noticed this already because late at night you have to squint to see street signs, and because from far away tongues get mistaken for goatees.
I blame the computer. However, at least I get some new specs from the deal.
Another highlight from the visit was when the doctor announced my left eye was severely scratched (I’m blaming the dust on this one), and then said perhaps I am allergic to Sarnia.
Again, already confirmed.
Most people hate the dentist, I dislike the eye doctor.
Oh, here’s a new track from The National – up only for a limited time – so click to! So Far Around The Bend.
Canadian Musicfest 2009 is the second week of March, in Toronto.
For $35 I am going to see Bloc Party, Handsome Furs, Chad VanGaalen, Malajube, Cuff the Duke…and many more. But definitely those acts, as they do not have conflicting schedules.
I can barely contain my excitement. I was contemplating using caps, I’m that chuffed.
This is one of my favourite songs off Face Control, the latest Handsome Furs album – Thy Will Be Done. Live with your boyfriend Jian Ghomeshi.
I received a postcard today from a good friend who is working at a museum in Vanuatu in the South Pacific. From the picture, it looks very lovely and I too wish I was living in a hut on beach, snorkeling and swimming my free time away. Ah well, who needs Vitamin D anyway, its -8 here today!
The picture on the card reminded me a bit of this painting below.
I remember seeing this in Washington, DC when I was about 11 or so. It was huge (to me then). Looks likes its watercolour, doesn’t?
Mountains and Sea
Its not. Its actually oil. The artist, Helen Frankenthaler, introduced a new technique by painting directly onto the canvas, diluting the oil paint so the colour would soak the canvas, creating different effects around each area. Thus, a new generation of the Colour Field school was born.
I’m off to buy a fresh new notebook today, with hopes to soak it with new thoughts. For a new year.
I did an activity today that made me feel such the stereotypical Canadian image.
I had never done such activity before.
Had I been eating peamael bacon whilst doing it, I probably could have made it into a Molsen commercial.
Oh wait, I wasn’t wearing plaid. Wouldn’t have made it.
Guesses…if you can’t tell from the photo?
What did you do this weekend?
Verbose, they are not.