Sunday, November 13, 2016

Leonard Cohen's "revelation of the heart"

Today in Brain Pickings Weekly this Leonard Cohen quote from Paul Zorro's book Songwriters on Songwriting was featured along with Maria Popova's words about what Cohen had to say on leaving certain potent and challenging verses out of his songs.

"I didn’t want to compromise the anthemic, hymn-like quality. I didn’t want it to get too punchy. I didn’t want to start a fight in the song. I wanted a revelation in the heart rather than a confrontation or a call-to-arms or a defense."

Maria Popova:

"In these present days of outrage and confrontation, how much of even the most elegantly argued writing aims for “a revelation in the heart”? And what might our world look like if this is what we aimed for instead of belittling and badgering those we find at fault?"

It's tempting to come out blazing about issues we are passionate about, but I love the idea of sharing revelations of the heart instead and hopefully getting people to respond from that same place in the process.

Since the election I've had some revelatory heart moments. 

Hearing my mother tell the story of her neighbor coming to visit, a little girl who was confused about what she was hearing - that both Hillary Cllnton AND Donald Trump won the election. My mom, a die-hard Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, took the time to explain to this little girl, whose family are Trump supporters, about the electoral college and the popular vote, and encouraged the girl to enjoy her candidate's victory and to hold him accountable for his acceptance speech promise to be a good president to all citizens. 

Visiting the Museum of Life and Science yesterday so that my university student daughter could recreate a childhood photograph in the butterfly house. And leaving, seeing a young girl of color crying and lost from her family and helping her find them again, hoping that she could tell we were "safe" and friendly people. 

Riding Keil Bay this morning while the neighbors worked in their woods with a shrieking chipper/shredder, all dressed in white, throwing things out of the woods. Keil was spooky but my daughter came out and stood with him while I mounted from the picnic table instead of the mounting block and later encouraged me to dismount to the ground just to prove to myself that I can. 

Visiting neighbors whose two young donkeys just arrived yesterday to answer some questions about donkey care and to spend an hour getting little donkey hugs. 

Some of these things have to do with the election and some don't but I think they all put a little bit of goodness into the world and when we all do that I believe it makes a huge difference.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I think that if we live our lives the way we have been and try to be calm and help others who need our help we will be able to keep a sense of normalcy in our lives. We probably shouldn't try and predict what will happen in the future but take things as they come. It is what it is and we can't change the outcome of the election but we can still make our voices heard and can still show compassion to others. I only hope the fan base of this person will act the same way and not feel they have license to behave badly. The opening bit on SNL was terrific with a great Leonard Cohen song. You should look it up if you didn't get to see it.

Good for you for riding Keil Bay! And for dismounting onto the ground. Once we push through our uncomfortable zone it gives us a little boost of confidence.

billie said...

Agree - I'm trying to find places where I connect with people and avoid actively looking for the possible disconnect over the election. That doesn't mean I won't support my causes and beliefs but it doesn't have to be done in a way that involves engaging negatively with people I come into contact with on a daily basis who are themselves being good people. (Hope that makes sense!)

I will look up the SNL bit - thanks for the suggestion!

I was proud of myself for working through the spook. :) There would be times I would make the call not to ride and that would be okay too but it was a beautiful day and I felt like both Keil and I were able to have a good ride if I managed my piece of the worry. And it is SO interesting that when pushed by daughter to dismount to the ground the distance down wasn't nearly as huge as it has been in my mind. That was a good reminder for me!!