Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Answer #63 - Land. Or Imminent Rains of Frogs.

I woke up this morning with Suzanne, by Leonard Cohen, running through my head..

Jesus was a sailor and he walked upon the water
and he spent a long time watching
from a lonely wooden tower
and when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him
he said, 'all men will be sailors, then, until the sea shall free them..'

I pulled a copy of Cohen's Book of Mercy 
off a friend's shelf a couple of years ago.  Cohen's passion for the holy fire is the stuff that converts can be made of.  Me, even maybe.  Watching him sear through layers of text and dogma, snatching up every shard of holy stained glass he comes upon, and then laying all the pieces out in a way that reflects and refracts infinitely more light than the original window ever could have.. well, I could walk that water with him for a while...listen to him speak in tongues...

When I'm close to drowning, I'm more inclined to become a sailor.  Probably like most people.. treading water for so long.. even a small boat starts to look good.. like heaven, even.  There was a time that waking up with a song like Suzanne on my pillow would launch many questions.. 'why?', 'what should I be looking for today?', 'what is this a sign of?'... (I'm another boring romantic. probably won't change anytime soon). So..

What is it a sign of?

Maybe that I'm treading water... maybe time to float... maybe there'll be enough grace left over for me, even if I never make my way on to the boat.  Maybe I'll find the shore...and dig up some colored glass shards in the sand.


  1. Did not know of this book and I thought I knew of all things Cohen....thank I'll get a copy on it's way to my house...
    anonymous Reiley

  2. Perhaps it was the tea and oranges... When I was young I sought the impossible, a word that would rhyme with orange. A pairing without the aid of a Lear-esc made-up word, or a world spanning search through the languages of the world (While my studies in Basque and Yiddish were fruitful they did not find a mate for orange). A word in my native mouth, tongue & uvula for the orb of delight... Lenny told me that the tea Suzanne had served up was "Constant Comment" - Tea with oranges then I told him of my quest for a poetic match for the fruit and its color;
    "Sorry kid," (I was 18 at the time) "Sorry kid, I've got my own windmills to tilt... And don't forget, scissors needs your help as much, if not more, than orange so, give generously if you can spare the thought"
    But the years went by and, after a time, I sank beneath my ignorance like I was stoned.
    Now, orange barely makes it into my dreams these days.... Except when I hear Suzanne.



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