Before Drowning

 

Defore Drowning - The Emotional Orphan

Before drowning ?

Dreamlike. Hallucinatory.

Sense of calm startling.
Smell of sanitary burned my nose.
I, the only bacteria left.

Yes there were narcotics.
I was used to them.
Decisions were being made.

You were there, as if you had a right.

The final document presented
to formalize legal protections for all.
I signed wanting it to be necessary.

The ink dried red to me.
Blue to Crimson,
with the addition of oxygen.

Just like blood.

Smiling,
I nearly drowned again.

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A Day in the Life of Zen Monk Leonard Cohen: A 1996 Documentary

 

I don’t think anybody really knows why they’re doing anything. If you stop someone on the subway and say, “Where are you going – in the deepest sense of the word?” you can’t really expect an answer. I really don’t know why I’m here. It’s a matter of “What else would I be doing?” Do I want to be Frank Sinatra, who’s really great, and do I want to have great retrospectives of my work? I’m not really interested in being the oldest folksinger around. 

– Leonard Cohen, speaking to author Pico Iyer in April 1998

As director Armelle Brusq’s 1996 documentary, above, shows, singer-songwriter—and yes—Zen monk Leonard Cohen’s routine at the Mount Baldy Zen Center outside Los Angeles extended beyond the usual mindfulness practice. His simple quarters were outfitted with a computer, printer, radio, and a Technics KN 3000 synthesizer. He sometimes doffed his robes to enter the recording studio or enjoy a bowl of soup at Canter’s Deli. Comparatively, his worldly attachments were few, divvied between the professionally necessary and the fond. Still, calling his daughter, Lorca, to pass along a veterinarian’s update, Cohen sounds every inch the doting Jewish dad.

Read the full post via Open Culture  http://ow.ly/P9GzZ

Amanda Palmer Reads Polish Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska’s Poem “Life While-You-Wait”

“Consolation for those moments when you feel “ill-prepared for the privilege of living.”

via Brain Pickings http://ow.ly/P9B0L

Brain Pickings: Amanda Palmer Reads Polish Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska’s Poem “Life While-You-Wait”

One spring evening not too long ago, I joined the wonderful Amanda Palmer on a small and friendly stage at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music and we read some Polish poetry together from Map: Collected and Last Poems(public library) — the work of Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska (July 2, 1923–February 1, 2012), for whom we share deep affection and admiration.

When Szymborska was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996 “for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality,” the Nobel commission rightly called her “the Mozart of poetry” — but, wary of robbing her poetry of its remarkable dimension, added that it also emanates “something of the fury of Beethoven.” I often say that she is nothing short of Bach, the supreme enchanter of the human spirit.

 

Amanda has previously lent her beautiful voice to my favorite Szymborska poem, “Possibilities,” and she now lends it to another favorite from this final volume, “Life While-You-Wait” — a bittersweet ode to life’s string of unrepeatable moments, each the final point in a fractal decision tree of what-ifs that add up to our destiny, and a gentle invitation to soften the edges of the heart as we meet ourselves along the continuum of our becoming.

Please enjoy from Brain Pickings