Monday, November 17, 2014
Why does Leonard Cohen kneel down on stage so often during concerts in old age?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-l_uWlb4Qs =====================One cannot imagine there are many popular concerts in which the star spends as much time on his knees as Leonard Cohen. In many of his moving three-and-a-half hour performances, Cohen spends a good deal of the concert kneeling in the middle of the stage surrounded by the nine members of his band. Although he is 80 years old, Cohen certainly did not appear to be kneeling because he was tired of standing. He bounced up and down and danced on and off the stage with the agility of a man who seems much younger. Cohen kneels through much of his concert because much of the time on stage Cohen is praying. A Jew-Bu praying. A Jewish Buddhist. His songs are offered reverently to a hidden unnamed presence that permeates even those songs that celebrate the pleasures of physical desire and passion. Cohen prays about forgiveness; he prays about pain. He offers up the brokenness of life longing for redemption and healing: O, gather up the brokenness Bring it to me now The fragrance of those promises You never dared to vow The splinters that you carried The cross you left behind Come healing of the body Come healing of the mind And let the heavens hear it The penitential hymn Come healing of the spirit Come healing of the limb Leonard: Behold the gates of mercy In arbitrary space And none of us deserving Of cruelty or the grace O, solitude of longing Where love has been confined Come healing of the body Come healing of the mind O, see the darkness yielding That tore the light apart Come healing of the reason Come healing of the heart O, troubledness concealing An undivided love The heart beneath is teaching To the broken heart above Cohen is deeply aware of his own mortality. He admits his failures and acknowledges with profound vulnerability the confusing conflicted path that is characteristic of so much of life. At times Cohen sounds like the Apostle Paul longing to be away from this troubled world and at rest in God. Paul prays: we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. (II Corinthians 5:8) Cohen seems to share Paul’s yearning for release from this painful world when he sings: Going home Without my sorrow Going home Sometime tomorrow Going home To where it’s better Than before Going home Without my burden Going home Behind the curtain Going home Without the costume That I wore He wants to write a love song An anthem of forgiving A manual for living with defeat But most of all Cohen prays and performs with an enduring and profound trust in the power of love. Tell me again when I’ve been to the river And I’ve taken the edge off my thirst Tell me again we’re alone and I’m listening Listening so hard that it hurts Tell me again when I’m clean and I’m sober Tell me again when I’ve seen through the horror Tell me again tell me over and over Tell me that you’ll love me then Amen Cohen makes no apology for his faith in the hidden power that his concerts celebrate. He is not embarrassed to admit in public his awareness that the long journey of his life has been haunted by unseen powers that he cannot fully explain or entirely grasp. His deep faith in the transcendent and abiding power of love gives a Cohen concert the profound sense that the audience has for a moment been invited to enter a temple. Cohen is still praying and inviting his audiences to join with him in a corporate act of deep devotion.
Posted by DANIELBLOOM at 6:03 PM