One of the single greatest treats of my life was delivered to our door exactly one month ago today. Three drawings created by my brilliant wife Nina were published in my favorite author’s new book. It was a hallowed evening that will last the rest of my life.
I share these treats with you today, on the day of all days. If you would like to taste more of Antero Alli’s thought candy, he did a delicious interview with New Paradigm that you can chew on for a good long while. Here is my favorite flavor:
My sense of this moment in history is one of suspense and accelerating uncertainty, and since these comprise two primary catalysts for any truly creative state, I sense this moment in history carrying great potential for optimal creativity. Admittedly, this perception is biased by a deep optimism informed by decades of writing and producing original work for theatre and film. My optimism for modern culture at large and for society, however, has vanquished into a misanthropic horror.
As I see it, society as an entity has gone stark raving mad. The lowest common denominator of society — the consumerist culture — has succumbed to a mass hallucination of entitlement, fed and maintained by excessive materialism and soul-deadening greed, archaic religious beliefs and toxic guilt, government deceptions and immobilizing fear. I see modern culture as a cul-de-sac, a dead end. The problems of society cannot be solved by the same mindset that created them in the first place. I see a sick society in desperate need of healing yet I do not see how society is set up to heal itself. To begin this healing, a radical transformation of the mind — at the level of the individual — must occur.
I admit to having zero ambitions to change or save the world. I am also not here to contribute to society. In fact, I no longer care what happens to society. However, I do care deeply about the individual. I am here to support the individual in restoring the lost capacity for direct firsthand experience as a primary source of integrity, autonomy, and authority. I view anything less as walking backwards into the nightmare of history from which we all struggle to awaken. If there is to be any real transformation, I think it must happen within the individual first and then, through clusters of such self-governing entities — evolutionary agents — discovering and designing new models of intimacy, collaboration, and collective life that honors the integrity of the individual. Since I have no political agendas, beyond the body politic of each person to define themselves, I suppose I am suggesting a kind of spiritual anarchy. Define yourself or be defined, I say.
Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez struck out three times each in the second game of the 2009 World Series. It was the first time in baseball history that a leadoff hitter and cleanup hitter woofed at least three times apiece in the World Series.
It is that most wonderful time of the year. I love you October!
Music unlocks the human spirit. Leonard Cohen is a keymaster. We finally had the pleasure of seeing the man perform live in concert on October 17th, 2009. It was a metaphysical jailbreak.
When the spark inside the body is released by music, it flows toward the highest common denominator. Freedom seeks love. With Leonard Cohen guiding the dance, a beacon of exquisite bliss ignited the arena and called all beings to fellowship. Our party quickly included the whole universe.
Non-physical intelligence appreciates excellence and gravitates toward penultimate performance. Dino Soldo played the best harmonica I have ever heard, and soon we were surrounded by aliens and angels. Javier Mas taught long lost demons to speak Spanish. Roscoe Beck boomed the thunderstick deep until the lava gnomes bubbled forth. Neil Larsen brought shimmering chimera into being, often in the form of legendary lounge lizards. Bob Metzger tickled tingly tarantula up and down the spine. Rafael Gayol made sure that each vertebrae in the room was on point. Sharon Robinson twisted a tempered twin tower taking Leonard deep into her heart and out into ours. Charley and Hattie Webb sweetly soothed the Seraphim within, and all were ecstatically enlarged.
These people understand the process. The music itself is the Goddess. The players are her conduits. The audience is the fuel. The theater grounds the charge and places it for reference. All segments synchronize in sublime communion, and the winged serpent takes flight. On October 17th, 2009 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it was lifted higher than ever before.
We were treated to a whole set of new arrangements in the first half of the show, then settled back into our seats by traditional favorites in the second. Three encores sent us off into the evening for the first night of the rest of our lives. Each human body that entered the building was changed forever.
Thank you Leonard Cohen. We will never be the same.
All photographs by hassan, from the actual show.
You can click here for video of the performance.
These were all from the first set, with brand spanking new arrangements. We are still utterly blissed.
Do not miss Leonard Cohen on tour. That video shows him kicking it off here in South Florida last night. It was the best musical performance I have ever seen in my life. I still have tears in my eyes. I especially loved the drastic shift from the first set to the second. The first was driving bubbling lava, the second soothing soul syrup.
Click right here for our full review of the show with fabulous photographs.
Here’s the set list, thanks to JSA!
• Dance Me To The End Of Love
• The Future
• Ain’t No Cure For Love
• Bird On The Wire
• Everybody Knows
• In My Secret Life
• Who By Fire (with long Spanish(?) guitar intro)
• Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
• Waiting For The Miracle
• Anthem (with introductions of band members)
• Tower Of Song
• Sisters Of Mercy
• The Gypsy’s Wife
• The Partisan
• Boogie Street
• I’m Your Man
• A Thousand Kisses Deep (spoken)
• Take This Waltz
• So Long, Marianne
• First We Take Manhattan
• Famous Blue Raincoat
• If It Be Your Will (Leonard spoken verses, Webb sisters sung)
• Closing Time
• I Tried To Leave You
• Whither Thou Goest (tutti a cappella)
Leonard Cohen. First show of his American tour. Tonight, in our town. Hallelujah.