Sunday, November 8, 2009

Busy As A

I eventually finished this.
More than a Groucho disguise, I think it looks like Johnny-Five from "Short Circuit" and if there's one thing that no one needs, it's their chest saying "More input!" in a cute, vaguely mechanized voice.

It had to be reduced to useful components:
I need to rethink my original plan, apparently. More input!

The necklace below got my Personal Fashion Maven's seal of approval.
And then I decided that I didn't actually have to stitch a necklace for this slider; I could just string one instead.
Which would be fabulous except that I have to redo it because one side is longer than the other, but who's counting?

On an entirely other tack:

I've been pondering why the Leonard Cohen concert last night was so poignant to me, since neither his career nor his personal life have been central to my life over the years, and there have certainly been other artists about whose work I've felt more ardent, and yet.
And yet.

I can remember being somewhere in the twelve-to-fourteen age range, sitting at my desk in my bright yellow acrylic swivel chair (altogether now: "Seventies") doing my homework listening to the radio. The station was Radio 5 and the deejay was Long John Burke, and the only songs I can remember are "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash, "You'll Never Find" by Lou Rawls and "So Long, Marianne" by Leonard Cohen, but I'm pretty sure there were more, even though none come to mind.

I was just starting my love affair (one-sided, to be sure) with David Bowie, and I did own "Ziggy Stardust", but I never owned a Leonard Cohen record.

Skip forward twenty-odd years, the end of a marriage in which the only music that was played in the house was music that he liked, because it was "more important" [his words, his justification] to him than it was to me. I lost close to a decade of music, and then I was free to rediscover what I liked in music, and baby, it was all new. Teenage boy music: Bush, Weezer, Smoking Popes, Green Day, as well as the odd Enya, Liz Phair, Jennifer Trynin - off the top of my head; there was much, much more.

After determining not to, I saw the movie "Natural Born Killers" on the recommendation of a friend whose taste I trusted, and I was smitten with both the movie and the soundtrack, so much so that I went and bought the soundtrack album - and I hadn't done that since Rocky Horror.

After my first blind listen-through (I didn't look at the album cover to see who the artists were) I detected a certain familiarity in a couple of songs that I was drawn to. Both, as it turned out, were by Leonard Cohen, both from his album The Future, which I then went out and bought.

Some time later I filled in with his "Best of" album.

Skip forward thirteen or fourteen years, beading while I listen to NPR online, Fresh Air with Terry Gross and an interview with Leonard Cohen, who was surprisingly calm about the fact that his manager had stolen all his money while he was in a monastery. The irony.

An interesting, low-key, slightly self-effacing man who has a way with words. Not uncomfortably smooth and smarmy, just careful and lyrical in his language. Someone who paid his dues as a young man, only to find himself in a less-than-desirable state long after he should have been reaping the benefits of his youthful success.

He was forced to go on tour to remedy his situation.

I wanted the dual opportunities to help and to see a legend. Call me overly romantic, foolishly naive. Whatever. We all need our little foibles.

I checked his tour schedule only to find that the closest he would be to St Louis was Chicago. On a weeknight. That wasn't going to work.

I don't always buy the Sunday paper, so it was serendipitous that I bought it the Sunday before the Tuesday that tickets for the newly-added St Louis concert (his tour was extended and expanded) were going on sale. I was ready at the keyboard at 10 ayem, and I got the seat I wanted, and then promptly forgot about it until this past Friday, when I checked my calendar.

I was clearly primed to enjoy the concert with my own heady mix of nostalgia, fondness and the desire to help.

He seemed so frail, thin wrists peeking from his cuffs. Stooped, his jacket hanging off his shoulders. White hair.

All his songs, poignant at the best of times, seemed oddly relevant in spite of their having been written decades before. His singing sounded sincere, emotion-laden and yet accepting. Brought tears to my eyes, a lump to my throat.

When he said "We're going to give you all we got" I hoped it wouldn't take too much out of him. I mean, he's older than my mother!

And then he skipped, yes skipped off-stage at intermission.

For a moment, I had a glimpse into the psyche of a groupie: I wanted to have his baby (not really - I'm so done with having babies, but still, kinda-sorta something analogous).

He was respectful of the audience, full of superlatives for his band, and became somewhat more playful as the evening progressed, giving us what we wanted, graciously, slightly self-deprecatingly, humbly.

I left the theatre aglow, and fell asleep happy.

That's a gift.

And then today I did a home show at which the sales per guest were pretty good, but there weren't all that many guests. Since it was a fund-raiser, twenty percent of my take is no longer mine, but that's ok, because I had a few interesting conversations, had the opportunity to show my stuff to people to whom I'd previously not had access, getting my name out a bit.

On the down side I didn't sell out all my inventory (not even close), but on the up side, there's plenty for Amy's show next week.

It's all good.


Melody Marie Murray said...

I adore Cohen. Thanks for sharing your insights about his music and how it has resonated in your life.

Cindy said...

Joy sent me your link. I do not own a Leonard Cohen CD or record, but I do have to say I have always loved his music and Saturday night was a once in a lifetime experience and, yes, poignant.

Anonymous said...

I saw him in Paris, a year ago, and it was such a big joy !! I discover your blog quite late and progress through your spendid beadwork to come to a sort of shared memory of L Cohen ...funny !!
Bugs, french beader