Thursday, December 20, 2012


He was thinking he had forgotten something; but what, he did not know. Scene passed over scene; one obliterated another.
— Virginia Woolf, The Years

L'Emmylou endormie.

That's my every day, pretty much, when it comes to finally sitting down to write. Unless, on those rare occasions, that I write as soon as I get up, or, better yet, from bed. Lately, I have not been even bringing the laptop upstairs as it is for sure that I rest better when I am not all internetted up.

Brewster train station.

Back in Manhattan today. It's hard to be in a world capital of glowing consumerism and the absolute Western (occidental) acme of happy holiday shopping and bien-etre. For those of us who cannot (due to straitened circumstances) participate in the American spirit of Christmas, it is a bit disheartening. At least there is no fresh snowfall reflecting the lush merchandise and twinkling lights, or the warm glowing interiors of well-appointed restaurants with merry imbibers. New York is one of the ultimate exemplars of the have and have-nots.
Grand Central Station.

And that's where the toughest rub is, the not having a place and not having a place here. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the reality / unreality / comfort / discomfort / normal / abnormal - ness of being in my familiar stomping grounds where I have access but no foothold. Well, I shan't belabor the point as I am not the first to make it nor is it likely that it won't come up again.

But it makes me blue.

Meanwhile, trudging through the Leonard Cohen/Jeff Buckley book which I heartily discourage anyone from reading unless you are stuck with something orders of magnitude more egregious (you can think of your own examples tonight, I have limited emotional space for my usual crushing didacticism), I have come across the desultory intelligent remark or reflection, this one by k.d. lang:

"I think spirituality in general in our society has been diffused into some sort of relationship between the pop culture and our own personal pillars we create for ourselves. As culture moved forward, we were counting on God less, and people settled into some sort of spirituality that they created for themselves, and a lot of it has to do with incorporating their own human desire. We're greatly craving some sort of spirituality in music."

Not exactly a pithy, well-worded quote, but we get the gist. Of the art forms out there in the marketplace at the moment, I surely do not see another one that might offer any inherent spirituality, save for dance, and that is not as widely accessible.

Study in black and white.

Here are the lyrics to Hallelujah should any of you not know them and a link to the original version:

I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well, really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah


  1. You always have a home or place to stay here. Merry Christmas and hope for the coming year!

  2. I find it very annoying not to be able to live in Manhattan. Just visiting is annoying. But better than nothing. It is also possible to spend less money when out in NYC than it is in LA, something most people do not believe, but I swear its true, or at least was true when I was there.