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Gratitude

On Leonard Cohen

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"So come, my friends, be not afraid.
We are so lightly here.
It is in love that we are made;
In love we disappear."

Happy posthumous birthday, Lennie.

You tried, in your way, to be free. Thank you. Now go join that great gig in the sky.

'We Love Leonard Cohen' celebrated his 81st Birthday, and then, for his 82nd and final birthday, Leonard gave us a present. "You Want It Darker" is the title track to last album, his 14th studio album in his 49-year recording career. (See also Leonard Cohen Makes it Darker.)

"Leonard Cohen offers the possibility of living with grace, dignity, and integrity, without submitting to illusions, without succumbing to indifference, and without indulging in denial of our own failures and flaws, in a world that is too often corrupt and malevolent" - Allan Showalter

On Gratitude

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"And since to look at things in bloom, Fifty springs are little room, About the woodlands I will go, To see the cherry hung with snow" - from A.E. Houseman, A Shropshire Lad

Alain de Botton argues convincingly that one of the differences between religious and secular lives is that in the former, one says thank you all the time: when eating, going to bed, waking up etc. He believes that the rest of do not say thank you for a sunset because we think there will be many more

Many meanwhile advise that, religious or not, we should start and finish each day with a "prayer", e.g.

On Thanks

Sitting in the dark in 1981 in Honeypot Lane, with a pint of banana Nesquik and too early, too deep a love for company. Mystical companion ever since - il miglior canto

Moves languidly along a flat line, left to right, like no other song. 

Lenny's impressions - rose in teeth...brother...gypsy.  My impressions: cold New York, snow fluttering by Greenwich Village road-signs in early 1999, before the surreal back-room bar with the chaise longue and the open fire up the archetypal fire escape.

Towering above all this, "thaaaaaaaaanks..."  (In at least that one word, companion of Roy's "sweeeeeetly", Jenny trumps Lenny, or at least honours him in a voice he would have liked to have used but never had - now that I know all about, don't I?)

On Birthdays

My heart is like a singing bird, whose nest is in a watered shoot.

My heart is like an apple-tree, whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit.

My heart is like a rainbow shell that paddles in a halcyon sea.

My heart is gladder than all these.

Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down.

Hang it with vair and purple dyes.

Carve it in doves and pomegranates.

Quote 2411

To practice grateful living is to toss into deep waters the stone of your intention to notice and appreciate life’s gifts to you. From that stone’s splash, you can see ever-widening circular ripples. The most intimate circle is your personal well-being. From that emerges your caring connection with family- then your ties with a growing community of kindred souls in your town or region. From there, the ripples of gratitude become a profound influence throughout the world - gratefulness.org, October 2011

Quote 2410

There are days we live , as if death were nowhere, in the background- from joy, to joy to joy, from wing to wing, from blossom to blossom to impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom - Li-Young Lee in the poem “From Blossoms"

Quote 2405

I have no absolute right to my wealth- it comes from my ancestors, my parents and from the billions of people who have worked before me to learn, to develop, to create the foundations and wealth of this planet. It is my turn to contribute to the progress of humanity. I will be grateful for anything I am paid in return - Robert Muller