Friday, February 18, 2011

"Friday Night Frolic" - Dance to the End

Leonard Cohen

You thought it was over didn't you? Your week dragged on and you thought the magic had ended. Poof. Kaput. Now you're looking for it, you want it back.

You've arrived at this point, at this very juncture, this Friday, feeling like all life had been sucked out of you. Leather-faced and bone-dry, you're nothing but a desert of thorny shrub and tumbleweed straight out of a Sergio Leone spaghetti western, that haunting harmonica score wailing in your achy head.

Everybody wants a piece of you. All of 'em, all the characters: the kids, the boss, the job itself, the partner, the spousethey all want something from you, don't they? But you feel like you've nothing left to give. And maybe you don't. Maybe, when you get home today (or maybe you're already home) you just head straight for bed. For a long slumber.

Or maybe not.

Maybe you can't sleep because you're obsessing. You want to know why you have to carry all the bags and juggle all the ballsyou don't get this brand of entertainment. You want to know what's in it for youwhat's it all for? Time is endless, yet finite. Where's the meaning? Obsession's got its twisted fingers around your neck and it's suffocating you. It's going to finish you off unless you take it down by its knees. You gotta get it straight. Flatten it.

So you turn on the light—the one with the alarmingly bright bulb that you'll never get to changingand grab that book sitting on your bedside table. Yes, that book, the one with all the answers, or so you thought. You leaf through it and start thinking about all the characters in your life, how you oughta just sit 'em all down and have an intervention. Set 'em straight. Tell 'em you're tired of doing It. All of It.

And then you do it: you call them in and gather them 'round the edge of your iron bed. They're pretty comfortable, those characters, so what do they do? They all sit on your bed, all around it, on that nice, freshly dry-cleaned, linen jacquard coverlet. And they start yackin', a cacophony of voices you don't recognize. It's all garbled and crazy, completely absurd. You picture yourself in a Beckett play. Or maybe more like a Monty Python movie, only you're not laughing. So what do you do? You're too nice, so you offer them a beer or a milk or a glass of chardonnay, hoping that will shut them up. (There you go againgiving.) But it doesn't.

You clear your throat (loudly) and ask them what the hell they all want from you. You tell 'em you don't know if you can do It any longer. You're barren wasteland and haven't much left to offer. You're done, you say, you are tired of It.

There's a quiet in the room. Lover looks at boss, boss looks at bags, bags looks at kid, kid looks at balls, balls looks at job, job looks at all those damn dinner-time fundraising calls, and calls doesn't know where to look. They are befuddled.

And so you say, Get out! Just get the hell out. I don't know what I called you in here for in the first place. I've forgotten, dammit. I'm done with It. I can't do It anymore!

Then you get out of bed, pick up the balls and start juggling them. Now you're smiling, hey that feels good. You remember what you loveyour music, your books, your work, your family, whatever it is, and that it's Friday night and you're still alive! You start to whistle and clang your tambourine, and feel as free as a gypsy.

And those things, aside from your loved ones, those things that brighten the world and make you feel alivethe collision of harmony, poetry, literature—stand before you and smile back. They're humming a poesy that makes you feel fluid:

And in your desert springs a glistening estuary that gently greets the wide open sea:

And you know you can do It. It's alright, yes all straight now, and you'll sure as hell dance to the end.

For more Leonard Cohen magic (and one of my favorites) go here.


  1. Haven't listened to Leonard Cohen since high school...and, honey, that was a very, very long time ago. Thanks for the Leonard visit. But my favorite part was the duvet intervention. I was once a Leonard Cohen fan; now I'm a Jayne fan.

  2. I think I had that conversation in my head about a month ago and I've been a but solitary since. I need to start coming out of that shell I think, get a little more energized about life.

  3. have just come 'cross your neat blog from our mutual friend dear mapstew -

    so ironic your post today because literally about 13 hours ago, just before midnight, i was sitting thinking similar thoughts and decided that all i needed was some COHEN - so i went to youtube and just sat, listening feeling absorbing and, as i will always do, dancin' to the end!!! :)

    thanks for thinking of cohen, too, with your neat post!

  4. Yes...ideal late night cant sleep music.

  5. Ah, yes. That's where I left my good mood. Thanks.

  6. Thanks for the mood boost, I needed that for the weekend.
    Cheers, Sausage...

  7. I sure as hell hope I dance to the end. ;) I love the way you command words and make them do exactly what you want. Excellent.

  8. Yes. I am a thorny shrub with an achy head. How did you know?

  9. I'm hearing you there J Girl...cept I may have been hitting those tiles a wee bit hard last night with all the tambourine snapping, fiddle plucking, mandolin picking, bass hooking and guitar thrashing. Oh and the vodka gargling. But hey it is good to tell those in your life who are of little importance to go forth and procreate, to put it mildly, it's my time and I damn well wish to frolic.
    Nice work again Jayne ;)

  10. Oh and by the way, Leonard C is poetry in motion...I do dig ;)

  11. Not maybe the same words, but I have been having a similar conversation in my head. Still not there at the point to smile again, but I know I'll get there...

  12. love this post - and Leonard Cohen...just not word verification.

  13. Smiling all through this post -- and then, Leonard! Ahhhh. I have a book that has each line of the lyrics of Dance Me with a different Matisse painting. It was a gift. It worked :)

  14. Nance- Why doesn't it surprise me that you like the bedroom intervention? *hearts* And I, a huge Nance fan. ;)

    Chris- Take it to the next level- break out! I'd love to see you really run with it. Hope you danced last night. ;)

    Gpysy- Thanks for visiting. And funny how that works, isn't it? How we're all heart and soul, and all have these feelings. It's a great thing when you let the harmony in- brings a lot of peace. Keep dancing. ;)

    EW- I think ideal any time of day! But there is something about Cohen in the evening.

    Nessa- Glad you came back for it. ;)

    SF- The pleasure's all mine. :)

  15. TA- I've no doubt you will!

    HIF- Haha! No, no thorns in your yard. A well tended garden of pungent perennials you have. ;)

    Dan- Who told you about my childhood nickname?! Yeah - hit the floor hard and frolic, baby. The only way to do it. (And yes, Leonard is a true artist. Amazing how prolific his writing and composing has been over the last 40 or so years.)

    Cat- Keep listening to the music. I hope you're smiling soon. :-)

    David- I know! Had to do the word veri thing, too much spam! If there were another way to block the evil spammers, I'd bring the Veri down. :)

    Seré- Cohen lyrics coupled with the magical, fluid art of Matisse.... heavenly!
    There's a chapel in Vence, France (Rosaire Chapel), that I saw many years ago. Matisse designed and painted everything in it. Very simple, but a gorgeous monument of his work. When you step in you say: Ah, so this is what religion is all about!
    If you happen to travel to the south of France, it is a must see. ;)

  16. I forgot to tell you J Girl that I have special powers. For instance I know that you have a pair of black socks sitting in your laundry basket right now lol ;)

  17. Oh Dan, this is such good news. (Yes, black socks in the basket!) I'll never ever again have to go to Regina's Tea Room to have my palms read or cards dealt. But only the good news, please! ;)

  18. Jayne that was a great read.

    I love the way you describe that sluggish, crummy, to-hell-with-everyone feeling and then how something happens - the music, the good thoughts, the light etc., - and it all turns around the right way.


  19. SF- Thank you! Well, something always have to happen, now doesn't it? I think music is the best way to get out of that funk. ;)

  20. Music is magic, the power it has to alter our moods and quiet the raging voices. Great post of streaming consciousness!

  21. Milo- so true. Only I can't listen to it when I write. Completely distracting--pulls me in another world!