Waiting for the miracle

Debate on Leonard Cohen's poetry (and novels), both published and unpublished. Song lyrics may also be discussed here.
Meryam
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Waiting for the miracle

Postby Meryam » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:30 pm

"Waiting for the miracle"

Baby, I've been waiting,
I've been waiting night and day.
I didn't see the time,
I waited half my life away.
There were lots of invitations
And I know you sent me some,
But I was waiting
For the miracle, for the miracle to come.
I know you really loved me.
But, you see, my hands were tied.
I know it must have hurt you,
It must have hurt your pride
To have to stand beneath my window
With your bugle and your drum,
And me I'm up there waiting
For the miracle, for the miracle to come.

Ah I don't believe you'd like it,
You wouldn't like it here.
There ain't no entertainment
And the judgments are severe.
The Maestro says it's Mozart
But it sounds like bubble gum
When you're waiting
For the miracle, for the miracle to come.

Waiting for the miracle
There's nothing left to do.
I haven't been this happy
Since the end of World War II.

Nothing left to do
When you know that you've been taken.
Nothing left to do
When you're begging for a crumb
Nothing left to do
When you've got to go on waiting
Waiting for the miracle to come.

I dreamed about you, baby.
It was just the other night.
Most of you was naked
Ah but some of you was light.
The sands of time were falling
From your fingers and your thumb,
And you were waiting
For the miracle, for the miracle to come

Ah baby, let's get married,
We've been alone too long.
Let's be alone together.
Let's see if we're that strong.
Yeah let's do something crazy,
Something absolutely wrong
While we're waiting
For the miracle, for the miracle to come.

Nothing left to do

When you've fallen on the highway
And you're lying in the rain,
And they ask you how you're doing
Of course you'll say you can't complain
If you're squeezed for information,
That's when you've got to play it dumb
You just say you're out there waiting
For the miracle, for the miracle to come.
*********************************************

Typical Cohen: he always wants and longs for the same: a perfect God, a perfect woman (The One) and perfect love! To him that is THE miracle, not A miracle, and he won't settle for less. He realizes he wasted half his life and hers too, and that her waiting must have been hard for her. He can’t or won’t settle for less, so even a woman who loves him and puts an effort in time and patience is not enough. He is fixated on the/his miracle

He warns her: she won' t be happy. The severe judgements are his: his music is not perfect (his severe judgement: it’s just bubblegum), she’s not perfect either (so she will be judged, too)

He is taken by his longing for perfect love, all he can do is waiting for that to come, For her he has nothing to offer but crumbs, but apparently she settles for that. She is taken by her patient love for him.

And then comes a painful and frightening insight in the form of a dream: sand is dropping, time is passing by, he realizes: I am waiting (wasting?) my time and life away, and hers too! But still, although he sees some of her is light, she is not 100% light, she is not perfect...
He panics: still marry her, although it is crazy and wrong ? (nice way to be proposed to). They won't be happy, they only will be alone together, and he doubts if they're strong enough, he has no faith.

Too late: she has already fallen on a dangerous place in the rain, she has given up, she is exhausted. His advise: Of course you won't complain or talk about it, other people won't understand. Do what I keep doing, don't loosen your grip, keep on waiting like I do: I up there, you lying in the rain!

That’s no solution, no consolation, but it is all he knows. At the same time he calls that 'playing dumb': Because the people on the highway are ignorant? Maybe there is some selfknowledge/self-irony here, because he knows deep-down he is (playing/being) dumb too... ?
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mat james
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Re: Waiting for the miracle

Postby mat james » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:17 am

Now, that is my sort of post, Meryam. I love it.
Now you have me thinking ....and very differently than I would have, normally.
I'll mull it over and respond if I can see the mystic in there somewhere ;-)
Maybe you can lead me into the mystic in this one.

regards,
MatbbgJ
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
Meryam
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Re: Waiting for the miracle

Postby Meryam » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:27 am

hello Mat,

Iwould like very much to discuss some songs!
But I get a bit dizzy from that long Album-topic...
I printed that out and wil read it in the weekend.
How about a new topic 'You have loved enough'?
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mat james
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Re: Waiting for the miracle

Postby mat james » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:40 pm

Hi Meryam,

"For her he has nothing to offer but crumbs, but apparently she settles for that. She is taken by her patient love for him."

Rightly or wrongly, in the work of Leonard Cohen I like to interpret "he" or "him" as Leonard or his "g~d".
Always I view the "she" or feminine as Leonard's Soul.
It is fun for me to read it that way and I get an interesting view/story. The picture doesn't always fit perfectly but that is the mortar that holds my bricks of deconstruction, together.
Therefore in reading even your quote above, I read "her" and "she" as the soul.
"He" and "Him" (never mind the case) are aspects of god; like the hindu atman and brahma. And I like to read Leonard as confused as to whether he is atman or brahma; and therefore either or both Leonard and god could be offering the "crumbs".

So for me, his songs are generally songs of the soul (feminine) and it is god and leonard who confuse their identity; but she, the soul, is ever-present and identifiable. That is my starting position for discussion.
So these great love songs seem to be his soul, winging it between god and man; between the Unity and the individual.
But always between those two extremes of existence is the soul, winging it alone, "longing" for her g~dly Lover, aided by her confused temporal lover, Leonard.
That girl is a two-timer! :lol:
The hero is the feminine.
The hero is his (feminine) soul.

MatbbgJ
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
Meryam
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Re: Waiting for the miracle

Postby Meryam » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:15 pm

Hello Mat,

I like reading your posts, but now you don't convince me!

Of course in LC's songs there is (almost) always a mixture of God/Christ and woman/lover and sun/moon etc. and I see no need to make a distinction or absolute choice: the words contain it all. I read comments where everything is drawn into the atmosphere of sex, or drugs and I don't like that: I think that's narrowing down the text.

But in some songs f.e. 'You know who I am' I can only read that as God. And in 'The miracle' the You for me is clearly exclusively a woman, but I approach it from personal experience: I know that kind of man and I have a soft spot for them. My ex-partner was very much like that: sensitive and interesting but hard to have a relationship with, or like LC says "it's hard to hold the hand of of anyone who is reaching for the sky to surrender". (Stranger song)

The I here is 'up there'(reaching for the sky), and the You is waiting below, making a lot of noise with her drum and bugle, she's not playing a soft flute, no she tries to give him a wake-up call!
And secondly she warns him in his dream/vision: look, time is marching by.
But when all that doesn't work, she falls, while he is still up there, so the distance between them grows bigger, problably beyond repair. I think that kind of people have difficulty with 'ordinary. down-to-earth love'. They want love to be always elevated and sublime, always perfect and a miracle and if not, it is rejected completely. (Think of Aron to Abra, in Steinbeck's East of Eden).

I love the line "I haven't been this happy since the end of WW II" - 6 decades ago... - self-irony. To me that's LC himself as a kind op super-ego who knows deep in his heart, with a helicopter's eye that the I is playing it dumb and throwing his life/love away.
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mat james
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Re: Waiting for the miracle

Postby mat james » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:09 pm

“…you don't convince me!”
“And in 'The miracle' the You for me is clearly exclusively a woman,”
Well, Meryam, you are in the majority there. :) and you are probably right. It makes perfect sense.
Like all fools, sometimes I over-generalize.

But still I saunter off into left-field.
Hence:

“It must have hurt your pride
To have to stand beneath my window
With your bugle and your drum,
And me I'm up there waiting
For the miracle, for the miracle to come.”

In Leonard’s writing, I take the symbol of the “window” as the window to his soul.
And therefore it is the soul (female) who is “up there waiting for the miracle” of re-unification with the Source of all.
And the soul sings down to Leonard,

“Nothing left to do
When you know that you've been taken.”
So the soul has experienced a “crumb” from the mystic and waits for more.

“If you're squeezed for information,
That's when you've got to play it dumb
You just say you're out there waiting”

Why play it dumb?
Because no-one wants to hear that Leonard and his soul are serenading each other while waiting to be serenaded by their g~d; and both are waiting for that miracle to come.

It is a game of trinity, for me.
One soul
One man
One g~d.

“Let’s be alone together
Let’s see if we’re that strong

And maybe we can wait together (Leonard and soul) for that miracle of unification with Unity?

That’s my take on players and the plot in this game/song;
but it is only this fools shaky view. ;-)

MatbbgJ
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
Meryam
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Re: Waiting for the miracle

Postby Meryam » Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:00 pm

Interesting, Mat! We are both right, me a little more ;-)
I'm curious at your opinion about "That don't make it junk"
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mat james
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Re: Waiting for the miracle

Postby mat james » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:27 am

Interesting, Mat! We are both right, me a little more ;-)
I'm curious at your opinion about "That don't make it junk"


8)

I did have a look at that "junk". You will find my ideas on the "The poetry of ten new songs" thread, linked below.
Gulliver and others and I came up with a few ideas on page 1 of that thread.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=10339

Oh! I see you have started a thread purely for "That don't make it junk".
I will come and say hello, soon.

Mat.
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
MaryB
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Re: Waiting for the miracle

Postby MaryB » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:25 pm

Meryam wrote:Interesting, Mat! We are both right, me a little more ;-)
I'm curious at your opinion about "That don't make it junk"
Thank you both for your interpretations, but I have to agree with Meryam on this one. Only a woman knows how it feels. ;-)

Kindest regards,
Mary
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amarantia
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Re: Waiting for the miracle

Postby amarantia » Sat Oct 11, 2014 6:27 pm

mat james wrote:Hi Meryam,

"For her he has nothing to offer but crumbs, but apparently she settles for that. She is taken by her patient love for him."

Rightly or wrongly, in the work of Leonard Cohen I like to interpret "he" or "him" as Leonard or his "g~d".
Always I view the "she" or feminine as Leonard's Soul.
It is fun for me to read it that way and I get an interesting view/story. The picture doesn't always fit perfectly but that is the mortar that holds my bricks of deconstruction, together.
Therefore in reading even your quote above, I read "her" and "she" as the soul.
"He" and "Him" (never mind the case) are aspects of god; like the hindu atman and brahma. And I like to read Leonard as confused as to whether he is atman or brahma; and therefore either or both Leonard and god could be offering the "crumbs".

So for me, his songs are generally songs of the soul (feminine) and it is god and leonard who confuse their identity; but she, the soul, is ever-present and identifiable. That is my starting position for discussion.
So these great love songs seem to be his soul, winging it between god and man; between the Unity and the individual.
But always between those two extremes of existence is the soul, winging it alone, "longing" for her g~dly Lover, aided by her confused temporal lover, Leonard.
That girl is a two-timer! :lol:
The hero is the feminine.
The hero is his (feminine) soul.

MatbbgJ
'
Now only, I noticed a great Mat's nterpretation.
I agree completely. I will add more.
Sometimes for us it is only a mystic, We are souls and energies .
Sometimes in the real world, it happens that the soul takes on the two bodies at the same time.
I know people who have met the second part of your soul.
I do not think about relationships here, I did not think of soul mate.
I think about the second part of the same soul.This is called twin(soul) flame.
I put the idea that LC was searching for his twin soul. :idea:
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mat james
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Re: Waiting for the miracle

Postby mat james » Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:05 am

I did not think of soul mate.
I think about the second part of the same soul.This is called twin(soul) flame.
I put the idea that LC was searching for his twin soul.
Fascinating idea....

Chasing one thought from another....
Interesting idea, Amarantia. I think it could be stated that, in an "atman" sense/perspective, (that twin of the same soul), is the journey of every atman back to Brahma.
And so considering your "twin flame" perspective; where a soul seeks another half of itself, it works for me on one level.
Very romantic.

Matbbgj
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
amarantia
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Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 3:44 pm

Re: Waiting for the miracle

Postby amarantia » Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:16 pm

mat james wrote:
I did not think of soul mate.
I think about the second part of the same soul.This is called twin(soul) flame.
I put the idea that LC was searching for his twin soul.
Fascinating idea....

Chasing one thought from another....
Interesting idea, Amarantia. I think it could be stated that, in an "atman" sense/perspective, (that twin of the same soul), is the journey of every atman back to Brahma.
And so considering your "twin flame" perspective; where a soul seeks another half of itself, it works for me on one level.
Very romantic.

Matbbgj
Mat,
You're right from the perspective of the one divine plane. Atman always returns to Brahma. Beyond time, beyond space, we are one. However for many people, it's just theories.
Individual selves, exist on many levels. Going stated below, we share. We can call ourselves the energies, called the selves , the souls, atman. Buddhists call it mind. On some level it's true. We will never know the whole perspective from the mind. It is infinite. Defining this is just one of the level of consciousnes
I'm going back to my thesis. Do you remember the movie Little Buddha. In this story, one mind took a three bodies at one time . I'm writing about this.With my friends we research similar phenomena .One soul (I use that name) takes two bodies to experience on the material plane.Twin flame(souls) is not always romantic story. Hard to believe, but at the human level, it can be a big suffering because of separation. I know the people with depression because of this.
The Other part of soul, may be living in another country, have a different plan of life. The attachment between these parts is still very strong
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mat james
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Re: Waiting for the miracle

Postby mat james » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:57 am

It is an interesting topic/"thesis", Amarantia.

A few years ago I had a dream where I was a flying object, a sort of soul/spaceship, and I flew around for awhile through varied experiences and moments; at the end of the dream I was joined by a dozen or so other similar shaped ships and we simply, like a tessellated stingray without a tail, formed and locked together and flew off as one beautiful identity.
Your twin soul thesis reminds me of that dream; and the emotion or feeling I had upon recognition of the multiplicity of that singular unity; and, the Unity behind our singularity.

Thanks for giving me a construct to place it in.

Regards,
MatbbgJ
(Mat-belly-button-gazer-J)
{A title one of our forum members (Mana) gave me, which I find very apt.}
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.

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