Come Healing

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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abby
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Come Healing

Postby abby » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:35 am

Let's have a little chat about this song, ok? Someone reminded me yesterday of the Book of Mercy thread- now that was the forum at its best. I wish we could work on this together. I remember reading somewhere Joe Way had said that this song had particular meaning for him because of something he was going through; me too. I bet we're not the only ones, but I'm shy, and I can't do it alone.

When I first listened to the song I heard mostly 'Come healing of the body/ Come healing of the mind,' and it was enough. Yesterday all I could hear was the first verse, and that was enough. I was hearing Leonard's struggle to commit to a woman, and it made me feel better about my struggle to commit to a woman. What do you hear, in any part of the song at all?

xxoo

Come Healing

O gather up the brokenness
And bring it to me now
The fragrance of those promises
You never dared to vow

The splinters that you carry
The cross you left behind
Come healing of the body
Come healing of the mind

And let the heavens hear it
The penitential hymn
Come healing of the spirit
Come healing of the limb

Behold the gates of mercy
In arbitrary space
And none of us deserving
The cruelty or the grace

O solitude of longing
Where love has been confined
Come healing of the body
Come healing of the mind

O see the darkness yielding
That tore the light apart
Come healing of the reason
Come healing of the heart

O troubled dust concealing
An undivided love
The Heart beneath is teaching
To the broken Heart above

O let the heavens falter
And let the earth proclaim:
Come healing of the Altar
Come healing of the Name

O longing of the branches
To lift the little bud
O longing of the arteries
To purify the blood

And let the heavens hear it
The penitential hymn
Come healing of the spirit
Come healing of the limb

O let the heavens hear it…
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TeaOrange
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Re: Come Healing

Postby TeaOrange » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:26 pm

I love the Webb sisters' harmony in this song -- brilliant. My favourite lines - 'come healing of the spirit, come healing of the lamb' are extremely spiritual; whenever LC has a spiritual subtext in his lyrics it adds some incredible depth and sense of melancholy.

oh gather round the brokenness, oh bring it to me now.

It always reminds me of another song on the album - Amen - and I usually have to go listen to that after this.

Tell me again when I'm clean and sober, tell me again when I've seen through the horror.
Cate
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Re: Come Healing

Postby Cate » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:06 pm

Let's have a little chat about this song, ok?
good idea Abby
Thank you for giving me something to think about at work today. I'm having a travelling day,
going from place to place to place. I'll bring the song in the car with me; it can be my companion.
holydove
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Re: Come Healing

Postby holydove » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:37 am

Thank you for starting this thread, Abby - a very uplifted idea.

I love every part of this song, & the verse that has always stood out for me as most exquisite is this one:

O troubled dust concealing
An undivided love
The Heart beneath is teaching
To the broken Heart above

A deep place within us all & within all that exists - underneath all the chaos & brokenness of this earthly realm - a place of absolute infinite love; & that Heart of Absolute Love is speaking, always, to our broken hearts, & transmitting its healing essence - if only we can listen & hear it & be open to its embrace & allow its energy to penetrate our beings. A sublime exquisite description of the Unified Heart.
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abby
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Re: Come Healing

Postby abby » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:03 pm

Thanks, holydove.
holydove wrote:The Heart beneath is teaching
To the broken Heart above
Can anyone argue against those two lines being two of the best lines ever written?
holydove wrote:A deep place within us all & within all that exists - underneath all the chaos & brokenness of this earthly realm - a place of absolute infinite love; & that Heart of Absolute Love is speaking, always, to our broken hearts, & transmitting its healing essence - if only we can listen & hear it & be open to its embrace & allow its energy to penetrate our beings. A sublime exquisite description of the Unified Heart.
What you wrote there is really beautiful. Intuitively I know it's right but my brokenheartedness wants the broken heart to be above the heart of absolute love in the sense of being ultimate, of being the teacher. What can I say? I'm a monster.
holydove
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Re: Come Healing

Postby holydove » Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:08 pm

I like your thinking, Abby. Our broken hearts surely do teach us many things, in fact, it's through the broken heart that we can discover the heart beneath. We need brokenness in order to know wholeness, & vice versa. At least, in this realm, that seems to be the way it works. So we can love both hearts & I think they need & love each other.

And I think we all have our inner monsters, & they are very good teachers too! If the thought you expressed is an example of your monstrousness, you must be a very beautiful monster with many sweet lessons to offer.
Steven
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Re: Come Healing

Postby Steven » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:32 am

Hi Abby,

Your having posted the lyrics allows me to better appreciate that L.C. is excellently acknowledging that
the emotion of love can affect a wide range of aspects of well-being. Hadn't consciously noticed this
through many listenings to the song. There's a biblical verse that comes to mind (Proverbs 4:23):
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." The song references some of the issues. :)
Cate
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Re: Come Healing

Postby Cate » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:37 am

I love these lines
The fragrance of those promises
You never dared to vow
It does seem to speak to that unwillingness to commit – I didn’t pick up on that before your comment.

For me

I think the first verses sound like angels (voice of god) calling the man home – come bring your pain and imperfections, come and pray with us and be naked/unhidden
and the man approaches the gate and I think hesitates – perhaps he has a conflict between the earthly man and the spiritual man?
Steven wrote:There's a biblical verse that comes to mind (Proverbs 4:23): "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."


sounds like good advice - It also makes me think of the song "Teachers"
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abby
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Re: Come Healing

Postby abby » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:00 am

I kind of lost my hard-on for this thread. The spirit left me, what can I say? I can say I left the spirit, which is truer.
Cate wrote:For me

I think the first verses sound like angels (voice of god) calling the man home – come bring your pain and imperfections, come and pray with us and be naked/unhidden and the man approaches the gate and I think hesitates – perhaps he has a conflict between the earthly man and the spiritual man?
I'm on the same page about the women's voices, Cate. I hear that the inability to ever commit to a woman, to marry her, is the core of his brokenness, at least as far as this kind of healing is concerned, or this song. Whether it's a spiritual life that pulled Leonard out of the women's arms I'm not sure- at least for me the conflict isn't so noble!
Steven wrote:the emotion of love can affect a wide range of aspects of well-being
While I would argue (wordlessly) that the kind of undivided love in this song isn't an emotion, I wouldn't ever argue that it affects my well-being. It's the lack of that love that's got me mired in my bullshit right now. More diligence is called for, Steven. In conversation with Jim Harrison, Gary Snyder referenced the koan ' ...the perfect way is without difficulty. Strive hard!' I might take up a prayer like this: please help me in the diligent keeping of my heart.
holydove wrote: ...in fact, it's through the broken heart that we can discover the heart beneath.
Then I've got a fighting chance :wink:
Cate
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Re: Come Healing

Postby Cate » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:20 pm

You might already know this poem, but it's always been one of my favourites.
SLOWLY I MARRIED HER (L.Cohen)

Slowly I married her
Slowly and bitterly married her love
Married her body
….in boredom and joy
Slowly I came to her
Slow and restfully came to her bed
Came to her table
in hunger and habit
….came to be fed
Slowly I married her
sanctioned by none
with nobody’s name
….amid general warnings
….amid general scorn
Came to her fragrance
….my nostrils wide
Came to her greed
….with seed for a child
Years in the coming
and years in retreat
….Slowly I married her
Slowly I kneeled
And now we are wounded
….so deep and so well
that no one can hurt us
except Death itself
….And all through Death’s dream
I move with her lips
The dream is a night
….but eternal the kiss
And slowly I come to her
slowly we shed
the clothes of our doubting
….and slowly we wed
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abby
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Re: Come Healing

Postby abby » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:38 pm

Thank you for that, Cate. I've read that poem a hundred times but never listened because I wasn't married then. It's got me thinking, what else is waiting for me in the archives? I started reading Beautiful Losers again last night, after not having recognized a quote from it in Dennis Lee's Savage Fields; it was this: 'Let it be our skill to create legends out of the disposition of the stars, but let it be our glory to forget the legends and watch the night emptily.' It's right after Catherine dies. Do you remember that line?
Cate
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Re: Come Healing

Postby Cate » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:14 am

No, I didn't remember the line and even when I looked it up it didn't seem familiar. I think that I didn't immediately understand it and so skimmed over it in favour of images that make more instant sense to me. Mr. Lee is a pretty smart guy with a good eye.

I hope you check your archive Abby :)
I've had 2 big Leonard Cohen phases in my life, one as a young person becoming a woman and now as a woman mid way through. The poems that I loved before I still love but now I also like ones that I never cared for or noticed before.
Andrewp1
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Re: Come Healing

Postby Andrewp1 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:41 am

Hey there....

For me, this song has a familiar ring and spirit to the old Baptist hymns I grew up in church singing. It's cut from the same place as "Just As I Am" and "How Great Thou Art." Mortals realizing their brokenness and asking for the divine to make up where they lack.

I could see a progressive contemporary church service actually using this, even as an altar call.

I like the contrast between 'healing of the limb' and 'healing of the Lamb.' To me, the penitential hymn is talking about the earth being a temporary place and a broken, fallen world.

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