Story D

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LaurieAK
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Story D

Post by LaurieAK » Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:29 pm

STORY D


Living Next Door To Leonard Cohen

Mas was a slave-in-waiting. In her thirteenth reincarnation, prior to becoming a Juniper tree, she had no idea of what lay before her. Vague recollections of deep warm seas, and attendant creatures, sometimes drizzled through her dreams. Mas dreamt a lot, that’s what cats do.

Mas was nameless. But all creatures have names, or records couldn’t be kept and chaos would reign. Mas’ time in the ocean depths, feeding on plankton and escorted by her offspring had been timeless. Hunger was always the driving force, apart of course, from the periods in past times, when she lived in soil, and water quenched her overwhelming thirsts. Her last surviving kitten demanded that she quenched his ceaseless thirst. She fed him without a thought; accepting life as it was and incapable of self-awareness. That’s what cats do.

The wolf that killed her and the kitten was driven by his own continual hunger. Small for his breed, Nehem was adept at silent hunting. He could feed himself. He didn’t dream, so knew nothing of past agonies, from memory or smell, or feelings.

Nehem hid to escape the black side of life; eat and be eaten. He lived by experience. Wolves do that. The furred meat had been an unusual meal for Nehem, but filling. The wolf slept, and his very first dream was of deep, warm seas. He wet himself; woke uncomfortably and fled his scent, which was all around him. It wasn’t panic as such, but the drive to move on, to go from here, to keep going, a constant echo through Nehem’s incarnations.

His charge through sharp branches, small pools and a collision with a Juniper tree, moved more than flora and fauna. He had prepared the way for a tiny Mas to fall, take root and live again.

Enclosed in her coat of soil, she took several hard winters to spread her many branches. The winters brought water and sleep. Her thirst arose in the warmth that followed. No trace of deep, warm seas remained. She was not hungry, but felt she was missing something that she couldn’t quite define. Trees can’t feel that. Or can they?

Mas pushed deep and flourished. She had to grow fast. Her drive for existence, prevented rivals from taking her water and sunlight. Strong roots and an inherent determination to survive, stood her in good stead for this, her fourteenth and longest, incarnation. Trees can live a long time, then they die. Trees do that.

And in time; a long time, Mas was reborn and was named after her first owner. The first time she would have the name of Mas and recognise it. (As we know, records have to be kept) Her name was a shortened version of Master. Not an original idea, but sufficient for recording purposes. Her Master’s name was Murray Hill. His wife was called Rosaline.

Murray and Rosaline had fled the turmoils of the croft clearances of Scotland. They arrived in North America, childless, and despite their best efforts, remained so. Murray was taken on as a plantation’s farrier by a fellow scot called Lauder. Lauder had grown up in a farming family. However, he had been deported from Scotland while still young, for his part in writing and publishing pamphlets that attacked the monarchy.

Lauder had married an Irish-Catholic nanny who bore him several children. He had used his farming knowledge to begin a plantation. Hill’s wife, Rosaline, was taken on as governess to Lauder’s children.

Lauder steadily improved the plantation, by buying out most of his neighbours’ property. He became comparatively wealthy. He had many slaves. In her fifteenth incarnation, Mas was one of them.

The plantation grew the usual crops, slaves being one of them. Mas, the slave, had a hard life. She felt the scourge of persecution and unrelenting curbs on any attempt to improve her life. Tethered to the plantation, Mas envied the trees their freedom to grow and reach their limits. Staying in one place wasn’t the problem, everything has to be somewhere, but not being allowed to flourish, was inhuman. People are like that.

The civil war freed Mas and the tribe of slaves. Freedom at last. But not yet. It didn’t free the minds of masters. Trapped within their mindset, these dinosaurs couldn’t grasp the element of universal freedom. They are remnants of reincarnated creatures, long extinct. Sadly, some still reappear.

Does reincarnation hone our latent growth as we live out our lives? Who knows? We continue to continue. And so, what of the here and now? And us? We are constant survivors. Always desiring to grow, in our different times and places.

We make our stand. We spread our arms and minds upwards and outwards. Our capacities in this present time, giving us new freedoms to share our world with others. Freedom to go anywhere. Freedom to go everywhere. Untethered. To be with the minds of other beautiful losers.

Not sharing the same street, or same hotel, but sharing our thoughts and aspirations. All of us more alive, and virtually living next door to Leonard Cohen. What more could we ask?
Fljotsdale
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Post by Fljotsdale » Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:06 pm

This is beautiful.

But, as with another story, only periphally on-topic, imo, even though I see exactly where you are coming from in that final paragraph. :)
Only just found this video of LC:
http://ca.youtube.com/user/leonardcohen?ob=4" target="_blank

This one does make me cry.
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Byron
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Post by Byron » Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:34 pm

I believe this story is about freedom and the endless struggle to achieve it. The reincarnation thing is an unusual device to carry the development of freedom forward. The way all manner of life is included, takes us out of our own human lives and history. A sort of homage to all living creations.
I would say that it is true to the topic because it takes us to lc who is our touch-stone, and has spent his life developing his own freedoms, which we all admire.
The connection the story uses to link us all via the internet, tells me that the world is indeed small enough now, for all of us to live next door to one another, and Leonard. The use of the word 'virtual' hints at the virtual neighbourhood we now live in, on this Forum.
I like this story.
"Bipolar is a roller-coaster ride without a seat belt. One day you're flying with the fireworks; for the next month you're being scraped off the trolley" I said that.
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Diane
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Post by Diane » Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:52 pm

All of us...virtually living next door to Leonard Cohen
What a lovely thought.

And a lovely story. I noticed the constant of the tree through the story. I always think of trees as 'silent witnesses': Some of them live so long and witness so much. They are mute, but what do they know...?

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Byron
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Post by Byron » Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:09 pm

If we look at the names of the characters in this story, I'm sure there is more there than just names. Bells are ringing somewhere.........?

Can anyone help?
"Bipolar is a roller-coaster ride without a seat belt. One day you're flying with the fireworks; for the next month you're being scraped off the trolley" I said that.
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Byron
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Post by Byron » Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:44 pm

OK, I can help.

Mas is not only short for Master.
Mas is short for the name of a caring mother of a child, not a kitten, but young leonard Cohen. Masha was Leonard's mum.

Nehem the wolf, is named after Leonard. His middle name is Norman. Norman is an english name derived from Nehemiah, leonards heritage is there in that name. It means the rebuilder.

Lauder the slave owner, is named after Sir Harry Lauder, who was Nathan Cohen's favourite singer. Nathan was leonard's dad.

Murray Hill is named after Murray Hill Park which backs onto leonard's home in Westmount.

Rosline is named after Roslyn school where the young leonard Cohen used to attend.

The irish-catholic nanny is a reference to Mary, who was a part of the Cohen family.

So, I managed to get characters who lent themselves to leonard's home, family and early education (Rosline [school] is a governess in the story) to prove that by the end of the story, not only do we live 'virtually' next door to lc, but the characters are written with references to those who actually lived in the house with him when he was a boy.

I enjoyed writing this as well.
"Bipolar is a roller-coaster ride without a seat belt. One day you're flying with the fireworks; for the next month you're being scraped off the trolley" I said that.
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:08 pm

This story seemed to me to be written by Tri-me. A gentle writing style, with gentle thoughts, yet acknowledging and respecting the beasts of the world.

I was delighted to see a story that began with a cat, of course :D . I love the way you worked through various reincarnations, whilst keeping the reader sympathetic to the needs and beings of each.

You did an excellent job disguising yourself as the writer, Byron. I liked your "[. . . . . ]s are like that" technique. I especially enjoyed the life lessons, and loved the conceptual ending:
Not sharing the same street, or same hotel, but sharing our thoughts and aspirations. All of us more alive, and virtually living next door to Leonard Cohen. What more could we ask?


Super, short story! [Now, I'll go read what others wrote. I'm trying to avoid being influenced by their reviews ~ at least for now :) .]

~ Lizzy :D
Last edited by lizzytysh on Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:14 pm

Mas is not only short for Master.
Mas is short for the name of a caring mother of a child, not a kitten, but young leonard Cohen. Masha was Leonard's mum.
WoW ~ now I'm influenced. Brilliant!

I'll be back to add to this [as I did above; changing "reading" :roll: to "reader" :) ].

I'm back. I agree with your comments on the trees, Diane 8) .

Well, if I quote everything I'm being influenced by at this juncture, I'll just be bringing your whole, explanatory post here! Really, really thoughtful writing, Byron! Reminiscent of the depth of some of your poems from days long-ago-and-far-away here.

I'm absolutely, phenomenally impressed to the core 8) . A deeply-textured, rich brocade, tapestry ~ worthy of a wall hanging, if we transformed it into threads of silk, silver, and gold :D .

Amazing :shock: 8) :D !!!

~ Lizzy :D
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Kush
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Post by Kush » Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:24 pm

This doesnt really have much to do with the topic and it appears the author had already written this and simply tied it up to the topic at the end.
Having said that it is quite brilliantly written. The imagination soars. I may have minor quibbles with one or two specifics (I could have done wihout the penultimate paragraph and one other - i think the 4th from from the end) but I'll have to read it more carefully to see if the quibbles are real. It is not easy to grasp at first read and needs to be (and deserves to be) read more than once to grasp the authors intent.

Its a story I'd have liked to have attempted to write.
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Byron
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Post by Byron » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:09 am

Kush wrote:This doesnt really have much to do with the topic and it appears the author had already written this and simply tied it up to the topic at the end.
No.
"Bipolar is a roller-coaster ride without a seat belt. One day you're flying with the fireworks; for the next month you're being scraped off the trolley" I said that.
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Kush
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Post by Kush » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:12 am

Ok....I wrote my comments without reading others. So it sheds a slightly different light now :).
I some ways I still maintain it is not related to the topic but that is a non-issue. The use of various names is very clever. And a minor quibble - how do we know about the lack of self-awareness of cats? Perhaps limited self-awareness.
Still i will print this one out and read it carefully.

Outstanding Byron.
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Byron
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Post by Byron » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:20 am

Thanks Kush.

Another link in the family is that Nehem, (Nehemiah, Norman, lc) the wolf, was a deliberately chosen animal, because wolves have prominent noses, and Nehem is also described as "Small for his breed."
"Bipolar is a roller-coaster ride without a seat belt. One day you're flying with the fireworks; for the next month you're being scraped off the trolley" I said that.
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Byron
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Post by Byron » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:39 am

"how do we know about the lack of self-awareness of cats? Perhaps limited self-awareness."

Perhaps we could ask Tim?
"Bipolar is a roller-coaster ride without a seat belt. One day you're flying with the fireworks; for the next month you're being scraped off the trolley" I said that.
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Byron
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Post by Byron » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:45 am

" but the drive to move on, to go from here, to keep going, a constant echo through Nehem’s incarnations."

lc has been on the move for a long time. OK, he stays in places for a number of years, but he's lived in many countries and many cities, and homes as well as hotels. I read his life story and he's not a man to stay put in this life.
"Bipolar is a roller-coaster ride without a seat belt. One day you're flying with the fireworks; for the next month you're being scraped off the trolley" I said that.
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Kush
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Post by Kush » Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:22 am

Byron the reason I still say it is peripherally related to the topic is coz living next door to elcee is not the main thrust of the story. It is incidental or woven round it with the various names and LC's lifestyle. There is another story here that you are trying to tell....a very worthwhile one.
But as I said it really is a non-issue. Except maybe for winning prizes.

You heard of this one.....

"For tree to grow it has to stay in one place. For man to grow he has to move." - old Chinese saying.
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