How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

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jarkko
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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by jarkko » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:21 pm

This is what we wrote on the Chelsea Hotel plaque 5 years ago.

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Maybe something like that (but the plaque has to be much smaller)
I like the suggested "Came So Far For Beauty", and carving
the Unified Hearts logo on the stone, but we will have
plenty of time to discuss the details after the permission
has been confirmed and some other issues solved!
Also the total costs have to be reasonable and within our
resources. We don't know how much money we will be able
to collect, and we cannot take any risks with the budget.
Right now we are waiting for feedback from our Hydra contacts!
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Jean Fournell
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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by Jean Fournell » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:43 pm

If, hopefully, the idea of a bench on Hydra becomes reality, let me plead for the inscription "Came so far for beauty", the title of the song, and not the first line, beginning with "I":

First of all, Leonard Cohen is indeed very precise with words, and he left this "I" out of the title. This puts the ego-stuff into perspective, and when "I" occurs in the beginning of the lyrics, it is showing as a rather relative matter.
The first line taken on its own, however, torn from the context, gives quite a different picture. Let me plead for being true to "the spirit of this song".

Then, not everybody likes the feeling of being taken over, of being pushed into identification with whatsoever.
The feeling that it is "I" who is sitting on that bench, brought into line, as it were, is not necessarily pleasant for all those who love the independent mind of Leonard Cohen. There is nothing wrong with this identification, not at all, I'm not arguing against any kind of sectarianism, please don't misunderstand me — but for my part this kind of feeling, like all kinds of ego-flattery, sets my innermost alarms ringing.

Thirdly, there are all those who don't have their place on a bench with this "I".
Like those who were born on Hydra, and thus did not come there.
Or like those who came there for other reasons than beauty — to pay homage to one of the very greatest souls of our time, for instance.
Myself I live in the most beautiful part of Provence, which itself is one of the most beautiful places on earth. In the utterly improbable case that I should ever go to Hydra, it would most certainly not be for beauty.
Such people, when reading "I came so far for beauty", would hardly be able to react otherwise than by thinking "Well, I didn't".

And finally, there are those souls who just aren't able to have "come" there (nor to any place — but must keep on running from some private demons). They would find no solace on that bench either.

The "I" would reserve the bench to a small number of privileged ones who, on a small number of privileged moments of grace, could rightfully sit on it.
Many more would sit on it wrongly, with or without an awkward feeling of something not being appropriate.
And a few simply might prefer to stand in the vicinity of the bench for a minute of silence or so, or perhaps find themselves a stone or a treetrunk lying nearby, if the place is not over-civilized.

Now I have no problem at all with standing while others are sitting — that was the easiest part of my job, if my memory doesn't play tricks on me —, but basically a bench is meant for everybody to sit on, isn't it?

So on behalf of those for whom this exclusive "I"-bench would not be fitting, I plead for the open-hearted "Came so far for beauty" welcoming all these many-layered differences in us all.

And whichever the inscription, and whether the bench or whatever else, I'd be glad to participate.
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by lizzytysh » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:51 pm

LOLOL... that bench inscription did call for a balance of showing what was done at the Chelsea Hotel.
From some of the things he's written, that idea might be more appropriate for a bench on Mt. Baldy.
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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by joyezekiel » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:52 pm

I am also for "Came so far for beauty". It all seems to be coming together nicely. Mark and I will be happy to contribute of course, and hopefully to sit on said bench one day!

Joy
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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by lizzytysh » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:57 pm

You made your case for leaving out the "I," Jean :) ; yet, given all you've said, I was looking for a pro-position on behalf of "Came so far for beauty," at all.
As in, maybe thinking of someone elsewhere who did that very thing? Just not to Hydra or that bench?
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Jean Fournell
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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by Jean Fournell » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:17 pm

I'm very sorry, lizzytysh, but it is difficult for me to understand your post.

Are you asking me to produce arguments in favour of the title of the song?
And to be more precise as to what is meant by "the open-hearted 'Came so far for beauty' welcoming all these many-layered differences in us all"?
To show how the absence of "I" makes the notion universal?
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by lizzytysh » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:07 pm

Hi Jean ~

You don't need to do that, of course; yet, for me, I'm not so sure that "Came so far for beauty" is so significantly different from beginning the phrase with "I," i.e. if eliminating that one word really resolves the issues you've raised. Maybe just a step [or some steps] closer to the universal is enough. Or maybe I haven't read and understood what you've written carefully enough, to make that distinction strong enough. Either is possible. For me, the "I" is still implied, unless it's a situation as I've noted the possibility of, where the sitter is thinking of someone elsewhere who did that very thing... went somewhere so far for beauty, but maybe just not to Hydra or that bench.

So, I guess maybe if you were more precise as to what you meant by "the open-hearted 'Came so far for beauty' welcoming all these many-layered differences in us all," then it would help me to better understand. It seems that you're very clear in what you're thinking and mean, and it's well thought out, but there's something that just keeps circling back for me.

I may end up answering my own question here [first time ever hahaha ;-) ], but yes, it doesn't necessarily have to be the "I" that's implied; it could be any pronoun ~ he, she, they, we ~ so, definitely more universal; yet, the beauty would remain as the end 'result.'

So, I guess anything you can say to help me out here, I'll appreciate.

Thanks :) .


~ Lizzie
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~ Oscar Wilde
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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by Jean Fournell » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:45 pm

Ok, I'll try.

(It is not about "eliminating that one word": the author did not put it into the title; it is about using either the title, or the first line of the lyrics, where he did put it...)

First, the absence of "I" gives us:

[I-you-he-she-it-we-you-they] Came so far for beauty.
Edit: I see you added a paragraph to your last post... ;-)

Then: [All-none / many-a few / some-few] Came so far for beauty.
Or [All-many-some-a few-few-none]...
Or [None-few-a few-some-many-all]...

Then: with "I": it is "I came so far [that is here to Hydra, to this bench]",
vs without "I": there is no "here", there is only "so far".
In the double sens (at least) of "so far on one's personal way" and "so far towards the other one" (where ever they may be).

"So far" in widening one's mind so as to encompass, geographically as well, let's say Montreal and Hydra, and Mount Baldy, and much more.
And the fact that truth and love have "so far" more facettes than our conscious mind will ever be able to grasp.

[There are those who] Came so far for beauty,
and others who went, and yet others who had other reasons to come or go, "so far" or less far; or even nowhere. Each according to their means. Some running in terror, or circling in hell.

"Came so far for beauty" can welcome them all. Welcome them in their beauty, which, even if they aren't aware of it any more, still exists in the eye of the beholder.
"Came so far for [the lost ones'] beauty", too.
Something the "I" is unable to do.

Gibran Khalil Gibran (Kahlil Gibran in the USA) says in "The Prophet": When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."

Leonard Cohen went so far for beauty, and always came back to teach us. And certainly not only for the beauty of it...

That's what friends do: each of them discovering the world with their own eyes, all while carrying in a hidden corner a glimps of the other ones' eyes, for them to see a bit as well — don't they?

Please don't be too harsh with me for stammering rather than speaking, but I felt like giving you a speedy answer, and so I wrote it as it came...
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by lizzytysh » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:12 pm

Oh, I like this explanation so much more, Jean, not that some [all ;) ] didn't fully get it the first time around.
I appreciate your breaking it down for me like this.

An aspect I hadn't even considered is "[ . . . none]

And even though the message doesn't necessarily restrict its application to Hydra/that bench, it certainly does widen it up if you remove the "I" from it, as Leonard did go to Hydra and found much beauty there... and you're right that beauty has not always been his goal, to whatever degree.

And, I really like these comments:
In the double sens (at least) of "so far on one's personal way" and "so far towards the other one" (where ever they may be).

"So far" in widening one's mind so as to encompass, geographically as well, let's say Montreal and Hydra, and Mount Baldy, and much more.
And the fact that truth and love have "so far" more facettes than our conscious mind will ever be able to grasp.
Ha. No problem on your rushing... I did, too, to ADD that paragraph, before you could post again and think that I added it due to something you said vs. something that came to me after I got away from the computer.

"Came so far for beauty" does leave it more open, even though I like the sound of "I came so far for beauty" better [I think ;) ]

It seems that Leonard might appreciate being somewhat removed from the words with the removal of that "I" and might prefer the title vs. the line of the song, as well. He's certainly more universal in his thoughts. It certainly would be a positive to be considerate of what we think he might prefer. Your Gibran quote fits well, too.

Glad we have time to decide or vote or whatever the process will be to decide. [There I was 'sold' on the inclusion of the "I" ;-) ]
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by harald » Thu May 01, 2014 11:00 am

While I may not have understood all your prudent arguments, I am also for just the song title, no “I” – only my feeling.
And I would leave out any explanation like “song from 1979” or else.
For Leonard Cohen I would prefer just the name, no vocational description.
Which goes well with Jarkko´s remark that the plaque has to be much smaller than the Chelsea Hotel one.

Something like this (set in different types, e.g. song title and name larger)
Came So Far For Beauty
Leonard Cohen
for his 80th birthday on 21 September 2014
from the members of the Leonard Cohen Forum (please not “fans”)

For now lets hope the project gets permission and can be realized.
Thanks to all involved.
Will of course contribute.
1979 Kassel / 1980 Munich / 2008 Munich, Hamburg / 2009 Cologne, Antwerp, Lisbon, Budapest, Barcelona / 2010 Salzburg, Florence, Marseille, Stuttgart, Bratislava / 2012 Ghent, Berlin, Verona, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon / 2013 Paris, Mannheim, Rome, Prague, Pula, Zuerich, Amsterdam
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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by B4real » Thu May 01, 2014 11:22 am

ursula48 wrote::?: :D When I stayed in Aalborg, Denmark for Leonard's concert (26 August 2012) I visited the beautiful City Park with its trees of music. Since 1987 major celebrities have left reminders of their visits by planting a tree in Kildenparken . Visitors can press a button and listen to the musician's music. I was astonished that Leonard didn't plant a tree. I believe they didn't have time.
ursula48
ursula, I thought you might be interested in these photos and information from the following links:

Image
http://1heckofaguy.com/2012/08/28/leona ... n-aalborg/


Image
http://minbyaalborg.dk/cohen-har-nu-i-a ... ende-trae/
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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by Alethea » Fri May 02, 2014 3:41 am

Who is it that we are seeking to honor on his 80th birthday? If it is Leonard Cohen, then I suggest that we honor his choice of a line in the body of his work. Leonard Cohen wrote the line as "I came so far for beauty." Each word in the line is important, and he did not choose to omit any of them. When he wrote it, he may have been thinking of beauty in the form of a woman. "So far" can refer not only to distance traveled around our planet, but also to life experience, imagination, education, escape from violence or horror, or whatever may be within one's own mind. "Beauty" could be that of a Muse, a beloved, a child, a place, a precious object, a creation of one's own, on and on. The writer has released his words to us, and we will apply them as we choose, but it is not our prerogative to change them. Leonard Cohen may have chose to omit the "I" from the title, but it is the actual song or poem or work of fiction that constitutes the body of his work. Many of his poems do not even have a title, or they may be titled by a number (see the Book of Mercy), or the name of a person (For Anne). It remains the song, the poem, or the novel that should be quoted in honor of the writer. It is not for us to argue that someone who lives nearby would not be able to apply the line to his/her own circumstances. Even one who first believes it does not apply may find that the beauty of the line of poetry opens up his/her mind to new ideas. Omitting or changing the actual line of poetry is just as horrifying to those of us who love writing as omitting or changing the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony would be to someone who loves classical music, or cutting out part of a painting would be to a visual artist. Open your mind to what the writer, the musician, the artist has produced, then go home and create your own poetry, music or art. That will truly honor Leonard Cohen.
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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by lizzytysh » Fri May 02, 2014 5:46 am

Alethea and Jean ~

When you two were in high school, were you in debate clubs? You both present such very well-reasoned arguments for your positions.
This is true, Alethea... that it is Leonard ~ not ourselves ~ whom we are honouring... and that is his line. Very well supported and very well said.
VERY well said.


~ Lizzie
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by anneporter » Fri May 02, 2014 12:10 pm

Let the debaters analyze and argue to their hearts' content.... Aesthetically, I prefer "Came so far for beauty."
newfoundland--understand?
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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Post by harald » Fri May 02, 2014 12:36 pm

I totally agree with you, Alethea, that the author´s lines must not be changed.
But other than you I think Mr. Cohen gave both lines, the first sentence and the title.
So it is for us to choose.
1979 Kassel / 1980 Munich / 2008 Munich, Hamburg / 2009 Cologne, Antwerp, Lisbon, Budapest, Barcelona / 2010 Salzburg, Florence, Marseille, Stuttgart, Bratislava / 2012 Ghent, Berlin, Verona, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon / 2013 Paris, Mannheim, Rome, Prague, Pula, Zuerich, Amsterdam
2011 Haiger / 2014 Dublin / 2015 Hydra, Viladrau / 2016 Amsterdam / 2017 Hydra, Balaton / 2019 Yorkshire
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