Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Leonard Cohen and Time Machines
Sometimes I start out looking online for one thing and pretty soon I have wandered far, far from home, or the place I started from, anyway. This happened to me last night in a most intriguing web-ride. It started with Leonard Cohen, segued into Pink Floyd, then on to Federico Garcia Lorca, which conjured up Frida Kahlo, and then back again to Leonard, who happens to be one of my favorite songwriters. Yes, he's a singer, too, but it's the poetry of his lyrics that have been a source of inspiration, asking me to look more closely, to feel more deeply, to surrender to the sounds and internal images that arrive almost unbidden. It's a world I love to visit.
I had known of him for many years, but had not become firmly attached to his music until he recorded his album, "Ten New Songs." I started listening and have never stopped. After almost ten years now, it continues to speak to me in ways I cannot articulate. But I'll try. I never tire of the music or the words, always hearing or seeing something new, a phrase or an image that had escaped me in previous listening. Every song is, as they say, a gem, a finely cut and nuanced gem, that allows the light to come through as you hold it up again and again with fresh eyes. His work with Sharon Robinson, on both the writing and the performing, is one of those perfect pairings that music finds every now and then.
I was sitting at Pasqual's in Santa Fe, several years ago, waiting for a friend to join me for breakfast, when his song, "In My Secret Life," quietly came over the sound system. I had heard it many times before, often listening to this album as I drifted off to sleep under those star-filled, New Mexico nights. But that morning, it caught in my memory, and that moment is now etched there, one of those magical moments that remain long after the rest of the memory is gone.
Last night, as I was looking and listening, I came across another song on that album, "Love Itself," which has an amazing video that dovetails with another long-held interest of mine: Time. I have mentioned this before, in other posts, most notably the one titled, "Joanne," from April 19th of this past spring. I love looking at the myriad possibilities.
One of my favorite movies when I was young was, "The Time Machine." The notion of building a time machine that could take you back in time, or forward, was beyond intriguing to me. Talk about myriad possibilities.
So, when it was remade in 2002 with Guy Pierce, one of my favorite actors, who happens to be in another movie that looks at time and the nature of reality in a most interesting way, "Memento," I was champing at the bit to see it, to see this new version. I was not disappointed. Here is Guy in a scene from "The Time Machine," the scene in which he realizes that he has, indeed, built a workable time machine. It's paired with Leonard's song, "Love Itself." I couldn't decide whether to concentrate on the lyrics or the video, so I had to watch it more than once, three times so far, to see all it offered. The real visual payoff is in the last thirty seconds, with an interesting final scene/message that I loved. I hope you like it, too.