Let Go of Fear

Shimputai of anthurium and plum blossoms

Shoka shimputai of anthurium and plum blossoms

My last post entitled Fear generated a fairly lively dialogue, which I thoroughly enjoyed even though, in the end, there was no resolution. Five people favored the juxtaposition of heart and mind while five other readers preferred art and mind. One person remained neutral leaving me with the final decision, therefore, here goes the final version:

fear of failure
paralyses art and mind
o, to be whole again

However, there comes a time when one must let go of fear, and I though I would let one of my friends, Carrie Dayshare her feelings with us on this matter.

The best I can say right now is that I am still working at it.Writing remains a pain, but fortunately, teaching ikebana keeps me in the loop. Both Brenda and I are enjoying our classes, and to see what we are up to these, just visit us at the EJCA Ikebana Club where you will see the work of our students posted after every lesson. Just as I am committed to Harmonia, our church choir at WestwoodI also enjoy creating flower arrangements for our Sunday services such as the one posted at the top of this page, and the two found below. I hope you can enjoy them as well.

Thanks for visiting.

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“Dance Me To The End Of Love”

When writing, either a blog post or poetry, I often use some form of free association and follow the thread till I reach the story in the labyrinth of my mind. There are always prompts and clues along the way. In my last post I started with Carolyn McDade‘s Come, Sing a Song with Me, which led me to expand on the choral work I am involved with at this time. The song going through my head at that moment was Un canadien errant and I posted a video of Ian and Sylvia Tyson’s rendering of the famous exile song. My colleague Soso of Un pied ici, un pied là-bas, having listened to the Tyson’s version then followed the thread on YouTube, and came upon Leonard Cohen’s interpretation of the same song. Cohen is one of her favorite artists of all time so I was delighted to share with her that at  The Edmonton Metro Chorus we will be performing Cohen’s famous Hallelujah in our November concert.

Soso had attended Cohen’s concert at the Olympia in Paris during his world tour of 2012-2013 and has only fond memories of what she sees as a once in a lifetime experience. Following up on this rave review, I got hold of Leonard Cohen Live in Dublin recorded on September 12, 2013, and promptly watched the 3.5 hours video, 30 songs live, absolutely moving. The audience was captivated, on the edge of their seats, totaly engaged in this man’s sublime performance, delivered with grace and without pretence. This somehow felt like a farewell concert, and it probably was if one considers that the artist was 79 at the time of this recording. Much could be said about many of the songs offered that night, however, I have settled on one, and only one, and the reason will clearly appear in a moment.

Dance Me To The End Of Love was the first song of the evening and immediately struck a chord. The song was first performed in 1984 on the album entitled Various Positions. In 1995, Stewart, Tabori & Chang published Leonard Cohen’s poem with reproductions of Henri Matisse paintings, the third book in a series entitled Art and Poetry. I have long been interested in the relationship between literature and the visual arts and had made it one of my academic specialties. I also always had a penchant for the work of Henri Matisse and was attracted to the boldness and sensuality of his nudes, I found his work to be an inspiration to me. I had not known of this particular publication until Brenda, my wife and best friend, offered it to me in 1996, with the following inscription: After 10 years you still “Dance Me to the End of Love”. We have since danced our way to the Okanagan then, with à pied-à-terre in Switzerland we danced all over Europe for 4 years, after which we danced our way to Malawi for one year before returning to Canada. Come next March, we will be dancing into our 30th anniversary. And beyond…

I would like to leave you with a poem of my own, largely inspired by Leonard Cohen so, thank you Mr. Cohen for lending me some of your words, and most importantly, your spirit. Thanks also to Mr. Ric Masten for the one line from his hymn Let it be a dance, it just kept creeping in. So be it.

You danced me to your side
with burning desires
You danced me to places
near and far

You danced me to your heart
over land and water too

And when I danced near
the edge of time
You danced me “tenderly”
back into your arms

You danced me “through the good times
and the bad times, too”
You danced me “on and on”
You danced me “very long”

Yes, do “dance me to the end of love”

Dance me

Brazilian Tam-Tam

 

Matt Meyer with Brazilian tam-tam

Matt Meyer with Brazilian tam-tam

Brazilian tam-tam
samba rhythm and dance
wholly spirit

We had a great weekend at Westwood, enjoying workshops on Rhythm for Choir, and Drumming and Spirituality, offered by Matt Meyer. His Sunday service also rocked the place. As you can tell, it was inspiring. Thanks Matt.