The Work of the Heart

The Work of the Heart

My heart is doing its January work. It begin to freeze up in November and now on January 5, thanks to watching parts of the Leonard Cohen memorial now available online, the tears begin to pour.

I tried to lie down but the tears wouldn’t let me relax until they had finished coming. As elegant as the show was, the Master himself was only looking down symbolically. As they showed some footage of him at home in his last days, it was just too much.

I have watched my little girl and husband be ravaged by cancer, so I knew how it would look on Leonard himself and I was not wrong.

This life, which we all try to survive, even knowing that is an impossibility, is often dark and unappealing. We are run through with lances of our own words, and that is perhaps the worst thing of all. We do so much harm to others, forgetting they are just mirrors of our own frailties.

Leonard was able to be a scribe of the heart for thousands upon thousands of us. I mourn him as if he were family. My heart says his songs are only to be sung by him, but that is not possible. I fall asleep listening to his CDs. I don’t give a rap for renditions by other artists.

Love is what it is. It takes its own shape and form in countless incarnations. Lifetime after lifetime we come to know the impossibility of perfection, yet we seek it endlessly and fruitlessly.

There is no end to this essay. I am just grateful to be able to weep. That means I am alive and on a darkening planet trying to be the light. It is impossible until I get out of the way. That is my prayer. May I get out of my own light.

Vicki Woodyard


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