Tag Archives: Leonard Cohen

A Word

Just a word,
another tired night,
And all I want is just a word.
Outside the night gets later,
Baby Girl pushes me towards sleep,
but I still don’t have my word.
The word for today,
for tomorrow
and the next day.
What is the word.
I went to Powell’s today,
and got a book about Leonard Cohen.
I can’t imagine him ever looking for a word.
Can I keep on writing until I find it?

The Way Back

But I am not lost
any more than leaves are lost
or buried vases
This is not my time
I would only give you second thoughts

I know you must call me traitor
because I have wasted my blood
in aimless love
and you are right
Blood like that
never won an inch of star

You know how to call me
although such a noise now
would only confuse the air
Neither of us can forget
the steps we danced
the words you stretched
to call me out of dust

Yes I long for you
not just as a leaf for weather
or vase for hands
but with a narrow human longing
that makes a man refuse
any fields but his own

I wait for you at an
unexpected place in your journey
like the rusted key
or the feather you do not pick up
until the way back
after it is clear
the remote and painful destination
changed nothing in your life

-Leonard Cohen

The Empress

Our journey starts with the fool. All the early cards are forces helping us. The Empress is the fourth card. But it is numbered 3.

In the cards before we got wisdom. The cards gave us the tools we need.

The Empress is about nurturing. She tends to our bruises. Like The High Priestess, she is the earth. From her flows the power of the Goddess.

The number three is about growth. On the card is a woman. She holds a shield with the sign of Venus. The planet Venus rules Taurus. The primary earth sign.

The Empress is the safe harbor. But as the saying goes: ships weren’t made to sit at harbor. The Empress is the soil. All things depend on the life which grows from the soil of earth. The soil protects and nurtures the seeds. It warms them, cools them, waters them and feeds. But the seeds growth forth into the sun. And when they die, they return to the soil.

The Empress is the mother bird. It feeds and feeds its baby. But when the moment is right. The mother bird will kick it out of the nest. It must learn to fly. And so must we.

The power of The Empress is no less than her partner. The next card in the deck. The Emperors power is different. And it finds a different expression. But do not let the softness of The Empress fool you. She is just a committed to your growth. She is just as focused. Just as driving, in her own ways.

If we can take the lessons of the Empress to heart. Our experience with The Emperor will go easier. As the path takes us from one card to the next. It is almost always the case one leads to the next. If we learn the lessons of one card well, the next is easier.

The Empress is the mother. So it could represent a mother in your life. Someone who is becoming a mother. Or just someone who is giving birth to a new energy. There are times in our lives when we give birth to ourselves.

We experience the energy of The Empress when we change our own lives. Transforming ourselves and our center of focus. Like a butterfly we shed the dust of our past. We pull ourselves out to become our true selves.

We can mother a new project or new energy. A work of art may take a focus and commitment like a child. Although on a whole different scale. We put our time, our strength, our energy into its creation. We put ourselves into its being.

The whole journey of the tarot is the journey from the mother. And then returning to the mother. What Leonard Cohen called the “remote and painful destination which changed nothing in your life.”

We are the same when we finish the journey. The world about us is the same. But we ourselves have grown. We have become mothers. In giving birth to ourselves. We give birth to a new world. In nurturing ourselves, we nurture a new world.

There is no separation between us and Goddess. All of her healing and nurturing power is ours. We cannot complete this journey alone. We understand our place in the universe by touching the heart of the mother.



I went back to Olympia.

It was the first time I have been there since I left you in your bed.

The sun was burning down out of the sky, like an Albert Camus novel and I was the stranger. I looked for your place, the old place where we were together. And where I left you in your bed.

But the old place is gone, the place where you lived. The place where we loved, is gone.

The whole city was haunted by you. I could see you on every corner. I heard your thoughts regarding the signs in the windows. You were always so intelligent, and witty.

I went back because I haven’t been there in years. I wanted to take photos of the places I knew. It is a part of me, the time you and I were close in the small town. It will always be a part of me, and today it is a part of me I miss.

The pictures of the capitol building, the park, the lake and the streets all made me think of you. It all made me think of you. And as I drove home I listened to the mix CD of your songs.

Even those places where we never went together were haunted by you. The spring in town where I spent time waiting for the bus. On the final lonely dark and cold night we were together.  And then apart.

My mother was on her way to help me move to California. I moved to Portland the first time because you once told me you hated Portland. Now I wonder where I would be today if you hadn’t said those words. For the second time, I had almost moved closer to you.

I am back in Portland. But I wouldn’t be if it weren’t for the people I met the first time I moved here. And the second time I moved here is when the wound was the deepest for us. The last time. I went to see you in Olympia after you invited me to visit.

But I stayed too long.

You weren’t happy to have me there so long. You weren’t happy for me to visit you at your school job. You weren’t happy. I walked out that night after you told me you didn’t care if I spent the night or not. I wanted more than anything to be close, and warm and with you one more night. The smell of you.

But I left because I also wanted more than anything not to be leaving the relationship on a note of apathy on your part. I was so tired of your not caring. At the end of the day, it wasn’t enough. Maybe you did care, and for some reason you just couldn’t tell me. I know there were things I didn’t know how or couldn’t tell you. I loved you so much, words failed me. Everything failed me. Sometimes I feel like I failed us.

Where are you now? Hawaii, San Diego or maybe Washington DC. Where would we be if that night was not the last night?

Remember the baby? The one we almost had. You said you did the dance for joy when you found out it was not to be born. My father was happy I wouldn’t be tied to you. But I am tied to you with the fabled red string. Because I once loved you deeply, and I still do, across time and space. Of course time and space are real and love changes.

You introduced me to Leonard Cohen, and he is the one who said. “True love leaves no traces, if you and I are one, it is lost in our embraces, like stars against the sun.”

What we had was never accurately described. I wonder if the fact your mother once called me your “boyfriend” was a factor in your ending things. I never understood why you went through your mood swings. You said one time a boy had left you, and after drinking your mom found you crying and yelling in the driveway. I wanted to hug you, I wanted to go back in time and hug you. I wanted to hug all the pain so many people caused you away. Maybe because like me, so much of the pain in your life was a result of the actions of people who should have known better. People you should have been able to trust to love you and care for you. We were both lost you and I. And I still am.

I went back to Olympia, because it was a place. A moment in time. A memory of not feeling either so alone, or so lost in the world. Every day I feel like the people in my life are further and further away. But it is my fault. And I am more and more alone, lost and emotionally confused. Although I can’t recapture the past, I can taste the memory.