Leonard Cohen's Crack

Wednesday 8 October 2014

I keep seeing pictures of cone shapes when I close my eyes.  Mountains, witch's hats.  I just closed my eyes to imagine my perfect holiday and what I saw first was a Tibetan mountain, with thin ribbons of cloud flowing eastwards near its apex.

Then the mountain moved toward me until it was suffocatingly close, towering.  Just as the claustrophobia set in, the mountain changed, and became a large witch's or wizard's hat* standing upright on the earth.  As I watched, about 10 or so little people appeared from under its brim.  They positioned themselves around the hat's edges and carried it off westwards.

Who says daydreaming is time-wasting?  Mysterious and obscure, requiring exploration, image-making is powerful.  It is yourself speaking to yourself, showing yourself the way, showing yourself the door, a path, a way, some crumbs.

You go waaaaaaay deeper than you think.  For an economic consumer, you sure have giant lumps of deep loam under your nails.  You may say you are only a cashier, or an arborist, or a leaner, or a transplanter, but unless you are lucky, that is just your job.  Sometimes, your best work goes on right under your nose, or under your lids while you're sleeping, or under your heavy head, held up by your hand, held up by your elbow, your shoulder with the weight of the world on it, your body leaning sideways like the Tower of Pisa under the heavy rush of seven billion people trying to remember who they are.

I was once seated with my eyes closed, carving out a piece of expensive silence with my own mind's knife.  Before me, there was another mountain, again tall, forbidding, imposing against a steel grey sky.  The mountain had a large crack through it, as if a flash of lightning had sliced through almost to its middle.  Still it stood, though a portion of it tilted ever so slightly sideways, almost imperceptible but still dangerous, like a flap of skin after you've struck your bare foot to a jagged piece of beach glass.

As I watched this picture my mind had presented me as a Thursday 10.34am gift for simply breathing and noticinig, a stream of gold poured into the crack, filling it up like a Japanese teacup, making its cracks honourable, acceptable, dignified.

~ ~

* Actually, it was closer to a soft felt hat.  I did some research after writing this up, and the phrygian cap seems to fit better.  As happens so often with this kind of space where I have to research the images I see (hello, Mr Jung's collective consciousness) I almost always get surprised by how what I find fits.  I love that the phrygian cap is a symbol of emancipation and freedom. Rock on.

Pic by Cessna 206 (creative commons attribution licence)


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