When Minds and Hearts Bare Teeth Together… Freedom Speaks

I chose to write about Leonard Cohen’s “Democracy”, narrated by Neil Gaiman, on a desperate whim. I saw that my friend Debra, She Who Seeks, had joined Speakeasy and Silver Screenings in their O Canada! Blogathon, and I decided to jump in too. North America is being torn apart from the inside… connecting with my Canadian neighbors, in any sort of celebration, felt right.

My first pick was Lullabies for Little Criminals, by Heather O’Neill, then I realized that the event celebrates films… not books. Bursting with embarrassment—I’m always complaining about how people never truly read on the web—I rushed to choose something else before anyone could get blinded by the horror flashing out of my blush.

I said to me, “Well, Magaly Love (yes, I call myself Love), you adore Neil Gaiman’s narration, Amanda Palmer is a piano goddess, your bones believe in democracy, and since you know very little about Leonard Cohen (shame on me) here is your opportunity to learn.”

I felt so clever, so proud of myself for having chosen “Democracy”. But right now, when I’m in tears and brokenhearted (after having watched a Mexican-born American reporter being told “Get out of my country” by another American, after learning that one of my friends might not be able to get back into the only home he has left, after listening to Leonard Cohen sing:

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate

I don’t feel very clever, just hurt and upset. Then I watched the short-animated film again, and welcomed the words of a Canadian soul—through the voice, music, painting, animation… of men and women from around the world. I let the bleeding cracks be soothed by Cohen’s words:

Democracy is coming to the USA
It’s coming from the sorrow in the street
The holy places where the races meet
From the homicidal bitchin’

It’s coming through a crack in the wall

I can’t really tell you if (or how) Cohen’s words, his song turned film… shaped (or will shape) cinema and TV. But… today, the promise in his vision kept one soul from losing its shape. It reminded me that when minds and hearts bare teeth together… freedom speaks. It even sings.

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a wee note…

– This post is part of the O Canada! Blogathon 2017 hosted by Ruth of Silver Screenings and Kristina of Speakeasy. Follow the link to see what everyone else is viewing. And speak freely.

borrowed from Neil Gaiman’s Journal

The Return of the Fire

Donna’s bell-shaped sleeves looked dangerously flammable.

I should’ve warned her. But I suspected she was too angry with me to listen to criticism or care about fire safety. She had asked me to wear a ceremonial robe to her Imbolc celebration, and I showed up in a red sundress and old combat boots.

“Ten bucks the fire department shows up tonight.”

“That’s terrible,” I said to the green-eyed stranger standing next to me, and wondered if he had read my thoughts. “I’m sure we can put her out before she flames on.”

We laughed, our hands over our mouths to disguise the mirth.

“Fire!” someone screamed.

I leapt to my friend’s aid, but stopped before I got to her. The High Priestess had snuffed out the flames. And thank goodness for that, since I was still laughing.

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the wee notes…
– This is an oldie but goodie, a bit of truth (barely) dressed up as fiction… since the friend in question still glares when anyone brings up the flaming sleeves incident. And yes, I bring it up every chance I get. It’s just such a yummy way to celebrate The Return of the Light *cackles*.
– First published here. There was a bit of nipping and tweaking, but nothing significant.

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