Saturday, November 08, 2008
The heart has got to open in a fundamental way
In the lead up to the election and the days following, I've had two songs in my head: Patti Smith "People have the Power" and Leonard Cohen "Democracy." I spent two afternoons a week canvassing for Barack the past month, and I've become emotionally invested in an election and a single candidate (a mere human being! a politician!) in a way I haven't ever before.
Those two songs have brought me to the verge of tears. I've always been somewhat puzzled at the things that make me cry and the things that leave me dry. I generally cry at the scene in Casablanca when The Marseillaise drowns out the Nazis. (Although I've mentioned this often enough as a scene that makes me weep that I may be immune to it now.) The biggest cry I've had in the last ten years came when we were living in Canton. Molly and the kids had gone to sleep, and I was still awake, washing dishes and listening to Neil Young's *Living With War*. Joey woke up and started crying, and Molly came down to pass him off to me just as as the line "Today's the day, our younger son is going off to war" came on. I managed to hold back the deluge until Molly was back upstairs. In my head, I could only think, "Those fuckers aren't going to take my son."
I guess I'm just a sucker for communal hope, is what it is. The above video is via Andrew Sullivan, a conservative British/Irish gay Catholic person. In the video I'm struck by how old Cohen looks. Its been a while for all of us. He also gets a lot of profile shots where he looks very Jewish, but nothing in the video reveals him as Canadian.
So many identities, but we are one.