leonard. (toronto please read especially)
ok first …quick and important, if you’re IN TORONTO AND COMING TO THE SHOW IN A FEW HOURS, please bring an object/peace offering/picture/drawing for leonard cohen. a flower, a stone, anything. we will have a moment. planning altar with venue….see you all soon. i am going to play a lot of cohen music, little else to do.
i don’t know where to start here…too much had happened in the past 72 hours and i’m writing this on a phone on a plane to toronto that is shaking so hard from turbulence that it seems like the weather itself is in twisted-grief-spasm mourning for both the election and leonard cohen’s death. the babies are crying. but my baby is missing.
i’ll start with this: i just had to leave ash and neil behind at the airport because some part of our immigration into canada got fucked up and they wouldn’t let neil on the plane. but neil is the tour nanny this week, and bringing the baby myself without neil would have meant showing up at soundcheck with nobody to watch the baby. so i left them. and when i left them so unexpectedly (it was like, one minute i had a baby and the next, poof, no baby) i expected to feel this wave of relief that i was suddenly free…liberated from my mom-duties, free to fly alone, free to go get a coffee and a newspaper, free to have my brain and fingers and tits back to myself for some indeterminate period of time. and here’s the strange thing: i didn’t feel any happiness at all. what i actually get was an overwhelming grief at being separated from my family with no notice. i wanted to hold this crying baby and be physically occupied with his needs more than i wanted a coffee and time to myself. and in that unthinking moment, i discovered something about myself that made me truly happy: i do not resent being a mother. i fucking love it.
i also do not mind that someone on facebook taunted me for posting this photo that hayley took on stage last night about 3 seconds after bridget, who was periscoping the gig in albany, told me that leonard cohen had died.
i wasn’t thinking again, or rather i was allowing myself to simply feel, and i fell to my knees and cried.
wonderful hayley (many of you know her as @hayleyfiasco) who recently rejoined team AFP was there with her fancy camera and caught this shot two seconds after the news.
it was an intense gig to begin with and i was already a raw pile of nerves.
but leonard. whatever. it was a tiny room of 450 and i knew i could just stop and have a good cry.
so neil handed me the baby and i cried. neil also saved my ass and did a reading of “goodnight moon” while i wept.
in total there were three goodnight moon readings on stage. we have more tonight in toronto. if you’re coming to toronto tonight, by the way, please bring a token / offering to put on a makeshift altar on stage for leonard. a flower. a stone. a hat. a heart. whatever. i’ll call you up and we will build it. we can pray to it, photograph it, and then dismantle it at the end of the show. we need it.
cohen. this man, as i’m sure many of you know (i’ve covered countless songs, with my dad and alone) was not only a songwriting hero of mine, but an entertainer hero, a humanity hero…he was a pillar of grace and humility and gratitude with a buddhist take on music and song and success….and my god, prince, bowie, cohen…all the heroes. one by one. boom
but this is how it goes. we will see the posts and memes and there will be hallelujahs left and right and everyone will be talking about how there is a crack in everything and that’s how he light gets in and maybe, just maybe, his death is a gift to us in these dark fucking times as we plumb the corners of our dark hearts, as we fumble through this dark era, looking for the cracks we so need to light our way out. they are there.
the entire gig was streamed last night on periscope and i suggest you watch it if you want a mainline injection of hope and togetherness. the gig lasted over 3 hours and along with the most painful “hallelujah” i’ve ever sung (the very end).
the cohen news is at about 1:13, after “delilah”
oh my god guys. you know…i was already so disfigured inside and bizzaro-land inside from the combination of the election and the much-needed infusion of seeing and meeting with ani difranco the night before…i sat in her dressing room and we talked a lot and i gave her a uke performance of “in my mind”, “do you swear”, and “ukulele anthem” and i watched her kill it on stage, being the beacon of strength and truth that she is. many people cried. i thought: i am so glad i am at a show tonight. being alone is not in the cards. and tomorrow, it’s my turn.
also….we invited local chapters of the NYCLU and planned parenthood onto stage and if you watch the stream, i encourage you to please pay close attention to what they said. this is going to be a very strange and important time in our lives and i daresay it really is – despite the despair – an extraordinary time to be alive.
we are together. we are alive. we are going to meld and sing and hoist each other the fuck up out of this dark chapter.
are you with me ?