Light in the Dark

Seeing as it’s very close to that time of year when we celebrate the  ‘light in the dark’,

A friendly light

A friendly light

in festivals as diverse as Halloween and Diwali, the beautiful Beautycalypse   and I were discussing our favourite ‘light in the dark’ songs. I mentioned Neil Young’s Light a Candle

and, before she turned out her Northern Hemisphere light, and turned in to bed, she reminded me to listen to Leonard Cohen’s Anthem.

So I did; listen, and then I listened again, and again. And then some. I ADORE (IS THAT LOUD ENOUGH?) Leonard Cohen. My words can’t fully express how his music, his voice, his poetry, soothe my soul. Although I must confess that, half the time, I really don’t know what he is on about, but, still, I  feel  his songs wrapping around my heart like a cosy, comforting, well-worn shawl,  saying ‘It’s okay, it’s okay, life can be lived”. Or something, like that; the words are faint; the feeling, the embrace, is strong.

Listening to Anthem, took me back to one of my earlier posts, Ring in the Spring ,   where I wrote that “we know, deeply, that even a broken bell has its own essential resonance”

Considering my recent visit to the  Slough of Despond, I found Leonard Cohen’s reference, (and my own), to the hope/light/life in cracked bells very reassuring; if not sweetly, sublimely,  uplifting. So, thank you Beautcalypse for helping to let the shine through, all the way to my small, temporarily “broken” place at the bottom of the world.

And thank you, too, to all my readers and followers and commenters who have been little beacons of light

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gently guiding  me out of  my momentary Slough. If I could sing like Leonard or Neil, I would sing an anthem to you 🙂

Instead, I will share my Millennium Prayer Candle,  which has been by my side, and lit on every important occasion,  since its  first lighting  on New Year’s Day 2000.

These are the words of the Millennium Prayer Candle

The Millennium Prayer

Let there be
Respect for the Earth
Peace for its People
Love in our Lives
Delight in the Good
Forgiveness for Past Wrongs
And from now on
A New Start

© silkannthreades

And sincere apologies to anyone if they  can see that I have now somehow  ‘earned” a WordPress ad at the bottom of my post! Grrrrr!

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100 thoughts on “Light in the Dark

  1. Steve Schwartzman

    A couple of years ago I bought the DVD of that entire Leonard Cohen performance. He’s unique, a great talent, and I remember when I first heard of him: it was in January of 1967, on a visit to a friend in the state of Michigan, when someone played a record of Judy Collins singing his song “Suzanne”. After I returned to New York I read his book of poetry, The Spice Box of Earth, and then his novel Beautiful Losers. I’m glad he’s still alive.

    Reply
  2. Russel Ray Photos

    Young and Cohen are very well-represented in my vast music collection. I need constant music in my life. Right now, as I’m camping out in your blog, I’m listing to Winger, a metal group from the ’80s and ’90s that I just discovered a few days ago.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Winger is new to me. Something else to look up. I don’t need music all the time but ,when I am in the mood for a particular sound, I tend to play it over and over till the rest of the household wants to disconnect the sound!

      Reply
  3. Pingback: “Ring the Bells” | silkannthreades

  4. ordinarygood

    Thank you for recording the Millenium Prayer and widgeting it to your blog. And Neil Young- we have some CDs here too….he is still singing and protesting against war and American involvement.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I was surprised to find that Neil Young was still recording. But why I should have been, I don’t know. And I couldn’t find a recording of the Millennium Prayer so I thought that ‘someone, someone has to you see’, and that someone was me 🙂

      Reply
  5. cindy knoke

    Let there be
    Respect for the Earth
    Peace for its People
    Love in our Lives
    Delight in the Good
    Forgiveness for Past Wrongs
    And from now on
    A New Start

    How perfect is this? And as close to as possible for a person, are you! Hugz~

    Reply
  6. violetski

    Beautiful post Gallivanta !
    I love candles so much and love to watch their dancing lights in the dark .
    Also love Leonard Cohen ‘s voice too .
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful post 😃❤️

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Aren’t candles so lovely? For those of us who no longer have fireplaces, the candle is a wonderful reminder of our gathering round the warmth of the fire.

      Reply
  7. mmmarzipan

    I love candles, I love Lucia (our traditional celebration of light here in Sweden), I love that poem and the Leonard Cohen concert I went to at the Globe Arena a few years ago is one of THE BEST concerts I have ever been to… so, yeah… I love this post :D!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      So glad that you do. I am looking forward to seeing a post on Lucia. A new one because I remember that you shared your love of this special day with us last year.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, we all need those little lights in the dark. It seems that Cohen is loved all over the world. 🙂 I think you celebrate All Saints Day with candles by the graves of loved ones. Is that right?

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I couldn’t find a recitation of The Millennium Prayer. Does this mean I will have to record it ? 🙂 At the time of the Millennium there was a lot of information on the internet and in the media about the Prayer Candle but I can’t find anything useful now. So glad my posts are back in your Inbox.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Well, my voice is certainly different from Leonard Cohen’s!You have set me a challenge. It would actually be nice to record the Millennium Prayer since I can’t find it recorded anywhere else.

        2. pleisbilongtumi

          Very good! Now, the volume is much much better. It is almost the same way with Cohen’s recitation but faster. I really appreciate it and I am impressed with your lovely accent. Congrats ! Gallivanta. 🙂

  8. Joanne Jamis Cain

    Lovely post! You have “lightened” up my day!
    If you dislike the ads, you can opt for a $100 custom package (good for 1 year) and you will not have to endure the ads. I did this and you get lots more color and font options (and I think your domain name gets registered too?).

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      So glad to have brought you light 🙂 So far the ads aren’t too troublesome but it’s good to know that you are enjoying the Custom package. I wouldn’t mind a few font options 🙂

      Reply
  9. Sheryl @ Flowery Prose

    Another Leonard Cohen fan here! He is truly brilliant, and I wish I could have seen him in concert the last time he travelled to our city. Hopefully there will be another opportunity. I’m so behind on my reading I just caught your “despond” post; I’m so sorry you are going through this fight with your pension, I hope there might yet be a way to resolve the issue in your favour. Your crostata looked beautiful and delicious, though – perfect comfort food!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Is Leonard Cohen a Canadian National Treasure perhaps? I have missed several of his live concerts but, actually, I don’t mind so much because with the internet I can play his songs over and over which is very satisfactory. Yes, I wish I didn’t feel the need to fight over a pension. It takes far too much energy 🙂 But then maybe that is an excuse to fortify myself with more pie!

      Reply
  10. Anonymous

    I’m glad you’ve found some beacons of light to take you out of the slough of despond. I agree that Leonard Cohen is a remarkable poet, singer and songwriter. I went to his concert recently in London and was blown away. I believe he’s touring in your part of the world soon.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      How lovely that you were able to go to his concert. I think he will be in NZ in December. I need to check. He does a great deal of travelling and touring, it seems.

      Reply
  11. lizzierosejewellery

    Happy Diwali! I bought a candle today but haven’t lit it yet, it’s a vanilla one and I’m looking around to find a suitable holder for it – for some reason I only have tea light holders. 🙂

    Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Well, that’s lovely to have a holiday for your wedding anniversary 🙂 I probably should check the Times of India for some advice on dates. Or just celebrate on Nov 3rd like Singapore will be!

        2. Gallivanta Post author

          Really! I just checked on Time and Date.com and was coming here, all excited, to tell you that the date is indeed November 3rd. Oh well, if we fiddle around enough we can make it coincide with Guy Fawkes Day, which is still celebrated here with great gusto.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I heard you, loud and clear 🙂 I am just having a spot of lunch and then I will join you and Mr C in some more singing along. I can sing as loud as I like because my son is not home to complain 🙂 Does Bumble like to sing along? My Jack likes to sing with me.

      Reply
  12. Pride in Photos Photography

    Yes, the wordpress ads are just great aren’t they…big sigh!! I love the prayer on the candle and the tradition you have each year. I think it is so important to families to have these traditions…it is one of the things that keep us solid.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, sigh! At least the ads are not yet as troublesome as those that appear on Facebook. Only a matter of time though before they catch up. 😦
      Pleased you love the prayer too. You can tell how sparingly I use my candle; I have made it last 13 years!!!!

      Reply
  13. KerryCan

    Beautiful post! Such relevant and lovely thoughts. It’s so odd how Cohen’s Anthem keeps turning up lately. One of my favorite writers, Louise Penny, titled her most recent mystery “How the Light Gets In,” using the song as a reference! Have you read her books? If not, don’t start with this one–start at the beginning of the series. They are all wonderful and build to this last one. Glad you sound happier!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you so very very much for taking me to Louise Penny. I haven’t read her books but remember reading about her some time ago. It was lovely to go across to her home page and refresh my memory. I am quite sure I would love her books and it’s very exciting to see that Still Life is being filmed..

      Reply
  14. Mrs. P

    I love Leonard Cohen! He always know exactly what to say. I like “light in the dark” it sound so warm and comforting. It’s funny how traditions start.

    Regarding WordPress ads, I think they decided they needed more money. I had one crop up on my site too. 😦

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Aren’t we a wonderful Leonard Cohen fan club? Do you think he knows how many of us love him via WordPress? 🙂 I would be okay with an ad for his albums on my blog; or something over which I had some control/say.

      Reply
  15. beautycalyptique

    oh, I’m so happy our chat inspired you, even though through the words and music of another person 🙂
    and how simple but powerful – and wonderful is the millennium prayer!

    besides, I think what makes mr cohen stand out even more is his wisdom and a wicked sense of humour, paired with kindness. you cannot write words like those and not be wise and kind. and we are all attracted by wisdom and humour. even more: evil men are never wise, and they have no sense of humour.
    (another name on my list of favourite human beings: sir peter ustinov)

    p.s. I have adblock on. so no worries 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh I do agree about Mr Cohen’s humour and wisdom. You can hear it in his recordings and you can see it when he performs. It’s delicious. Tell me more about Sir Peter Ustinov. I loved his autobiography and his acting. What other special stories do you have about him?
      Glad you enjoyed the Millennium Prayer; it was good for me to read it again.

      Reply
      1. beautycalyptique

        sir peter wrote an AMAZING book on prejudice, and the best part, he wrote it in german! it’s really philosophy with bits of memoir… and when you read it, you can’t help but hear his fantastic, dorky voice 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤

        Reply
        1. beautycalyptique

          yes. I’m highly envious but not interested in greek. turkish maybe, just to get along in some of berlin’s hoods 😀 japanese sounds very interesting both grammar-wise and from the pronounciation, something very different to any other language I speak.

        2. Gallivanta Post author

          And how many languages do you speak? And, just btw, I have the highest regard for polyglots and linguists as ‘lights” in our world; and Ustinov was very much a ‘light’ for UNICEF and the children of the world.

        3. beautycalyptique

          yes, yes he was. a great man. and a good man, too; a real global citizen.

          I speak four languages only (english, german, russian, french), and understand two more (italian, spanish).

        4. beautycalyptique

          yes, of course, I know the name 🙂 he makes cameo appearances in russian memoirs. an amazing man, 58 languages. AND a vegetarian btw!

          what I have the most difficulty with are sibling languages like italian and spanish, I get totally stuck and blocked with the vocabulary so I stop trying. meh.

        5. Gallivanta Post author

          So glad you know him! Most New Zealanders do not! And here is another of our famous vegetarians “In 1899 the Christchurch Vegetarian Society was formed. The first meeting was held in the Toneycliffe and Carey Building, on the corner of Colombo and Gloucester Streets. 30 members joined at this meeting and another ten joined within the first month. This group had many feminists and in 1901, Kate Sheppard announced that the Christchurch Vegetarian Society would be affiliated with the National Council of Women of which she was President. The Society was affiliated to the London Vegetarian Union and imported vegetarian leaflets from overseas. Monthly meetings were held and activities included cookery demonstrations and cookery demonstrations.” We’ll forgive you your difficulties with sibling languages ..lol!

        6. beautycalyptique

          oh, history. love it.
          well, once you consider the rights of living beings, it doesn’t stop at women, children and the elderly people.

          on a related note. have you seen gorgeous sir patrick stewart gorgeously do this gorgeous thing: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=10633

          I also believe that respect for life is key. no other animal in the world has so much disrespect for life… (obviously I’m talking about factory farming, or in fact, factory everything. it’s the factory/industrial/anonymous mind set that leads us “out of the light” – spoken with a nod to the post of course)

        7. Gallivanta Post author

          Indeed I had not seen the Gorgeous Sir Patrick doing that gorgeous thing. Sad, but wonderful. I adore Patrick Stewart, and most especially adore him as Captain Picard. Is there a woman of my age who doesn’t adore Captain Picard? As Picard, he was big on Respect for Life, in all its form, was he not?

        8. Gallivanta Post author

          Wow, he is some adventurer! They should make Jean-luc an honorary member of their family 😉 I had no idea that there was this connection; I think this calls my geek cred in to question 😀

        9. beautycalyptique

          thumbs up > honorary member 😀

          hey, all’s fine with your geek cred, there’s such a vast field of facts and factoids in each fandom, it’s impossible to keep track. if you have a life, that is 🙂

        10. beautycalyptique

          hey, I don’t even like to be part of a fandom. it usually gets quite creepy. tumblr, looking at YOU.

  16. YellowCable

    The “Neil Young’s Light a Candle” song is just so touching for me too. The music, his voice are hard to describe. +1 to this song and play it one more time.

    “… And from now on A New Start” is good ending. It is hopeful.

    Very nice post.

    Reply
  17. Clanmother

    I think that you must be a Canadian!!! Another excellent post!

    “You go to Heaven once you’ve been to Hell”
    ― Leonard Cohen

    BTW, I am following you on Soundcloud!!!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh How Cute to have a follower. I better make some more recordings 🙂 And, honestly, I sometimes wonder if I am part Canadian.!!!!! There is so much I love about Canada and her people 🙂

      Reply
      1. Heather in Arles

        I have to agree that Canadians are really wonderful people. I have met many in my travels and those visiting here and I always just have an “I thought so” moment when they tell me where they are from. Plus, Canadians always smile at my dogs (Americans too).

        The power of music is something that I try never to take for granted and I appreciate it most when struggling through a hard time. While it is not nearly as iconic as Mr. Young or Mr. Cohen’s songs, there is a song that popped back into my head yesterday after a few month’s absence: http://youtu.be/2CE33bRPgrk. I believe that you are a person of Faith, so perhaps the lyrics will not speak to you but the beauty of her voice…?

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          A very special piece of music and I love the title of the Album “Lost where I Belong” as well as the song title, Draw the Stars. If the weather is warm, sometimes I go out to look at the night sky before I go to bed; do a little twirl on the driveway ;). Andreya might approve!
          Canadians; I meet so few in real life but Jack’s vet is Canadian and she is lovely, lovely, lovely with him, and me. Most people I meet in RL, and virtually, are lovely 🙂

      2. Elephant

        I recently found out I am a Canadian – No joke! All my life I have been living along not knowing and now I know and I don’t see the difference – or was I different from the start and didn’t notice that either?

        Thank you for the nice music. Leonard is looking very put together! I thought a bad man could have a sense of humor, but now I am going re-think this proposition maybe I was wrong – maybe bad men don’t have a sense of humor? Leonard has a sense of humor and I always thought he was a little bit good and a little bit bad . . .

        Elephant

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          You are Canadian, too!!! Of course you were different from the start; everyone is! Happily, I haven’t met any really bad men, outside of fairy tales and newspapers. Rumpelstiltskin didn’t have a sense of humour. But was he a man???? Was he truly bad?

        2. Elephant

          Well, Rump was a terrible individual, but I too don’t think he was a man exactly. He took the brat thing to the n’th degree. Unfortunately, I have known bad men – some were charming and part of their charm was a sense of humor – probably faked, but they could be funny. So, despite not liking the idea I will have to admit to knowing bad men and knowing a few with a sense of humor.

          Elephant

          PS Someday we will discuss Canadians!

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