my jewish pseudonym is rachel cohen. (i can tell you this, because what i write as rachel, no one ever reads. what i write as rachel are my spiritual fantasies.) in my persona as rachel, alan cohen is my spirit uncle, leonard cohen is my spirit grandfather, and i was born from a virgin mother (yes, like jesus, that rather famous jew), except my mother’s name is rebecca, not mary. as rachel, i write poetry as prose, unrecognizable in invisible ink seen only by the eyes of the gods. as rachel, i dream full stanzas of my grandfather’s poetry, some of which are song lyrics you might know. this morning i was dreaming as rachel and grandfather’s stanza repeated as i woke:
“(and fragrant is the thought of you,
the file on you complete –
except what we forgot to do
a thousand kisses deep.)”
–leonard cohen
after i woke, a quotation written by my spirit uncle found me in my inbox:
“no relationship is permanently damaged.
any relationship can be repaired.
your willingness will heal your heart.”
–alan cohen
i measured the relationships that are mine to heal. i felt a thousand kisses deep. i weighed my willingness to heal, what will be gained if i am willing and what will be lost if i am not. i surveyed what makes my heart sing, like leonard cohen, but less dark, which is not more light, but is less dark. and i calibrated who i am and who i could be, calculating the distance between the two, the light i’d have to travel from one to the other. i evaluated the darkness that makes pain seem unbearable, when really, nothing has to hurt at all. when i turn on the light i see only a little scrape, not some gaping bleeding slash, and i know that i am whole even when it is dark and i can not see and i do not know.
i studied again grandpa leonard’s stanza, the parenthetical transition in a much longer poem, and i thought about my own parentheses, my pauses, my undecided stillness, the questions that sit and wait. grandpa leonard echoes in my ear again:
“(and fragrant is the thought of you,
the file on you complete –
except what we forgot to do
a thousand kisses deep.)”
i know what to do, which is wait, which is write, which is dream, which is breathe, which is listen to my heart and listen for yours. i hear silence. i wait. i write. i dream. i breathe. i listen longer. i listen quieter. i listen while i look to be moving around and working and laughing and dancing and moving on. i am still listening. i’m waiting for the willingness that will heal the heart.

About angel joy

love is an action verb. i live love in action.
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One Response to rachel

  1. Sarah says:

    this is me not commenting on your piece. i nod in acknowledgement.
    you,lucky grandfather getter, you!

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