The Grapevine Art & Soul Salon


by Charles Knott

The Leonard Cohen London Live Concert DVD

Off and on for most of my life I have known I needed to pursue a program of physical fitness. I have never been successful at this until now. The dynamic that undermined me was a fear of change. My mind would not relinquish the status quo: I felt a certain way physically and mentally, and I was not willing to feel another way. Every time I tried to change my mind/body connection, my mind and body rebelled and held on to being exactly as they already were. Then I watched Leonard Cohen’s London Live concert on DVD and all that changed.

I had bought a membership to the YMCA. I tried working out on the treadmill, and my brain would scream at me to stop after a couple of minutes, so I would stop. Then I noticed there is a DVD player on the treadmill. I decided to see if I could find some program to watch that would distract me and release my feet to really get moving. The London concert fell into my hands, first as a gift that I postponed watching, and then as something that caught my eye on the way out the door to go to the gym. Once on the treadmill, with headphones in place and the DVD rolling, I transcended the barriers to physical transformation.

Dancing to the end of love, contemplating the Holy Dove that is bought and sold again and again, returning to Boogie Street after tidying up the kitchenette and tuning the old banjo, being just another snowman standing in the ice and sleet, seeing in everything the crack that lets the light in, hoping for democracy to come to the USA, knowing there is no medicine strong enough to cure love, facing the god of song and having the Hallelujah drawn from my lips, paying my rent every day in the Tower of Song, trying in my way to be free, letting the river answer—well, these things were so much more important than holding on to feeling safe, that my mind turned my body loose and let it find the runner’s high that I am no longer willing to live without.

I have watched portions of this concert through 119 workouts since February 2009. Like sunlight and water and soil nurturing a plant, the power of these songs is creating a new body for me to live in.

I have learned the age-old lesson once again: to get unstuck, find bigger and better thoughts.

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