Leonard Cohen’s ‘Happens to the heart’ is a moving composition that takes you through a journey, a journey that’s so reminiscent of the trappings of the everyday world. In the turmoil of resistance, duality, conflict, the highs, and the lows, the escaping and persisting, the resilience, and the occasional dodging, we forget to ask the most pertinent question - “What happens to the heart?”
The Buddhist concept of ‘Namarupa’ comes to the mind as I croon this number softly under my breath. Typically translated as the connection between the mind (Nama) and the physical body (Rupa), these two are interdependent on each other, and in order to get deeper into the depths of consciousness, these two need to be aligned. Cohen’s words hammer home time and again – Let’s stop escaping, we all know the culminating point, the result, but we still keep running, guarding, building barriers that push us deeper in the throes of destruction. Let’s start witnessing now, shall we?
‘Happens to the heart’ is a wisp of smoke that's meant to clear the mirror instead of making it foggy.
Some of my favorite lines from the song:
In the prison of the gifted I was friendly with the guards So I never had to witness What happens to the heart
I was always working steady But I never called it art It was just some old convention Like the horse before the cart
I was handy with a rifle My father's .303 I fought for something final Not the right to disagree