How can we hear the ineffable, for instance in poetry? Certainly not by analyzing the words, trying very hard to make sense of them. We let ourselves experience whatever resonance the melody and words have for us. It touches something in us, and the experience we have of it is very personal.
At a recent conference, several of us presented a panel. We wanted to communicate experientially what we called “Shared Field”. So we started with a song – Suzanne, by Leonard Cohen.
Now, it is on this web page you’re reading (recording by Bruce Nayowith). As you listen to it, you may remember that we put it there to give you a sense of what me mean by “shared field”. Or you may be carried away by your own associations with the music and the words. Or…
In other words, what happens here is not perfectly clear communication, in the sense that copying a digital file is a way to perfectly transfer information from one support to another. The implicit field where this communication takes place is more nebulous, at the same time inefficient in achieving perfect clarity, and amazingly enriched by each experience.
Now Suzanne takes your hand and she leads you to the river,
She is wearing rags and feathers from Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey on our lady of the harbor,
And she shows you where to look among the garbage and the flowers,
There are heroes in the seaweed, there are children in the morning,
They are leaning out for love and they will lean that way forever,
While Suzanne holds the mirror.
And you want to travel with her,
And you want to travel blind,
And you know that you can trust her,
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind.