Leonard Cohen…. poet, musician, songwriter, singer, novelist, painter, Buddhist monk, father… icon. As a fellow Canadian, I have tapped into the soul of this man to help me define the country, life and spirit that I want for myself: free, diverse… depth as it’s richness, strength through honouring vulnerability… simple, humble and completely wide-open to the power, joy, tragedy and dance of love. I don’t know exactly how I tuned into Leonard’s music in my teens: it was not ‘easy listening’ or the pop/rock that I generally gravitated towards- and his musical style can be an acquired taste. But I have always been a lyrics freak, and there is almost no better lyricist/poet than he; and although I know I wasn’t hearing the simple truths and metaphoric wisdom in his words initially: something in his soul hooked me. As I matured and gained life experience, I increasing- almost spookily – connected intimately to Leonard’s songs; the man became a poetry/musical deity in my eyes, and a true beacon of calm and light – even in his mania and darkness.
His passing on November 7, 2016 (age 82) was sad indeed, but really to my view, his legacy of his unapologetically and vulnerably explored, expressed and documented thoughts and feelings, giving us all safe-haven and complete permission to be our own beautifully unique and imperfect selves is really what a well-lived life is about – and there is NO sadness in that.
Google ‘Leonard Cohen quotes’ and just try- TRY and pick out your top 10: it’s IMPOSSIBLE!!! The more you remind yourself (or discover) the power of his words, and feel the resonance of his perspective… the longer you will spend surfing… and surfing…and surfing ALL things Leonard! Bet ya!!!
Well… here’s a few to start……….. do yourself a favour and start googling!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”
“I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin.”
“Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made of flesh.”
“Prayer is translation.
A man translates himself into a child asking for
all there is in a language he has barely mastered.”
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking.
Everybody knows the captain lied.
Everybody got this broken feeling, like their father or their dog just died.
Everybody talking to their pockets.
Everybody wants a box of chocolates and a long-stem rose.
“At the very center of our culture is a crucified man,
a tortured man hanging on a cross of wood.
You have an image of violence at the very
center of our spiritual investigation.”
Well, you know, there’s “depression” and ‘depression’.
What I mean by depression in my own case is, that depression isn’t just the blues.
It’s not just like I have a hangover in the weekend … the girl didn’t show up or something like that. It isn’t that.
It’s not really depression, it’s a kind of mental violence which stops you from functioning properly from one moment to the next. You lose something somewhere and suddenly you’re gripped by a kind of angst of the heart and of the spirit.
“To keep our hearts open is probably the most
urgent responsibility you have as you get older.”
I see people allowing their lives to diminish, to become shallow, so they can’t enjoy the deep wells of experience. Maybe it’s always been this way, when the heart tends to shut down. If only the heart shut down and there were no repercussions, it would be O.K., but when the heart shuts down, the whole system goes into a kind of despair that is intolerable
“It’s the notion that there is no perfection – that there is a broken world
and we live with broken hearts and broken lives but still there is no alibi
for anything. On the contrary, you have to stand up and say
‘hallelujah’ under those circumstances.”
“All of us are footnotes to the words of Chuck Berry
If Beethoven hadn’t rolled over, there’d be no room for any of us.”
“The real weapons of mass destruction are the
hardened hearts of humanity”
(March 30, 2007)
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Okay…. maybe just one music video…
From 2016 Juno Award Winning Album of the Year (to go along with “Songwriter of the Year” accolades!): Travelling Light
(drop me a note if the video link is broken and I’ll upload from my own stash! thnx!)