Sunday, November 13, 2016

in memoriam - Leonard Cohen

"We are so small between the stars, so large against the sky."

"We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love we disappear."

"I've often said if I knew where the good songs came from, I'd go there more often."

"I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair, with a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere."

"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."

"I wish I could say everything in one word. I hate all the things that can happen between the beginning of a sentence and the end."

"Prayer is translation. A man translates himself into a child asking for all there is in a language he has barely mastered."

"A woman watches her body uneasily, as though it were an unreliable ally in the battle for love."

"What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love."

"This is the most challenging activity that humans get into, which is love."



  1. Replies
    1. Listening to Leonard Cohen has always been a complex pleasure. His exquisite embrace of the aches and pains, the losses and gains of growing older, of the body reluctantly relinquishing it desires to the soul, are particularly sweet to my aging ears.
      xoxo to you, sweet friend

    2. How wonderful! [...] the body reluctantly relinquishing its desires [...]

    3. We bank the coals against coming winter cold.

    4. At least intellectually, hm? :)

    5. Without a fireplace it had better be. :)

    6. Reluctantly focusing ones desires on a fireplace, then? :)

    7. and the slice of bread toasting on a stick.. :)

  2. Ah! The one word to say everything ...

    1. Nobody sings Leonard Cohen better than Leonard Cohen.
      And he did get better looking as he aged.
      Can be done, n'est-ce pas?
      You should know. :)

  3. "...your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder..."

    Brings back many memories from what was another life, rain on the window, silence on a November evening.

    Take care,

    1. I hear you, Mike.

      One other remark of his struck a very powerful note with me: “At a certain point, if you still have your marbles and are not faced with serious financial challenges, you have a chance to put your house in order. It’s a cliché, but it’s underestimated as an analgesic on all levels. Putting your house in order, if you can do it, is one of the most comforting activities, and the benefits of it are incalculable.”

      Wishing you all the best

  4. Hi Susan,
    A great tribute.which sums it up nicely.
    We head about his death on the day our choir was doing a gig singing manly Christmas carols so we added in “Hallelujah", to sing as a tribute.
    Did you know he originally wrote 80 draft verses of Hallelujah", before cutting it down to just 4. The original version referenced the stories of Samson and Delilah from the Book of Judges and King David and Bathsheba. But you can still see the connections in the final version. “Hallelujah”, as you know simply means – ‘All of you praise the lord!’ as was intended by Cohen.
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Lindsay,
      No I didn't know that his 'Hallelujah' originally had 80 verses but it doesn't surprise me. Leonard Cohen was a deeply religious man, a Buddhist but always a Jew, one who admired Jesus. I happened across this quote earlier today:

      I’m very fond of Jesus Christ. He may be the most beautiful guy who walked the face of this earth. Any guy who says “Blessed are the poor. Blessed are the meek” has got to be a figure of unparallelled generosity and insight and madness…A man who declared himself to stand among the thieves, the prostitutes and the homeless. His position cannot be comprehended. It is an inhuman generosity. A generosity that would overthrow the world if it was embraced because nothing would weather that compassion. I’m not trying to alter the Jewish view of Jesus Christ. But to me, in spite of what I know about the history of legal Christianity, the figure of the man has touched me.

      All best wishes

  5. Hi Susan.
    A great quote. "Hallelujah"- regarded by many as secular yet it could equally be sung as a modern day hymn. Best wishes

    1. I thought so too, Lindsay. The song is very powerful.