Friday, 11 November 2016

Who By Fire

If anyone was ever prepared for his own death, then Leonard Cohen is your man. You might even suspect that he felt just a little grim pleasure in the anticipation of – finally – discovering what, if anything, awaits us on the far side of this journey. Sad news, but at least we can hope we've got someone over there who won't now be distracted from reminding the angels to pray for us; we're going to need it.

By the way, Who shall I say is calling?


Elisabeth said...

Love the references to Leonard Cohen's lyrics in your post. ;-) What a rotten week, what with his passing and recent political events here (you are perfectly right about our needing some angels right about now, and I'm not the slightest bit religious). I've enjoyed revisiting my old Leonard Cohen albums this week and discovering a couple of his most recent ones. In reaction to his passing, and undoubtedly as a sort of reprocessing of the music itself, I've been feeling all at once sad, regretful, even bitter--but also bemused (if sardonically), with a calm and pragmatic feeling of acceptance. Above all, I'm deeply thankful for the beauty of his music and the world in general. I think the recent New Yorker article about Leonard helped prepare me somewhat for his death, and after reading his response to Marianne's recent passing, I suspected he might just decide to follow her before too long. His death somehow makes me fear my own a little less, and his life makes me want to try to appreciate mine a little more.

Mike C. said...

Thanks, Elisabeth -- great to hear from you. It's turning out to be quite a year, obituary wise, not to mention politically, isn't it? Never mind, if the USA can survive Nixon, Reagan, and George W., it can survive Trump.

That rueful acceptance is the true Cohen note, I think. A cross between Judaism and Zen -- "Forget your perfect offering, etc." No point in waiting for the miracle to come...

Best wishes,