This is a question that I have been thinking about a lot recently.
Perhaps, it’s to do with a burning excitement that is building up as I await to see him play London on his latest tour? Maybe it’s to do with the fact that Leonard Cohen’s oeuvre has had a huge impact on my thinking since I became acquainted with it a little over 10 years ago?
Either way, I think that it is an important question. It is a question we ask of everyone at some point, who has had an impact on our lives – friend, lover, stranger or, in this case, artistic and cultural heroes.
I love the fact that Leonard has addressed the fundamental themes of existence – love, desire, betrayal, redemption, connection – right from the beginning of his musical and writing career. The way in which he draws upon various philosophies, religions and cultural ideas, forever exploring and mining what it is to be human. His songs and writings can be listened to and read over and over; they yield so much, yet always offer new meanings. The blend of the earthy and ethereal, the sensuality and the serious, the comedy and the tragedy never ceases to charm.
We can dip in and out of his work at various times of our lives, whether we are 15 or 55, and still discover new truths. Maybe, this is what Leonard means to me. He is timeless. His writings stand apart from time but help me make sense of time. Leonard helps me appreciate that life – while it may be baffling at times – is blazingly beautiful. The wry humour and learned wisdom, etched in his lyrics, enchant the heart and sing in one’s mind.
Thank you Leonard for enriching my existence and thank you to an old friend who introduced me to this incomparable “Troubadour Sans Pareil” on the threshold of my adult life.
“Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.” (The Favourite Game)