You Want It Darker…

“I’ve always been given to self-dramatization.  I intend to live forever.” – Leonard Cohen

I learned Leonard had died on a Friday.  I was sitting eating breakfast when my girlfriend came to the kitchen doorway.  She asked if I knew.  Knew what I said.  She told me gently.  I was grateful for that.  I put my head in my hands, then I closed my eyes.

I spent that day in studio.  In the evening I made a fire.  We cued up a playlist of Leonard’s music and opened a bottle of wine.  As we listened, I began to talk.  I needed to explain why Leonard Cohen was so important to me; and as I talked, it dawned on me how much more there was to say.

I realized that: his words, his music, his writing, and his story were woven so deeply thru every stage of my life that there was not a single period in which the thread of his song was not evident.

Wine became whisky.  I noticed there was an album I hadn’t heard called: ‘You Want It Darker’ so I cued it up.  We both listened as Leonard sang openly, simply, and truthfully, of his coming passing.

‘I’m ready, my Lord’, he sang.

Something inside of me broke then, and I wept as deeply as I ever have; long and hard, from the bone.

She held me silently for the longest time, neither intruding on my grief, nor content to let me carry its full weight alone.  This is a priceless thing I think:  to know, for at least a small time, that we do not have to be by ourselves in the dark.  I cried until there was nothing left; and when I had finished I was the clearer for it.

To me, Leonard Cohen was both: artistic paragon and fellow soldier.  I harbor a love and affection for his work that is so great it overflows onto what I knew of the man himself.

Without planning to, or meaning to, the night became an impromptu wake.  There was wine and whisky.  There was grief, and there was longing.  There were tears, there were tales, and the welcome solace of a lover’s arms.

I think he would have approved.

Thanks for reading this, I hope it finds you well. Big hug, – J


In other news…

I was in a strange mood yesterday and completely rewrote my ‘About‘ page.  Let me know what you think.


I’m Working on some Cool New Stuff.

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36 Replies to “You Want It Darker…”

  1. You’ll enjoy Luke Otley’s charcoal drawing of Leonard Cohen at Luke’s website, which is his name followed with “.com”, just like yours, under his post “The Sweetest Song”. My own tribute is at my own site, which you know, under the post “The Choir Did Sing”. The sheet music in the paiting shows “Hallelujah”.

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  2. I wore my black hat (the one I worewhen I attended his concert a few years ago) and posted a photo of me crying in it on FB… very deep jagged tearing of the heart. My first two novels were named after two of his songs, “To Say Goodbye” and “The Light Gets In.” Thank you for sharing your feelings

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this and commented:
    Sadly but gloriously I’ve found Leonard Cohen late in life. We miss so much during our struggle for survival. In the short time since his death his work has been an inspiration to me as I approach the final stages of my first novel. He obviously moved James Radcliffe, and this beautiful obituary is a fine tribute to a wonderful human being.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing this, and for your kind words – both are very much appreciated.
      – J
      P.S. Sorry for the tardiness of my reply, I’ve just arrived home from a trip to Berlin and have been off the web.

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  4. Sadly but gloriously I’ve found Leonard Cohen late in life. We miss so much during our struggle for survival. In the short time since his death his work has been an inspiration to me as I approach the final stages of my first novel. He obviously moved you, and your beautiful obituary, for that is what it is, is a fine tribute to a wonderful human being.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou so much for this. Yes, that is indeed what this is.
      One of the beautiful things is that, even tho the human is passed, the work remains.
      Good luck with the novel, be well,
      – J
      P.S. Sorry for the tardiness of this reply, I’ve just arrived home from a trip to Berlin and have been off the web.

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