Seeking the Spirit of Leonard Cohen


With such clarity of words and melody, you will be easy to find among the stars. You will be a stopping point on our treks downward, a place of water that has not known thirst.

     And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower

Scientology? I can understand the years of Buddhism. Not the Buddhism of retreat, but the Buddhism of endless effort, of wood and water. Leaning without love into the light that’s lovely but lacks music. Just before we get there, we awake. And then the music comes and we’re OK.

     And when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him
He said all men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them

I was a child when I first heard your song and I was amazed that somebody knew where I lived, like a whisper in my ear that says: this is not a trick – it is the beginning of a long cry. It’s that you worked so hard for this while we wondered what work there was to do.

     But he himself was broken, long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human, he sank beneath your wisdom like a stone

The balancing couplet of Suzanne isn’t the sea freeing the sailor; it’s the savior broken against the wheel and left to stare at a starless sky. There is an opening just before us that we cannot see. Yet we hear it in your song and know that we’re not lost.


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