Leonard Cohen

Even my music collection on random knows what I want to listen to. I've been sitting and relaxing with Leonard Cohen songs this evening after my Pokemon GO walk and while I do read the occasional snippet of social media, there's only so much of that that I can handle this week. People from all parts of the political spectrum (both American and non-American people watching) have been making comments that are hard to handle. Sometimes it is because they are over simplifying. At other times it feels like they are making excuses, and still others are just stating their views or observing what they're seeing both good and bad. And to use the analogy: I have so few spoons available right now.

So I'm only looking in spurts and bursts. But looking is enough when I'm seeing today's sad news: Leonard Cohen died at age 82. And this was announced on his Facebook page. Good gosh. Leonard Cohen's music has been a huge part of my life for a very long time. I'm sure I listened to songs on my dad's LPs as a kid. I'm sure I heard his songs on the radio. I remember really enjoying watching figure skaters skate to his songs too when I was young. But I studied his poetry in university, I enjoyed his poems and when I won 100 books from McLennan and Stewart a bunch of years ago, his books were among the ones I treasured the most. He had such a way with words. And it's rare that I don't enjoy a song by him, whether performed by him or by another artist: indeed even Nana Mouskouri's rendition of Suzanne in French is among my favourites.

My grandmother wanted his Hallelujah to be played at her funeral/interment. And now in the aftermath of his death, especially in the aftermath of the US election, it is all too easy for his songs and his words to create an emotional reaction from me. I'm sad that there will be no new Leonard Cohen tunes. His career spanned the decades, and even his most recent album was quite successful. I'm glad he lived to 82… though I'm sure many would have loved for him to write more, perform more, etc. I love the live albums of his that I own (I won at least one of them, actually). I wish I had had the chance to have seen him live when he came to town. He was a Canadian icon and well known outside of Canada.

There have been a lot of celebrity and musician deaths in 2016. A lot of turmoil in the world in 2016. A lot of emotion. A lot of sadness. I am too realistic to think that the future can be idyllic, but my goodness, my heart hurts this week.