An Obituary to Leonard Cohen :- A Verses Inked© Composition
And summoned now to deal
With your invincible defeat,
You live your life as if it’s real,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.
I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,
I’m back on Boogie Street.
You lose your grip, and then you slip
Into the Masterpiece.
And maybe I had miles to drive,
And promises to keep:
You ditch it all to stay alive,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.
Lyrics from A Thousand Kisses Deep, from Cohen’s tenth studio album – Ten More Songs. A fitting prelude, in the man’s own word, retrospective of his life and times.
We have Leonard Cohen in our thoughts at Verses Inked. November 7th 2016 saw the passing away of Cohen. A poet, musician, writer and artist. A lifelong observer to orthodox Judaism, a proud Canadian. A personification perhaps, of the resplendent land-locked water-bodies of Canada. A master at rhymes with a voice with strength.
Leonard Cohen, among other personas about whom enough could never be written about, because certain remote yet engaging episodes of such blessed lives would always miss been on print of the finest intentions. For instance this not so interesting fact which Cohen himself accepted on some recorded interview for a certain Scandinavian television. That he once tried to introduce red wine to a Buddhist monk. He for once even convinced his zen teacher to deviate from the path of raw fish and sake and develop a taste for a traditional Jewish chicken soup. The most amusing piece of information, if one may think so.
Leonard Cohen – Spiritual Sojourns:
For a period of five years in the neoclassic 90’s Cohen shaved his head clean and lived his days at a monastery atop Mount Baldy at the outskirts of Los Angeles, with Buddhist Monk and Zen teacher Kyozan Hoshu Sasaki. Cohen was eventually consecrated as a Buddhist monk in the mid-90’s. Although his roots to orthodox Judaism remained compellingly strong, with him maintaining lifelong correspondence with Quebec based Orthodox synagogue, Congregation Shaar Hashomayim.
Although still, it was not until meeting Indian spiritual master Ramesh Balsekar, later in the 90’s that Cohen considered his spiritual quest close to fulfillment. In fact many of Cohen’s verses have been accepted to be straight lift ups from Talmudic literature, as they have been from other spiritual text, as well from the works of Fredrico Garcia Lorca, Albert Camus, William Butler Yeats, Walt Whitman and the likes.
The need for constant structure in life, which Leonard Cohen sought through his spiritual experiments, are sure to bring him peace in the life after. Death the ultimate leveller, if ever need be for one. Some wait for it, others have horses for their courses, working their way to extinction, one breath at a time.
The Passive Showman:
Leonard Cohen went for it for sure. It did go all ablaze, when doth need make. The Walter White story line played out in exact, albeit in real life. The man lost it all, was insecure of his inheritance to his family. The rest is ‘History’. Speaking objectively of which; Cohen lost most of his previously accumulated fortunes to the underhandlings of a female financial adviser, and been unable to re-collect any money even after winning a legal battle, Cohen, revving on his 70’s, set out on a world tour, after a complete absence from the scene for 15 years. The earnings from the tour were in millions of American bucks.
A voice you can sleep on, a singer and songwriter who understood and addressed the gravest needs of the time. A modest suit and hat gentleman made of love, faith and justice. A fortnight before he peacefully passed away in sleep, Leonard Cohen had released his final studio album. The album; the ever resounding Cohen recorded on a wheelchair and was produced by his Son, Adam Cohen. It was incidentally the first time the choir from the Orthodox Synagogue, Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, to which Cohen had associations all his life, was part of the production crew. Otherwise Cohen’s sound was known to be characteristically dominated by female vocals. This was the first time the father and son were working together. For Cohen senior, it was to be his first moves away from minimalism in the scope of sound. Too bad Curtain Call.
“ a little too weak to get there and boogie, and a little too healthy to die. “, in his own words, Cohen described his condition during his last days.
References: Macleans Magazine, Wikipedia.