Spending Time with Leonard Cohen

A few years ago, my mom took me to see Leonard Cohen in concert. She was over the moon about going and I was primarily going with her because I wanted to watch her during the show. I had no real vested interest in seeing Leonard. I had a version of him singing "Closing Time" which was, at that tempo, a 7 minute song so I was usually bored of the song before it was done. Suffice to say, I had very low expectations of the concert itself. And definitely not prepared for the experience.

I remember being a bit awestruck. I didn't end up watching mom that much because I was so enjoying the show. His voice, the adoration from the crowd, the music, the poetry. It was so much more than I had hoped for.

Today, I went through the CDs in the car because I was sick of the radio ads. And there was the Leonard Cohen Live In London CD I got after the concert. I was in the perfect mood for it. There wasn't a lot of ad-lib to the banter (the same in London as in Saskatoon) in between songs, but I enjoyed that too. I found myself smiling and having the same reactions I had sitting in my seat at the concert.

In the midst of my enjoying the memories and the music, this line struck me.
"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."
I remember it striking me that night too, but not nearly as strongly as I did today. There's so much truth in that. I searched through the different meanings it could have, and there were a few and all of them applied to me. I'm always looking for ways to remember that it's okay to not be my idea of perfect. This covered them all and in a particularly beautiful way. I want to remember this everyday. To remember it when I'm fighting with myself and others. To remember it when I have set expectations of myself. To remember it when I think I'm a horrible mom. This line gives me so much hope in myself for who I can and want to be.

I had moments through out the CDs that made me reflect on my relationships with my friends, my mom, and repeatedly, my husband. He recites a poem that almost every time I hear it, I cry. As all his songs are poetry. He sometimes sings "A Thousand Kisses Deep", but I do love his recitation from the concert. I love how the crowd stops all their noise by the end of the third verse to just listen. It's so moving.

Thanks to Leonard for making my drive today a little less lonely and making me feel so much hope.

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Marie (Megan2c2b@aol.com) said...

Very lovely thoughts. It is uncanny how many fans describe similar experiences. How a line or two from one of Leonard's songs will invade your mind and change your perceptions forever.
Leonard Cohen's World Tour comes to an end December 12. You can tell him what his concerts have meant to you. Please sign the Thank You card that will be presented to Leonard on December 12. Details at the Speaking Cohen website: http://www.webheights.net/speakingcohen/card.html

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