It feels ominous now in hindsight. These past few days have hardly had anything good about them.
I was so excited after the launch of his latest – and as I sadly found out this morning, also his last – album. The title track, You Want It Darker, felt heavy. It all felt heavier than usual, but Leonard sounded better than ever.
I think we all wished him to still be present, full of life and brilliant inspiration. We wished that Darker was – albeit striking in its genius – just a regular case of Cohen voicing an ever imminent sense of defeat. Yet looking back at The Guardian‘s review of Leonard Cohen’s last album, I can’t help but shiver. The opening paragraph: ‘Last week, Leonard Cohen felt obliged to announce that reports of his death – or at least his imminent death – had been exaggerated. “I said was ready to die recently,” he told the audience at a listening party in Los Angeles for his 14th studio album. “And I think I was exaggerating. I’ve always been into self-dramatisation. I intend to live for ever.”‘ This was not much more than a month ago.
Along with review after review that praised this masterpiece, but at the same time felt it as a sort of last will and testament; along with the saddening US election results that seemed to embody all of Cohen’s worst fears for the American society, it all feels terribly, frighteningly ominous in hindsight.
I don’t know if he just decided to leave the table before the game became too dreadfully painful to bear anymore, but I know the world will be poorer without him.
His songs have never really left my side for just over a decade – when I was so happy that I thought my chest would burst open and I’d have my heart fly away, forever lost from me; when I cried for my shattered heart to use those tears and glue itself back together; when I was searching for the kind of unique wisdom that only he could offer through his sung poetry.
Through the best and the worst, his words and melody elated me and got me through. And for that I can say thank you, you will be missed!