Q: Do you vote? Leonard Cohen “Sometimes I vote… But it’s like someone at sea who is clinging to a piece of wood. He may look up and see that the sky is blue, see birds passing by, or make signs to someone else on another board of wood, but he is primarily concerned with clinging to that board.”

Do you vote?

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Sometimes I vote. You know, I live a thousand different lives. But these things are not terribly important. Sometimes I vote, sometimes I think about politics, sometimes I read newspapers, sometimes I have an opinion, sometimes I make a decision, sometimes I am very active. Sometimes I do that. But it’s like someone at sea who is clinging to a piece of wood. He may look up and see that the sky is blue, see birds passing by, or make signs to someone else on another board of wood, but he is primarily concerned with clinging to that board on the wave. His conversation may be released for other subjects, from time to time, but under his speech, there is only one real concern: to cling to this piece of wood. That’s the feeling I have in my life. Something very urgent and very dangerous is going on, which needs my full attention. And everything else seems pretty irrelevant and superficial. This is not a particularly attractive position, something to imitate or admire. It’s just the truth. I have trouble hanging on this wood. Maybe it would be a good idea to let the piece of wood go, maybe I could find out that I’m swimming beautifully in this storm, in this deluge. But I do not think so. In any case, I will not run the risk. So most of my energy, my attention is devoted to hanging on this piece of wood and the few other people who cling to the same end of wood, to which I have responsibilities.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Les Inrocks: Aug 21, 1991). Via Google Translate.

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