“That’s why I speak in my songs about marriage – because I believe that any human being who acquires that commitment is someone with an authentic monastic spirit.” Leonard Cohen

In Cohen’s songs there are repeated allusions to marriage.

Leonard Cohen: Last year I was traveling in the service of a monk [Roshi], carrying his luggage. We went to several monasteries in America, and I remember he once told the monks of a Trappist monastery that the life they led was very easy in their setting. To know what a hard, difficult life was, they had to know what marriage was. In their environment, it was very easy to get up at three in the morning and pray. But leading a life of commitment with another person was the most difficult thing in this world. It is in marriage that a man is tested, where his manhood, his dignity is proved. That’s why I speak in my songs about marriage – because I believe that any human being who acquires that commitment is  someone with an authentic monastic spirit.

Are you married?

Leonard Cohen: I live with a woman [Suzanne Elrod]

And do you do it in the spirit you’re talking about?

Leonard Cohen: Yes, although I think it’s very difficult. Anyway, it’s worth trying.

Leonard Cohen Words And Silences by Constantino Romero (1974). Republished in Rockdelux 356 (December 2016). Via Google Translate.

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