“And that’s what I’m doing. Preparing to die.” Leonard Cohen (2008)

 

He was discussing a book he’d read on Auschwitz. Some scholars, he explained, wondered why the Jews didn’t rush forward and try to overpower the handful of machine gunners about to shoot them when they were being led to mass graves. According to the book he was reading, the answer was:

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It’s because that’s not what they wanted to do. They wanted to reflect on their life and prepare to die. And that’s what I’m doing. Preparing to die.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

On The Loss Of A Great Artist & Inspiration… by Neil Strauss (NeilStrauss.com: November 11, 2016). The quotation is from a 2008 interview. Photo by Maarten Massa.

“I think perhaps you learn with age, the aging process is very important…” Leonard Cohen, On Being Asked If He Is A Teacher

Are you a teacher?

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If I am a teacher I don’t think that my teachings should go into effect until I myself have reached a kind of plane where my experience would be nourishing. If people follow, if people somehow turn on to my work, and turn on to it in the way of education and think that that’s the end, then they’re wrong. I think perhaps you learn with age, the aging process is very important, I think sometimes I might be a teacher.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

An Interview with Leonard Cohen by Michael Harris. Duel: Winter 1969.

“I’ve found that as you become older you become crazier and more careful at the same time…” Leonard Cohen

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I’ve found that as you become older you become crazier and more careful at the same time. It’s like the base of a pyramid widening. Your range becomes very, very wide.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

DrHGuy Note: Mr Cohen was 50 years old when he made this observation.

From Leonard Cohen by Kristine McKenna (Another Room Magazine: Spring 1985). Originally posted July 27, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“One of the downsides of growing old is that you have to surrender your vices one by one. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t court women. So I have a lot of free time. I keep scratching away, blackening pages. Writing is my friend.” Leonard Cohen (2014)

Leonard Cohen Can’t Slow Down by Gavin Edwards. Rolling Stone (India): October 24, 2014. Photo by Dominique BOILE (10 Exclusive Photos: Leonard Cohen At His Paris Hotel 3 Days Before Start Of 2013 European Tour)

Note: Originally posted Nov 6, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show” Leonard Cohen

Among Leonard Cohen’s most effective skills as a wordsmith is his capacity to transform a phrase from the vernacular into an elegant and appealing lyric that resonates with his audience. Today’s featured quotation is an example of this technique; it is not, however, a line from a Leonard Cohen poem, novel, or song. As far as I can determine, the first time “The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show,” was published was in a Feb 24, 2009 New York Times interview, Leonard Cohen Returns to the Road, for Reasons Both Practical and Spiritual by Larry Rohter.

In 2015 (when I first posted about this phenomenon), this remark became, according to my incredibly unscientific social media monitoring, the second most popular Leonard Cohen quotation on Twitter (the most popular continues to be “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in” from Anthem) as well as being well represented on other platforms. Clearly, these words articulate an idea that responds to our unspoken and often unrecognized concerns.

“There is some impression of one being over the hill, but there’s a lot of compassionate, imaginative women around.” Leonard Cohen At 58

Cohen Heads Back to The Future by Spencer Bright. London Daily Mail: December 11, 1992. Photo Credit: Dominique Issermann – Library and Archives Canada. Originally posted Jan 13, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Every man should try to become an elder” Leonard Cohen’s Aspiration As A Singer-Songwriter

From Rolling Stone: Leonard Cohen by Larry Sloman, The Sunday Citizen: May 25, 1975.

More about this theme that endured throughout Leonard Cohen’s career as a singer-songwriter can be found at Leonard Cohen Lays Out His Mission In 1974: “To Become An Elder”

“I find a broadening of desire, if anything, as you get older” Leonard Cohen


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Sexual thoughts are supposed to come regularly once every six seconds. Whatever the statistic was, I wasn’t exempt from it, and am still not. I find a broadening of desire, if anything, as you get older.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Cohen Heads Back to The Future by Spencer Bright. London Daily Mail: December 11, 1992. Originally posted Jan 15, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric