Leonard Cohen On The Value Of Ritual As A “Peaceful Moment”

leonard-cohen3-courtesy-of-leonard-cohen

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It’s nice to have any peaceful moment, a moment that there is a form where you can relax in, and you don’t have to improvise in, because usually when you live a life without a ritual form, you will have to continue to have to improvise, and I’m not so good at it. I find it very difficult to improvise continuously. So I’m very grateful when the kids and my friends come Friday night, and I know what the form is, what the form of the meal is going to be, and what the tone is going to be, so for that reason it’s very relaxing. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Looks Back On The Past (unedited interview for Norwegian Radio) by Kari Hesthamar, Los Angeles, 2005. Accessed at LeonardCohenFiles. Credit Due Department: Photo by Anjani Thomas.

“I find that more and more I inhabit the front line of my own life, with missiles and shrapnel flying through the air…” Leonard Cohen


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I find that more and more I inhabit the front line of my own life, with missiles and shrapnel flying through the air. You really don’t have the opportunity to develop much of a strategy about things. Certainly not about your career, and not even about your loves or dreams. So there’s a certain urgency to the moment and how to negotiate from one instance to the next.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen, The Lord Byron of Rock-and-Roll by Karen Schoemer New York Times: November 29, 1992. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“We can’t become free of what we are …” Leonard Cohen On The Impossibility Of Resolving Deep Problems

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I don’t think that this human life is a place to resolve anything. I don’t think you can resolve everything. This mind that we have only gives us three answers: yes, no and maybe. Those are not usually very satisfying for deep questions. So we’re continually anxious, we’re creatures of anxiety, that’s our natural habitat. There are a few very accomplished individuals who emerge from this, we try to become on of those but we also have the proof that in our own lives we can go somewhere but that we can’t become free of  what we are. I don’t think this is a place, on Earth, where we can resolve these problems. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Interview With Leonard Cohen. France-Inter: October 6, 1997.Transcription of the radio program Synergie With Jean-Luc Esse And Leonard Cohen. Translated from French by Nick Halliwell, UK. Accessed at LeonardCohenFiles.

“Clothes are magical, a magical procedure, they really change the way you are in a day…” Leonard Cohen On Clothing, Including That Old Raincoat Of His


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Well, I find it very difficult to buy clothes. Because I’ve had that raincoat for ten or twelve years now, that’s my coat. I have one coat and one suit because, for one thing, I find it very difficult to buy clothes at a time like this. I somehow can’t reconcile it with my visions of a human benefactor. You know, to be buying clothes when people are in such bad shape elsewhere; so I wear out the old things I’ve got. Also, I can’t find any clothes that represent me. And clothes are magical, a magical procedure, they really change the way you are in a day. Any woman knows this, and men have discovered it now. I mean, clothes are important to us and until I can discover in some clearer way what I am to myself I’ll just keep on wearing my old clothes.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From an interview by Michael Harris that appeared in the journal Duel, Winter 1969. Originally posted April 20, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“The only time we win is that moment when we drop the battle and we affirm the whole situation with this embrace” Leonard Cohen Talks About Hallelujah & Bernadette


[John McKenna:] Song of Bernadette works on several levels. There the young visionary of February and March 1858 with that apparition in her soul. A vision no-one believed. And, there are the rest of us with our own visions and dreams, which no-one, least of all ourselves, can believe in. Once we realise that visions don’t last – they disappear – and we end up running and falling, rather than flying. There’s Bernadette, true to her belief and finally rewarded with the knowledge that there is mercy in the world. There’s Leonard Cohen, acknowledging that each of us is torn by what we’ve done and can’t undo.

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I think that we mostly do fail in these things, but the thing that makes these failures supportable are these moments like the one I tried to talk about in Hallelujah or the one I tried to talk about in Bernadette it’s those are the moments when the thing is resolved – the thing is reconciled – not actually by moving pieces around; it’s not a chess game. As I say in my new version of Hallelujah, ‘I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch, but love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.’ Nobody’s going to win this, not the men not the women not the socialists, not the conservatives. Nobody’s going to win this deal. The only time we win is that moment when we drop the battle and we affirm the whole situation with this embrace.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns – Interview With Leonard Cohen Presented By John McKenna. RTE Ireland, May 9 & 12, 1988. Retrieved from LeonardCohenFiles. Originally posted November 22, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric