Sunday, September 6, 2015

A Dangerous Situation

Just finished reading "I'm Your Man", a Leonard Cohen biography excellently done.

The man is deeply sensitive, intellectually informed and eternally curious, unique, improbable, a poet, a writer, a songwriter and performer.

He is almost a religion unto himself.

He is revered as a poet, he is revered as a songwriter, he is revered on the stage and off the stage, on the page and off the page.

He is introspective and self deprecating at the same time.

I worship his words, I love his songs.

I am not alone.

His sensitivity and thoughtfulness overwhelm me. He is a man who was able to use that sensitivity as fuel to create an amazing career. Not overtly, not calculatingly, almost more as a by product of who he is.

Major success came to him very late in life.

In the meantime he wrote, he composed, he sang, he did what his soul commanded until the word got around loud enough that this is a man worth investigating. A man worth experiencing.

One thread of thought that ran through my head as I read his life is that the world is filled with exceptionally sensitive souls, people for whom life is too much, too harsh; people who eventually end up crushed by life.

Because they have no outlet.

For those people there is Leonard Cohen and the precious few in this world like him.

He provokes introspection while simultaneously offering escape. He entertains and he challenges.

For those who are bewildered, those with no options, this man is a gift, a breath of relief to demonstrate that there is some version of goodness to being alive.

The magnitude of that gift cannot be overstated.

The man is gentle. The man is a giant.

I put the book down and picked up a collection of poems written by Langston Hughes.

The book has been sitting next to me for weeks. I don't know why I do that. I buy the book with soul inspired intentions and then ignore it.

Maybe I need ritalin.

Anyway I was in a vulnerable situation. Feeling emotionally charged after finishing up on Leonard and then picking up a book of poetry.

Kaboom. The words of Langston Hughes grabbed my tortured soul and gave it a twist.

I leafed through the book randomly and read beauty and emotion and anger and humor.

I would prefer not to return to reality at this point in time.

I am just beginning this investigation. I will read his words and feel his emotions, or at least the emotions his words stimulate in me.

It has been a heady morning and it is only 10:23 a.m. on September 6.

Postscript:  One of the greatest regrets of my young life is missing out on Leonard Cohen's last tour. He was in Boston, for Christ sake and I didn't make it. He is eighty years old now. BUT he has released a new album this year and the man is ageless.

There is hope.

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