People often die just after their birthday. It is like they need that last event, the last ceremony, to say goodbye to life. Last week Leonard Cohen died. Not after his birthday, but just after Donald Trump won the US presidential elections. Coincidence? Probably, although I can imagine Trump’s election killed the last bit of Cohen’s will to live.
In a slightly happier version of the same story Cohen died just after the release of ‘You want it darker’. I hope this album was his way to say goodbye. I hope he is having a drink with Marianne Ihlen now, and watching over us a bit.
Still, many saw a connection between Trump’s election and Cohen’s death. Ugliness entered as beauty sought its way out. The one strengthening our reaction to the other. I know we need hope in uncertain times, and I understand why the following line from Anthem (1992) was quoted so often last week: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Without at least a sparkle of light we cannot live, let alone fight.
Personally I prefer a fragment from ‘The Future’ (1992):
“The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold
And it has overturned
The order of the soul”
Maybe not as hopeful, but we live in scary times. Hope can make us passive and complacency is the last thing we need. Last week, in what probably was her last Hillary Clinton impersonation, Kate McKinnon performed ‘Hallelujah’ on Saturday Night Live, and concluded that performance with a deviant “I’m not giving up, and neither should you.”
It might all be a ‘god-awful small affair, to the guy (sic) with the mousy hair‘, we still can be heroes (just for one day).Tweet