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"So come, my friends, be not afraid.
We are so lightly here.
It is in love that we are made;
In love we disappear."
Happy posthumous birthday, Lenny.
You tried, in your way, to be free. Thank you. Now go join that great gig in the sky. So I wrote a year ago, when Lenny left us. However, the legend lives on - listen for example to How the Light Gets In.
'We Love Leonard Cohen' celebrated his 81st Birthday, and then, for his 82nd and final birthday, Leonard gave us a present. "You Want It Darker" is the title track to last album, his 14th studio album in his 49-year recording career. (See also Leonard Cohen Makes it Darker.)
"Leonard Cohen offers the possibility of living with grace, dignity, and integrity, without submitting to illusions, without succumbing to indifference, and without indulging in denial of our own failures and flaws, in a world that is too often corrupt and malevolent" - Allan Showalter
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- One of the dangers of emotional life, notes The School of Life, is that we find that we don't feel 'in the moment': we're at a funeral, but we don't feel sad. We're making love, but our minds are elsewhere. It's our birthday, but we're not jolly. Why is it sometimes so hard for our true inner feelings to keep pace with events in the outer world?
During these dark days of worsening refugee crises, can we still imagine reaching a state of "xenophilia"...overcoming our "homophily", i.e. the love of that which is like us, and reaching the love of that which is different?
Indeed, if we're ever going to care enough about conflict, genocide, poverty, hunger etc. enough to act on them properly, then we need to try much harder to avoid conflict with people we might not yet fully understand.
"Possibly the best comic strip EVER in the history of the entire universe", claimed one commentator.
I think Dennis the Menace (in its heydey), Gaston Lagaffe and one or others may occupy the same pantheon as Calvin and Hobbes, but there is little doubt that, for all those of us who have been deeply touched by the warmth, humour, sheer humanity with which Bill Watterson blessed us over so many years, these creations occupy a very special place in our hearts.
Sometimes we choose to wander, sometimes we are chosen to wander, down the dark deserted halls of memory:
'Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream...
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years...
Speak low, lean low,
As long ago, my love, how long ago.'
For my late Uncle Denis, who passed away 10 years ago, for his loved ones, and for yours. Now, while we still have the time - i.e. now - we just have to "Be, as a page that aches for a word, which speaks on a theme that is timeless".