Leonard Cohen +


Melancholy and depression

In 1967 Leonard Cohen’s first record entitled “Songs of Leonard Cohen” hit the markets.  As a child and a teenager I often heard his song “Suzanne” on the wireless.  This sad ballad, written in a minor key, fascinated me and years later I bought a CD which contained this song.  A childhood memory.

Cohen was born into a Jewish family in Montreal.  He died this week in Los Angeles aged 82. Ever-changing relationships, the pain of parting and depression made up his life.  “When I speak of depression, I mean clinical depression, which sums up the history of my life; a history full of fear, trepidation and the feeling that nothing goes my way, that contentment is elusive and that all strategies come to nothing.”

Did he ever get to know what real hope is?  In the late nineteen-nineties he fled from the limelight to a Buddhist cloister in California and hoped that Zen-Meditation would help him.  But, being an atheistic religion, Buddhism offers no perspective of an afterlife.

His last album, “If you want it darker”, was launched a couple of months ago.  The title-song also does not convey any hope:

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the help that never came
You want it darker
Hineni, hineni
I’m ready, my lord

The Jew Leonard Cohen did not see the promised Messiah, the Saviour of the World, in Jesus Christ.  At the end of his life he was prepared. But for what?

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