November 10, 2016
There is something sadly synchronistic that we should lose Leonard Cohen in a week that has held up a mirror to democracy in the US and beyond, in which a man who has deliberately and calculatingly fanned the flames of bigotry, racism, separatism, Islamophobia and homophobia has been elected by the American public as the US President-elect.
America is in turmoil and most of the world is in shock, although notably, not Russia.
What has been revealed is the dark underbelly of democracy. Violence, hatred and fear are now unleashed and for now have been given full reign. Vicious assaults on women, on Muslims, on LGPTQ people and people of color anyone of color have brought grief upon grief.
During all of this, Leonard Cohen quietly left the planet. Dams have given way and finally, we weep.
From my somewhat misspent youth to these days of approaching cronehood and eldership, through the darkest nights of despair and the most shining moments of joy, you sang me through them all. Thank you for it all.
Finally, presciently, in your last days on this planet, you gave us,
“I didn’t know I had permission to murder and to maim. You want it darker? Then kill the flame. ”
“If thine is the glory, mine must be the shame.” You Want it Darker
Ours is indeed the shame. #RIP Leonard Cohen. I will miss you forever.
This is the way we summon one another, but it is not the way we call upon the Name. We stand in rags, we beg for tears to dissolve the immovable landmarks of hatred. How beautiful our heritage, to have this way of speaking to eternity, how bountiful this solitude, surrounded, filled, and mastered by the Name, from which all things arise in splendour, depending one upon the other.
- Leonard Cohen, Book of Mercy, 1984.