Dear Leonard Cohen,
You were my favorite.
Your songs changed me.
They made me want to write, to believe in writing, to live and breathe as a writer.
Your words, your sung-stories, they made me want to explore the world, fall in love, have experiences and sex and passion and dreams and epic conversations. You made me feel that loving and losing was all part of the journey, that it was all beauty. That we are all broken, all cracked, but that its okay, its alright, because that is where the light gets in, the art, the songs, the words, the love, the stories.
Your songs have snuck themselves into so many of my stories. They hide in the verses I write, in the poetry. Shades of your songs, and your voice, and the things left untold in your own stories have become parts of my stories, my voice, my characters. You have been one of my biggest inspirations, and your music has been one of my muses.
Your songs live within me, too. They are part of who I am, part of my DNA, part of my life-soundtrack.
“Famous Blue Raincoat” is not just my forever favorite song, it is part of who I am, and who I always will be.
I am so grateful that I got to see you sing out in the desert as the sun went down. That I got to share it with one of my daughter’s, and some of my dearest friends.
I wrote this about that day:
It was nearing sunset in the dry heat electricity of the Coachella desert and I was witnessing one of my most favorite musicians perform for the first time, and then it happened, the most memorable, most amazing, most moving live musical moment I have ever had in my life. Watching, and feeling as if I was a part of the music itself, Leonard Cohen sang “Hallelujah”. It was beyond words.
The sun started to set, this gracious, generous, true gentleman (and I have rarely used that word in my life) sang what seemed like the most beautiful song ever. We stood there and swayed, sang-a-long, touched hands to ground ourselves a little, while tears streamed down our faces.
It was as close to a religious experience that this agnostic girl has ever experienced. It made me understand what Kurt Cobain meant when he wished for a Leonard Cohen after world.
I was completely and utterly moved.
You were the most gracious, humble, spiritually moving and genuine artist I have ever been in the presence of; so full of grace and class, love and beauty, and story. You were one of the people in this life that has helped me believe in dreamers and dreams, lovers and love, gypsy souls and artist, exploration and passion, and writing.
You will be missed.
Thank you for the music, for the inspiration and for making my life richer.
Safe travels, L. Cohen.
I will always be sending my regards.
Famous Blue Raincoat
Chelsea Hotel #2
Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye
So Long, Marianne
In My Secret Life
You Want it Darker
I’m Your Man
Bird on the Wire
If I Didn’t Have Your Love
A Thousand Kisses Deep
Sisters of Mercy
If It Be Your Will
Tower of Song
First We Take Manhattan
Did I Ever Love You
Waiting for the Miracle
Joan of Arc
Night Comes On
Crazy to Love You
You Know Who I Am
The Gypsy’s Wife
Take This Waltz (Paris Version)
Dance Me to the End of Love