Voices from the past occasionally serve to prompt new avenues of reflection. I received a link today in an email, from a friend who was forwarding it from another friend, to an article written by someone we all know in varying degrees. (I know him least.) We vary, too, in our degrees of religious belief, from devout atheist to practicing Catholic. It would be hard, though, to argue which one of us was a bigger fan of Leonard Cohen and his music.
I’ve listened to his songs for years. In my twenties, his music was my first choice when it came to doing the ironing on a Saturday morning, which is probably why I still find ironing so therapeutic. In my thirties, he carried me through my great depression, making sense of the madness in a way that no one else could. In my forties, I got to see him live, in concert, three times – as if in celebration that I’d turned a corner and the future was bright. Unforgettable. So perhaps it’s more than a coincidence that now I’m peeking into my fifties and on the cusp of yet another chapter, that he marks the transition though the voice of another.
Fr Prof. Eamonn Conway is a priest and a theologian who discovered Cohen’s song If it be your will back in 2009, during a particularly dark period in his life. He wrote recently in the Catholic Times about Cohen and his lyrics, in an article that makes for interesting reading – interesting enough to share.
Promises made, broken, unfulfilled; fragility of mind, body and spirit; this is the enduring reality of people’s lives despite all our sophisticated attempts at self-protection and insulation.
Religion aside, Conway’s take certainly set me thinking. Worth a read.