It feels awful being me. I am watching the old Bird On A Wire Documentary about Leonard Cohen and darned if he isn’t always speaking directly to the human condition. No wonder so many love him. Among other things, and I am paraphrasing, he strums his guitar and sings words to the effect that he hopes people know long after he is gone that he wasn’t “any good.”
And I am wrestling with that very issue. He also speaks of wanting to claim credit and praise for his work because he is so miserable and it takes a little pressure off.
So let me say it again and speak for you, too. “It feels awful being me.” In fact, every word I write is an effort to relieve the pain. And perhaps accidentally I relieve yours, but it is wrong of me to take credit for that. I feel the wrongness as a stale place inside of me.
In one scene, Leonard is having trouble with the audio equipment in another country and people are quite upset with him for not continuing to perform. He says that when people love him, he tries to return the love back to them. And if he isn’t happy with his performance, he isn’t able to do that.
And so he remains true to himself no matter what. And it is just as awful being Leonard Cohen as it is being me. As he writes in The Darkness, “The present’s not that pleasant. Just a lotta things to do.”
And so this is a launching pad for my own confessional and hopefully yours. This life is a rigged game. Nobody wins. If you counter my words by telling me how happy you are, I will think you are quite asleep in your life.
I walk about my house feeling the weight of this incarnation on me. So much I have done wrong and can never undo. So I write and often feel better because of it. But only temporarily.
The nightingales are always in someone else’s garden. But I do the best I can with what I’ve got. And singing along with Leonard, “It wasn’t any good….”