Eat Your Vegetables

It is hard to see Leonard Cohen’s fragility, his aging body letting him down. After all, doesn’t he deserve a few years of cheerful good health after serving us all so beautifully in The Grand Tour? No, God never works like that. It seems that the more you learn, the more you burn. The ashes becoming more prevalent than the cool clear waters of serenity.

I dreamt of Leonard quite some months ago. He told me to eat vegetables and finish my book. So I eat broccoli and write. Of course, if he told me to jump off a bridge, I wouldn’t do that. But broccoli seems an innocent enough request.

Aging is something inevitable if we live long enough. Now it is bearing down on us and we are caught in the crosshairs of indecision. Do I see more clearly these days in spite of outer eyesight dwindling? Have I come to embrace myself or do I continue on the path of self-protection? I know that I don’t know. What carries me forward is destiny. What carries me backward is self-protection. I am so good at that. But aren’t we all?

The melodies of “You Want It Darker” are darkening the light of false optimism, of course. Not a bad thing. I see myself becoming quieter and lonelier. The only thing to comfort me is just beyond the reach of my ego’s arms, so I must wait on something higher.

My son and I are at long last seeing clearly enough to put up with each other. For not to do that is to delay the return home. And home is where Leonard writes from. The home that knows more than any mortal ever can. The home without a net. The home on fire. Beyond that lies the mansions of heaven. And the moving van is on the way.

 What a quandary this album puts us in. We who love Leonard so deeply know that every work he gives us is for our growth. Have some broccoli. I can always get more.

Vicki Woodyard

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