I Recall Leonard …

8 Nov

irecally     Through my eclectic life I’ve made both huge and miniscule mistakes, and always paid high prices for both.  One mistake of my youth – I’ll say at 15 years but I’m probably wrong – it was my usual good fortune to spend a day of music and bare feet in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, NYC with my fellow peace marchers during our “joint break” where we’d take off our smelly sandals, sit, sing, smoke, clap for the guitar players (of which I was one) and generally bask in our own company and camaraderie. My “mistake” was not knowing (yet) who the young Leonard Cohen was. The angst of youth>>>  youngleonard It was a sunny late summer day when Leonard walked through the archway to the park.  He looked clean.  Wearing dark blue jeans and sneakers, he also carried the required guitar case and an upward look to his face.  His eyes, like ours, looked straight ahead.  We all did that.  Today of course, everyone looks anywhere but at each other, no eye-contact, not even half-smiles, everyone’s encapsulated with cell phones glued to their heads. Leonard was looking our way.  I didn’t know him.  Nobody did. images29LOFN8M <<<the mellowed man

We all smiled and waved, since he was smiling at us.  I think he noticed the joint being passed.  He continued walking and of course, we went back to our “rap” about where we’d be trying to hold-up traffic next.  We were, of course, good folk-hippie peace marchers with a job to do.  On went our sandals. “I know that guy, he just made an album, his name is Leonard Cohen.  Sings like a girl.”  That’s how I recall first hearing his name. I’ve listened to Leonard’s unique stylings most of my life, and at first he had a sweet tender voice – it was, however, his poetry that appealed to me.  To this day, in his softly mellowed voice, I can hear the years of such wisdom, both kindly caustic and velvet rough.  Deep.  Smart and sarcastic, wise and self-deprecating.  “I love to speak with Leonard,” he sing-says.  “He’s a lazy bastard living in a suit.”  Perfect .  It’s not a voice one can explain, but you know him when you  hear him.  He’s a poet with the gift of describing the vagaries of the human condition.  I just adore him.   Look at me, Leonard…….  mellowleonard

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