News broke tonight of Leonard Cohen passing and it's a loss I feel greatly. Leonard Cohen had such a clear way of viewing the world, of taking the joy and the sadness and wrapping it in such beautiful poetry so even the darkness of the world felt more tolerable. He gave us words and songs that helped us (me) not to feel so alone and knowing that he is gone is sad.
Leonard Cohen's letter to his dying friend Marianne, of course, rings in my ears. His words feel like premonition, now:
"Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine."
It's strange to me, the way some people seem to have a sense that they are not long for this world. That he not only said as much in his letter to Marianne but also in his interview with The New Yorker, where he (now famously) said, "I am ready to die." Maybe it's all coincidence or maybe a part of him was finally at peace with the thing we spend our entire lives trying to fight.
This has been a heavy week in a heavy year. To lose Leonard Cohen is yet another blow that, at this point, feels like a kick to the ribs when we're already down. We've lost a lot of torchbearers in 2016, a lot of people who gave us light. Their loss feels so heavy because we're coming to understand that the burden lies with us now; it is our turn to carry the flame. I hope we are ready.