Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Last Time We Saw You You Looked So Much Older...

Leonard Cohen
talks to Robert Enright about poetry, drawing, music and feeling better in the new issue of Border Crossings:

: My life was very painful for no reason that I could discern. Most of the time the background was anguish and almost everything I did, from the pursuit of women, drugs and religion to my monastic life, was to address this problem. The cover story was successful: I had money, I had fame, I had most of the things people want. So I felt ashamed about feeling bad. But honestly, to get from moment to moment was extremely difficult. The sense of anguish was acute. What happened was that the background of suffering totally dissolved.
...I read somewhere that as you get older, certain brain cells associated with anxiety die in some people. In any event, what happened was that I stopped suffering.

BC: Was this an epiphany, or was it gradual?

LC: It happened by imperceptible degrees over two or three weeks. I didn't even know it was happening, I just woke up one day and I said to myself, this must be what people feel like, I don't feel great, I don't feel bad. I know that if something bad happens, I'll be bummed out, but everything is okay, the background has dissolved. It's just an ordinary day, it isn't a struggle, it isn't an ordeal.