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Leonard Cohen’s 82nd birthday was on Wednesday of last week, and on that day, he released “You Want It Darker,” the title song for a new album that will arrive in stores on October 21, 2016. From the description at his website: “The first single and title track ... delves into an unflinching
exploration of the religious mind…. Cohen created this hypnotic groove with the addition of Montreal’s Cantor Gideon Zelermyer and the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue Choir, whose voices invoke a sound from Cohen’s youth.”
One of the recurring lines in the song is “Hineni hineni. I’m ready, my Lord.” For the non-religious among us, Devra First, of the Boston Globe explains: “In the Bible, when Abraham is called by God, he responds “Hineni.” It means “Here I am,” but it means something more, too — I am ready, I am at your call… Jacob and Moses, among others, also respond with the phrase when God comes calling. It is said at pivotal moments, when the person uttering it is wholly awake and aware. It is an active “I’m here,” not a passive one: Cohen is not just ready. He is waiting, he is calling.”
The lyrics are available at AZLyrics.
In Memoriam: Marianne Ihlen. In preparing this post, I learned that Marianne Ihlen died very recently. Ihlen had been Cohen’s lover and muse during the 1960’s, and she was the subject of his song "So Long, Marianne." Cohen sent her the following letter when he learned that she was dying:
Well Marianne it's come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine. And you know that I've always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom, but I don’t need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road.
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What is on your mind this morning?