Leonard Cohen: I Wonder If My Brother

26 March 2018


I wonder if my brother will ever read this. He would no doubt repudiate it, gently I hope, he would say perhaps the sea is all the things you’ve said, dream machine, a glass eye and so forth, but even if its true it’s better left unsaid. Now I could tell him something which I never knew when I lived so close to him, that it is a luxury, this being able to leave things unsaid, a luxury enjoyed by very few. Children of the wind and water need not elaborate on what their blood knows, but how many can command this economy, how many more must scratch and paw the world in a thousand different ways just to establish the slightest connection with their true lives. Heroes and near-heroes, anointed children aimed at their waiting constellations, they may disdain to implore the horizontal world with words and organizing metaphors, but I do not have their balance, how many do, I am not aimed at anything, I am not about to ascend toward my glory, so I must blunder among my tetherings, I must bargain for what love I’ll get, outside my brief particular story no passion will unfold me, no particular has claimed me so I must indulge myself in the seedy politics of the general, and cry at gods to prove gods unreal, just as my brother and I used to cloud windowpanes with our breath so that we could draw on them with our fingers. He drew profiles for wich I designed complicated eyes, and no one asks you to decide which of our efforts was the more significant.
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Leonard Cohen
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