A torn raincoat.

I fell in love with Leonard Cohen late in life; I had been married several years already. Had I been a life-long fan, I might look at someone in my position with pity, or scorn – can someone who barely knows a man, really say they love him? (Or maybe that is the only time we can love anyone? – I digress).
Leonard Cohen spoke to me at a time when I needed him. He gave me words, where I had none, to name my pain. He sang to me through my breakdown, from across the years, and he helped me get better. I don’t think that’s an exaggeration, or melodramatic, though I know I romanticise at the best of times.
One lyric, particularly, has become like a mantra for me: “Thanks for the trouble you took from her eyes / I thought it was there for good / so i never tried”. For years, I had believed that my depression and the subsequent breakdown were things that I couldn’t change – that it was genetic, hereditary, and fixed inside me. I wanted to give up trying to feel better, thinking that this trouble was all there really was behind my eyes. I was defined by it.
It wasn’t simply a lyric that saved me – it was the support and help of many people, including mental health professionals – but perhaps it was the beginning of imagining there could be a different future for me, if I just tried.
RIP Leonard. Thank you, sincerely.

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