Have you gathered I am working my way through an obsession with Leonard Cohen? As a present personification of what it means to be an artist. Maybe that's it. Or not art, not that pastime of the rich and idle. What it means to be really human. This protest against the disappearances of time that is Hiroshige's art and Szymborska's poems and Julian's shewings and songs like this. These things, some of which we've taken to calling art, but which are really all our stands against desolation, the gardens we grow and small dances we dance. Or maybe just as a solemn testimony to the power of solemn testimony. The committment to be a voice singing brokenly from any broken hill as here he sings to the people of Warsaw, Poland, in 1985.
Do you remember what was going on then there?
Do you feel what is going on now anywhere?
Faithfully unfaithful, wading through indubitable doubt, here he still sings to me and you if you are listening. But the comments on YouTube are full of flaming f-bombs quarelling over who has which bit of trivia correct, whose taste in music ought to prevail. Mixed through it all, a kind of breathless and maybe blasphemous hero-worship. When our response ought to be a singing of our own.
Are we creatures of a higher order?
Are we of good will no matter what side we're on?