"come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

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juneC
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby juneC » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:24 pm

Dear Geoffrey, Violet,

I don’t know if this is of any use to you Geoffrey in respect of Violet’s ‘list’ idea but I have looked again at the various tributes available on line by those who were - it would seem - well acquainted with Leonard and copied here what I felt were the more pertinent passages in respect of Leonard’s health in the months/weeks prior to his death or articles posted just after he died. They aren’t in chronological order but all the links to where I picked them up from are included just above them. I realise you will have already read them at some point but this is just my attempt to collate any quotes I could find that seemed relevant to this post and hopefully from reliable sources. Jx

http://slippedisc.com/2016/11/leonard-c ... st-letter/

LEONARD COHEN’S LAST LETTER

November 11, 2016 by norman lebrecht

- See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2016/11/leonard-c ... Saxeg.dpuf

It was a death he foretold to a mutual friend, in an email sent 30 days ago, on October 12.
He would have liked to be part of our project, Leonard wrote, but his strength was fading and he was confined to bed. And more, besides.
He did not need to write that letter. We knew he was gravely ill. But Leonard never left his lines unfinished. Seldom have I seen evidence of death faced with greater courage, certainty – and exquisite courtesy.
Aside from being his country’s greatest musician and the poet of our lives, Leonard Cohen was the kindest, most considerate of men. A mensch in a world full of monsters.
‘I am ready, my Lord,’ he whispered in what would be his final song.

David Remnick of the New Yorker:

And there’s the element of time, which is powerful, with its incentive to finish up. Now I haven’t gotten near finishing up. I’ve finished up a few things. I don’t know how many other things I’ll be able to get to, because at this particular stage I experience deep fatigue. . . . There are times when I just have to lie down. I can’t play anymore, and my back goes fast also. Spiritual things, baruch Hashem”—thank God—“have fallen into place, for which I am deeply grateful.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/20 ... 9ad88135e3

He said, “If I keep writing the verses and discarding the slogans, even the hip ones, even the subtle ones, then something will emerge that represents.” He told Remnick that he still heard the voice of God but now it was not judgmental. “It's very compassionate at this stage, more than any time in my life. I don't have that voice that says you're f*cking up. That's a tremendous blessing, a tremendous blessing. I'm ready to die. I hope it's not uncomfortable. Spiritual things, thank God, have fallen into place, for which I am deeply grateful.

At a press conference at the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles three weeks before his death, Cohen softened the statement he'd given Remnick that he was ready to die, and, to the audience's amusement, made light of it by saying that he intended to live forever. But the subtext was undeniable--here was a man at peace with himself and his creator.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/leo ... e32870140/

It was a mild day for mid-November in Montreal when Leonard Cohen’s funeral was held last Thursday in the city he always considered home, even after years of living in Los Angeles.
One of his best songs, In My Secret Life, included the words “I know what is right/And I’d die for the truth.” And in the end, those lyrics segued into Cohen’s secret funeral.
About 15 people attended the graveside ceremony and burial in the Jewish section of Mount Royal Cemetery.
“As Leonard requested, there were only a few old and close friends,” said Robert Kory, Cohen’s L.A.-based manager.
He said Cohen wanted his funeral to be simple, absolutely traditional and in compliance with Jewish law, with the body placed in a casket.
“It was as elegant and profound as he wished,” Kory said. “The rabbi spoke, the cantor spoke, and we recited Kaddish [the Hebrew prayer for the dead].”
In late September, Cohen told a friend – another former Montrealer living in L.A. – that he had only six weeks to live. That turned out to be accurate.
Amazingly, though Cohen died before dawn on Tuesday last week, Kory was able to work closely with the rabbi, the cantor and others to keep the funeral plans secret for more than two days.
“I was fortunate enough to have people at all levels to respect Leonard’s wishes,” he explained. “One doesn’t usually find that level of integrity in a chain of people you don’t necessarily know.”

http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/leo ... de-public/

Cohen died Monday in Los Angeles and was buried Thursday at the Shaar Hashomayim cemetery in Montreal, his hometown, according to reports citing a statement from Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, an Orthodox synagogue in the Westmount neighbourhood of Montreal.
“Leonard’s wish was to be laid to rest in a traditional Jewish rite beside his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents,” the statement said. He maintained “a lifelong spiritual, musical, and familial connection to the synagogue of his youth.”
A Cohen family plot is located just through the front gates of the Jewish cemetery near the base of Mount Royal, The Toronto Star reported. The only evidence of Cohen’s burial is unsettled earth covered by fallen brown leaves in front of an unmarked gravestone, according to the newspaper.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/17/arts/ ... pe=article

“He felt the window getting narrower,” said Patrick Leonard, a producer and songwriter who had worked closely with Mr. Cohen on his last three albums. “He wanted to use the time as productively as he could to finish the work that he was so good at and so devoted to.

At times this year, people who wrote to Mr. Cohen — usually a dependable correspondent on email — got an automatic response. Chris Douridas, a host on the California public radio station KCRW, got a terse “Unable to read/reply,” and got a worried feeling.
“It told me that he was unplugging from the digital world,” Mr. Douridas said.

But that message was also Mr. Cohen’s way of keeping distractions at bay while he worked. In the weeks and months before his death, he appears to have engaged in as much creative activity as he could handle. Mr. Leonard said that he emailed Mr. Cohen a set of new R&B tracks the morning he died. Other friends spoke of dining with him just days before.
Mr. Douridas said that after the event, he asked Adam Cohen whether fans could expect another album. “He genuinely seemed to not know the answer to that question,” Mr. Douridas said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/06/fashi ... ebook&_r=0

Rites of Passage
By SHOZAN JACK HAUBNER DEC. 6, 2016
The last time I saw him, he looked epiphanic and light, as if he were disappearing. There was great pain in his eyes, and his breath was heavy.

He told me that during his stay in India after his years at our Zen monastery, something clicked and he found a peace inside that had never left him. “This stuff works,” he said. “Somehow everything I’ve been doing all these years comes down to the work I did with Roshi.”
He played his new album for me. At the end, gorgeous, soft strings set the tone, lulling you into a drifting, pensive melancholy. Then his voice emerges with the wish for a treaty of love. He sat in silence before me, this aged, tiny, impeccably dressed poet, his black fedora tilted lightly on his head, his voice booming all around us.
When I heard those final lines, it was like he split me open with a ray of light. My face grew hot, my heart pounded. I was sobbing inside. I knew he was saying goodbye to all of us.

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/ ... preciation

11/11/2016 by Chris Willman
Why he agreed to come out in public and chat for a bit less than a month before the end is a mystery. Maybe someone on his business side decided it was a bad idea to release a record while making the world think you’re on your deathbed, even if you kind of are. Maybe he had a fleeting recovering where he really did feel like he had another album or two in him, as he said he did in that conversation -- always with the addendum “God willing” (or “but one never knows”). Maybe he thought he’d gotten a little too Zen about it all and decided raging just a little against the dying of the light is OK. But it was heartening to be in that room, see his broad smile, and hear him say things like, “If you’re lucky, things deepen between members of a family. If you’re not lucky, they don’t. If you’re unlucky, they deteriorate. I’ve been lucky. I have close relationships with my few friends and my family members and my grandkids. So, so far, so good. I hope it continues to deepen. I have every faith that it will.”

Producer PATRICK LEONARD, who worked on Cohen’s final albums, recalls the singer’s tireless work ethic in the face of illness, As told to Camille Dodero.

I wasn’t with Leonard when he died, but I’m certain that until he couldn’t hold a pen in his hand, he was working. That’s the way Leonard was. He had been weak and ill for a while, but he was working all the time. The hours in a day that he could work were narrowing, but the determination was still there. I think it was clear that the end was in sight, but I don’t think his October release You Want It Darker is him leaning toward mortality: Go back and listen to his first album [1967’s Songs of Leonard Cohen] — there are mortality issues there. The songs we were working on before he died were really light R&B, beautiful Leonard Cohen love songs. Another project we were working on was an extension of You Want It Darker’s reprise of “Treaty.” We had 10 arrangements written and half of them recorded already -- beautiful melodic arrangements -- without his voice on them. Maybe they will see the light of day. I don’t know.


http://www.jewishjournal.com/religion/a ... hens_rabbi

by Rabbi Mordecai Finley
Posted on Nov. 16, 2016 at 3:54 pm

I last saw Leonard Cohen a few months ago. He had asked me to come to his place. After brief pleasantries, he said to me, “Reb, I am getting ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. I have some questions for you.”
He and I had spoken about “Hamlet” more than a few times. I knew the play and especially the soliloquy were close to his heart, and, at that moment, closer than ever. He knew he was soon not to be, at least in this frail frame. I remember thinking to myself, “I have to remember every word we say. ”One day, with his children’s permission, maybe I will be able to write about that conversation that began with “Hamlet.”
He sent me poetry he was working on (I think I was on a list) until the week before he passed. He wrote me on Friday that he wished he could come to shul to hear my new series of talks on a deep dive into Genesis. He died on Monday. 
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Geoffrey
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby Geoffrey » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:28 pm

thank you to those who mention me, as despicable and undeservedly as i am. were it possible to run a damp sponge over the blackboard and begin with a new chalk i would do so in an instance, for it is at such times i seriously question the profit my presence to this community provides. i see myself as an inarticulate busybody who's ramblings contribute nothing but insensitive discord. how leonard's management, family and circle must detest the interference of such an unimportant, talentless wretch such as myself. how they must wish to the centre of their hearts that this campaign against their integrity would halt, that this prickle be removed from their bed linen and allow them to sleep easy. it is at times such as these that one understands better the dilemma in leonard's line: i thought i saw an eagle, but it might have been a vulture.
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby solongleonard » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:34 pm

Geoffrey wrote:thank you to those who mention me, as despicable and undeservedly as i am. were it possible to run a damp sponge over the blackboard and begin with a new chalk i would do so in an instance, for it is at such times i seriously question the profit my presence to this community provides. i see myself as an inarticulate busybody who's ramblings contribute nothing but insensitive discord. how leonard's management, family and circle must detest the interference of such an unimportant, talentless wretch such as myself. how they must wish to the centre of their hearts that this campaign against their integrity would halt, that this prickle be removed from their bed linen and allow them to sleep easy. it is at times such as these that one understands better the dilemma in leonard's line: i thought i saw an eagle, but it might have been a vulture.
OMG I always heard that line as "I thought I saw Ute Egle" , a reference to one of my very favourite LC fans here.

thank you so much, Sir Chris, for that clarification.
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Geoffrey
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby Geoffrey » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:50 pm

juneC wrote:I don’t know if this is of any use to you Geoffrey in respect of Violet’s ‘list’ idea but I have looked again at the various tributes available on line by those who were - it would seem - well acquainted with Leonard and copied here what I felt were the more pertinent passages in respect of Leonard’s health in the months/weeks prior to his death or articles posted just after he died . . .
my dear june. this list is worth gold, has saved me much research. will go through it and see what can be used. thank you, i adore you xxx :-)
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juneC
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby juneC » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:38 pm

Geoffrey wrote:
juneC wrote:I don’t know if this is of any use to you Geoffrey in respect of Violet’s ‘list’ idea but I have looked again at the various tributes available on line by those who were - it would seem - well acquainted with Leonard and copied here what I felt were the more pertinent passages in respect of Leonard’s health in the months/weeks prior to his death or articles posted just after he died . . .
my dear june. this list is worth gold, has saved me much research. will go through it and see what can be used. thank you, i adore you xxx :-)


Love you too Geoffrey ღღღ
Jx
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Geoffrey
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby Geoffrey » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:44 am

hello everyone :-)

thank you so much again, dear june, for the recent diligent research you contributed to a thread that was started with the intention of discussing, and perhaps eventually uncovering, what happened during leonard's final hours. i still don't know whether or not it would be wiser to filter the information to a minimum, so as not to make everything seem complicated. let us use a little time to consider our approach. the problem is basically quite simple: leonard died, and the circumstances remain a mystery.

thank you to violet also, for several times having had the courage to write what we others might only dare to think. i am also in the debt of many others who have enriched our conversation with information and inspired opinions. we have had one or two occasions of frivolity, when the seriousness of this debate has been put on pause - and that too is fine. we sometimes need a little light relief in order to relax, take a breather, and come back with renewed vigour.

for my part, i am more adamant than ever to somehow learn of the events leading to leonard's death - but remain uncertain of exactly how to proceed. as i wrote earlier, with the management's continued silence there appears no alternative but to initiate a proper investigation - and it seems others share this conclusion. it may be that there is not so very much more to learn; leonard was alone, fell, died, end of story - but why then can't they simply be open and say so?

it may be that the management's 'lacking' statement is merely an example of inefficiency, that they worded an announcement that needlessly encouraged the launching of many questions, ones that they had no intention of ever answering. was leonard alone when he died, or was he not? sadly, the reluctance by the management to comment, suggests there is something to hide.

-geoffrey
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby MaryB » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:34 pm

Geoffrey wrote:leonard was alone,
-geoffrey
If he was as ill as we have all been led to be believed, how could he have been alone. In circumstances such as these, there is normally a caregiver :shock:
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juneC
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby juneC » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:28 pm

MaryB wrote:
Geoffrey wrote:leonard was alone,
-geoffrey
If he was as ill as we have all been led to be believed, how could he have been alone. In circumstances such as these, there is normally a caregiver :shock:

Hi Mary

Wouldn't Kezban have had her room on the same level as Leonard so she would always be at hand should he need anything? I remember when David Remnick interviewed Leonard at the end of summer Leonard said “I am extremely blessed. I have an assistant who is devoted and skillful” I also remember it made me smile when Leonard said to Kezban at the beginning of the interview “Sorry darling, could you bring my hearing aid I can’t hear a fuck all” :)
I know Lorca lived below her father but she has got Viva and baby Lyon to care for so I imagine she still slept below :?:
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juneC
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby juneC » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:03 pm

Geoffrey wrote:hello everyone :-)

thank you so much again, dear june, for the recent diligent research you contributed to a thread that was started with the intention of discussing, and perhaps eventually uncovering, what happened during leonard's final hours. i still don't know whether or not it would be wiser to filter the information to a minimum, so as not to make everything seem complicated. let us use a little time to consider our approach. the problem is basically quite simple: leonard died, and the circumstances remain a mystery.

thank you to violet also, for several times having had the courage to write what we others might only dare to think. i am also in the debt of many others who have enriched our conversation with information and inspired opinions. we have had one or two occasions of frivolity, when the seriousness of this debate has been put on pause - and that too is fine. we sometimes need a little light relief in order to relax, take a breather, and come back with renewed vigour.

for my part, i am more adamant than ever to somehow learn of the events leading to leonard's death - but remain uncertain of exactly how to proceed. as i wrote earlier, with the management's continued silence there appears no alternative but to initiate a proper investigation - and it seems others share this conclusion. it may be that there is not so very much more to learn; leonard was alone, fell, died, end of story - but why then can't they simply be open and say so?

it may be that the management's 'lacking' statement is merely an example of inefficiency, that they worded an announcement that needlessly encouraged the launching of many questions, ones that they had no intention of ever answering. was leonard alone when he died, or was he not? sadly, the reluctance by the management to comment, suggests there is something to hide.

-geoffrey


Dear Geoffrey

I think I omitted to post the links to the complete David Remnick interview, which might be worth another read/listen - although possibly not particularly useful for this particular quest - It is for me anyway because it's still a joy, although bittersweet, to hear Leonard speaking... and there are after all a few references there, both from Leonard and David Remnick as to the state of his health even as it was in late summer of last year.

This is the audio version link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxHdbDO76fY

and this is the link to the interview as it appeared in The New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/ ... -it-darker

jCx
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Geoffrey
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby Geoffrey » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:44 pm

thank you, june. i had found these links a while ago, and downloaded the audio with leonard's interview. it was there i noted his optimistic and enthusiastic frame of mind. thank you, anyway - your assistance has been encouraging and invaluable.

concerning leonard's death: as earlier revealed, i wrote to leonard's manager, mr kory, on 23rd december, asking for a comment to my questions. naturally, i used the email address that appeared on the statement (reproduced on page 2 of this long thread), but am now wondering whether this could partly explain why i have received no reply. you see, last night i went through some old emails from about 18 months ago, and came across one or two from him that had escaped my memory. they were merely about payment for a video that leonard and i had discussed, although that is not important here and now. anyway, i noticed on these old emails that his address differed from the one on the top of his statement about the death. now, why would anyone put a defunct email address on such an important document, and would it be possible for him to be uninformed of our discussion here on his client's website?

one other thing: actress carrie fisher died in los angeles on 27th december 2016. yesterday, 9th january, the associated press obtained her death certificate (giving the cause of death as cardiac arrest), from the los angeles department of public health. is there anybody in the los angeles area (or anywhere in USA) interested in obtaining leonard's death certificate? it would give the cause of death, secondary conditions contributing to death, his marital status as well as the name of the informant.

http://www.tmz.com/2017/01/09/carrie-fi ... ch_Results
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby Violet » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:05 pm

Hi Geoffrey.

You know, when I referred to "public records" I thought you understood that that pertained to obtaining a death certificate. That's how a death is publicly recorded.

June,

That was terribly kind and helpful to put together those excised portions of pertinent information. I had read through them all, although doing so made me terribly sad again.

--oh, and nice to see your pretty face.

Anyway, Geoffrey, June, I have some pressing matters I have to see to on my own behalf just now, so I'm not sure how much time I can devote to any of this just at present.

We shall see.

Violet
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Geoffrey
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby Geoffrey » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:50 pm

hei violet. i will appreciate for a long while the time you have already given to this discussion, and understand that you have other matters to which you must attend - it is the same with myself. my television was thrown away years ago, but the computer is usually switched on in the lounge when i am home, and i frequently check for messages as i pass by. it's always good to see your name, so i hope you will drop in whenever it is convenient.

about the death certificate: i have tried to obtain this, filled in the necessary papers, but then discovered it cannot be sent electronically, only by traditional 'snailmail' - unless i have misunderstood completely. that would certainly incur an unnecessary long delay. i was wondering if it might be an idea, therefore, to approach the same TMZ website that obtained carrie fisher's death certificate and ask if they might do the same with leonard cohen. do you, or anyone else, think that might be worthwhile?

http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/dca/vr ... ev2007.pdf
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby Violet » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:45 pm

.. nothing to do with the death certificate business.. but a little bit of poetry for you Geoffrey that I just came upon while online. It's to say that perhaps this thread has also to do with all of our comforting each other:

Look at us, said the violets blooming at her feet, all last winter we slept in the seeming death but at the right time God awakened us, and here we are to comfort you.

~Edward Payson Rod
Violet
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby Geoffrey » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:54 am

thank you, dear violet, for reprinting such poetical words about resurrection. here is another poem, this time by robert burns: "pleasures are like poppies spread, you seize the flower and it's bloom is shed; or like the snow falling to the river, a moment white - then gone forever"

in the 'news' section people gladly discuss details concerning which of leonard's CDs are authorised, which magazine covers he's on, etc. - yet apparently have zero interest in whether or not he lay suffering for hours on a bathroom floor. if it were bob dylan, everyone would be clamoring to find out why or how he died, but because it's leonard - nobody really gives a shit. poor leonard.
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Re: "come forth from the cloud of unknowing . . ."

Postby Cheshire gal » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:25 am

I care Geoffrey. I would very much like to know how Leonard died. The information given to us by The Management, does seem odd. I cannot imagine Leonard being left alone when he was so obviously weak and in so much pain.
I find it very hard to contemplate what his last day/evening was like.

Thank you Geoffrey for keeping this from being forgotten.
'...and here's a man still working for your little smile' -Leonard Cohen
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