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Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Fri May 09, 2014 3:53 pm
by lizzytysh
Hi daka ~

My feeling is that the bench will be monumental for Leonard's 80th birthday and leaves plenty of room for more life and more monumental acknowledgements for his milestone birthdays [or more often, if desired]. The cigarette idea is cute; however, for me, it doesn't represent the core Leonard. The cigarette is secondary to who he is and all that he's accomplished, at least a number of those years without a cigarette. When I think of Leonard, I don't think of cigarette in hand. He may still decide not to smoke when he turns 80. No guarantees on that until his 80th year has passed... until he's 81. Leonard's admiration for Lorca would make a bench in the Lorca square, facing Lorca, feel quite appropriate.

Well, anyway, that's it for now, as I've gotta leave ;-) . Maybe I'll comment more later on this. At least you're bringing more thoughts to the table during our waiting period for approval! And ideas that can hold up for 90th and 100th birthdays, though, I feel his birthplace of Montreal would be best for at least the latter. I like Hydra as a commemoration site because it will be more common to more people coming there from all over the world as a kind of 'pilgrimage' to where Leonard once lived and produced so much.


All the best,
Lizzie

Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Fri May 09, 2014 4:21 pm
by daka
Thanks for your thoughtful comments Lizzie.

I agree generally that the cigarette itself is not that meaningful BUT when taken in the context of his stated decision to have one on his 80th birthday (delivered by a nurse on a tray) I think it does take on a special significance. Cigarettes were a huge part of his life for so many years, intricately woven into the fabric of his artistic life. Have a look at Leonard smoking in a video and you will see an expression of hedonistic holiness, it almost seems like a sacrament to him. When he quit I suspect he did so reluctantly, logically, without much choice, in order to preserve his life and his ensure his musical and literary productivity. I suspect he will have that one cigarette on his birthday and stop there.

I quit smoking in 1982 and it almost killed me, depression for 6 months, anxiety, unhappiness, and it finally lifted. When I have one in his honor on his birthday it will be only one. If I can afford it (very doubtful) I will buy a bottle of Chateau Latour and drink it while smoking that one cigarette. If I cannot afford the Chateau Latour I will buy the most expensive French wine I can afford. I will be praying for a nurse to manifest as I definitely will not be able to afford to hire one too.

You may be right about the cigarette but I would be interested in knowing what Leonard's preference would be, a statue with or without a cigarette. I suspect he would prefer the cigarette.

Now I have a new idea; since the Chateau Latour is so bloody expensive maybe I could share a bottle with few other LC fans in England if there were a get-together :)

Sean in Windermere

Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Fri May 09, 2014 5:00 pm
by dick
Great thread this is ......

My vote is still for the Hydra bench as 80th, and very much like statue facing Lorca for future tribute.

I too thought of cigarette, but my suffering with them and the societal damage they cause makes me prefer to leave that aspect to LC to handle as he wishes. Don't think fan appreciation adds much.

We did a Cohen meeting with Chateau La Tour a few years ago. Nice tribute, but indeed expensive!

Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 1:59 pm
by ursula48
Hi, friends, I do like daka's idea! Plaza Santa Ana is a beautiful square in the old barrio de Las Huertas (kitchen garden quarter) where around 1600 a lot of gardens stretched behind the houses.
It's also the quarter of poets where famous Spanish poets lived (e.g. Lope De Vega, Diego Velasquez). So in my opinion it's the ideal place for a bench or/and statue of our beloved poet. And I believe Leonard would like to see his statue near his most revered Federico García Lorca.
I can imagine that because of the Premio Principe de Asturias the permission of Madrid's administration could be obtained. ulla

Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 6:14 pm
by lizzytysh
Not sure of the most delicate way of saying this [if there even is one], but for me because of our awareness of Leonard on so many levels relating to Leonard, and so many wanting to visit Hydra for that very reason, we ought to hold to Hydra for Leonard's 80th. Then, either way, for Leonard's 90th or as a literal memorial bench, plan for one in the square in Plaza Santa Ana. He would know what's upcoming either way, and I feel that would be fine.

Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 7:25 pm
by daka
No need to be delicate here, Lizzy....I understood this to be more than just the 80th occasion but also a general contemplation of ways to acknowledge and celebrate Leonard's important place in our lives....One good thing is that we are in a position to involve him to some extent in this process as he has already said things about what he would not want, and Jarkko may be able to delicately feel him out on some of our thoughts here. Of course a bench in Hydra makes sense; possibly a Lorca-associated 'piece' (bench/statue) at some point would also be very meaningful. Leonard has said that he only found his 'voice' when he encountered the writings of Lorca and they do both seem to connect to us. Too bad you are not on this side of the pond, I would offer to share some Chateau Latour with you in his honour, that seems much more simple.

Sean

Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 9:42 pm
by lizzytysh
Oh, yes, more simple... and all of us could go in on the cost... just not lasting ;-)

Yes, Leonard's connection to Spain, via Lorca and Leonard's first guitar teacher are clear, yet so is Hydra... and the opportunity for many to visit I feel remains important.

Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:50 pm
by sturgess66
I'm just throwing this into the mix here - not relative to "what to do" - but something that "has been done."
I saw this on Leonard Cohen's Facebook site - someone named Ron Levy posted the picture - "From a winter evening around 2003 - at a subway station in Toronto."
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... e=1&ref=nf

From the "Jane & Bloor" subway stop in West Toronto
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_%28TTC%29

Image

Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:59 pm
by lizzytysh
I love that. I've seen various, notable quotes inside subway cars, too; however, as I recall they were also credited. Leonard was among those quoted.

Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 6:08 pm
by sturgess66
Actually - I'm not even sure if this is something written on the wall in the subway - OR - it has been written on a photograph - below the word "JANE." But - the picture is real at least - and if it is nothing but a "thought" by "Ron Levy" - either way - I like it. :D
The last time I lived Toronto - I used to live around there - near Bloor & Jane - in the West Village area of Toronto.

Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Tue May 13, 2014 11:05 pm
by Dem
Τhe subway photo looks photoshoped to me
but it would be very clever if it was real.

Ay, ay, ay Toronto!
How many memories.

PS) I remind you about a sketch of the bench
to take with me in Hydra in June.

Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 12:03 am
by Henning
Please take a seat.

Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 1:59 am
by Cate
Wonderful sketch!

Jane Station - I think the picture was photo shopped, I've been to Jane Station several times and never noticed anything written below the station stop (a great idea though). Sturgess you lived at Bloor and Jane ... the cherry Blossoms are out at High Park as are the geese.

Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:53 am
by liverpoolken
i know i'm in a minority of one but i still prefer a simply designed bench with no lines of poetry (with or without the first person singular pronoun) no logos no dates and with a just modest inscription to simply tell it's purpose .. anything else to me would have a memorial feel to it…ta ken
bench2.jpg

Re: How to celebrate Leonard's 80th birthday

Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:18 am
by friscogrl
Ken, I am leaning towards agreement with you. If there would be a line or song title I would go for Came so far for beauty and then maybe a simple statement such as In celebration of Leonard Cohen's 80th birthday. Nothing else.
Also I love the simple design of this bench.

Marsha