Before becoming a rock star, Leonard Cohen was a published poet. His first book, Let Us Compare Mythologies was published in 1956. All the poems in that book were a collection of poems he had written between the ages of 15-20 years old. In the 1960’s he started setting his poems to music. Essentially all his music is his poetry, hence his nickname, The poet of brokenness. Being a songwriter of exceptional emotional power combined with his baritone voice earned him the honor to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 and a Grammy for lifetime achievement in 2010. His poems and music will live on as a reminder that between work, family, deadlines, the latest fashion trend, we tend to forget about the little things in life, and we need someone or something to remind us of what really matters.
For that reason, we’re looking at 15 quotes by Leonard Cohen about this very topic. The poet and composer left this world two years ago, but not before leaving a legacy and many quotes that we can all take something away from to appreciate the little things.
The baggage we carry around from our past can adversely affect what we are trying to become. It might be easier said than done to just let go of the past, but the more we hold on to it, the heavier the burden it will be on our lives to enjoy the little things.
“How can I begin anything new with all of yesterday in me?”
“Do not be a magician – be magic!”
―from, Beautiful Losers
“I don’t want to be a star, merely dying.”
Sometimes it’s best to let go of the reins and enjoy the ride. Other times, it’s the only thing we can do. You might not be living the life you envision when you were living the wonder years, but life is a roller coaster, so whatever point you’re at, appreciate the lows because they are needed to reach the highs. Just make sure to buckle up.
“If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.”
“As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder. ”
― from, The Favorite Game
“The older I get, the surer I am that I’m not running the show.”
“It doesn’t matter what you do because it’s going to happen anyway.”
“A heavy burden lifted from my soul,
I heard that love was out of my control.”
As you grow older, you realize that nobody and nothing will ever be perfect. The sooner you realize this and accept that the imperfections are actually what makes life beautiful, you will develop an appreciation for the imperfections.
“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
―from, Selected Poems, 1956-1968
“It’s time that we began to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again.”
“To discover the truth in anything that is alien, first dispense with the indispensable in your own vision.”
Life is fragile. One day we’re here and the next is not guaranteed, as cliché as that may sound. Everyone is going through something, so be kind to others and be remembered as someone who truly knew the meaning of love.
“We’ve got to learn to love appearances.”
“We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love we disappear.”
“The cutting of the gem has to be finished before you can see whether it shines.”
Sometimes, disconnecting from the world (especially social media) is good for the soul. Being bombarded every day with food, travel, and baby pics is draining. Not to mention all the current events and political news.
“Going nowhere … isn’t about turning your back on the world; it’s about stepping away now and then so that you can see the world more clearly and love it more deeply.”
“Don’t write about ideas… Write about convictions of the heart.”
JotDownWe get so wrapped up in the trivialities of life that we forget to appreciate and be grateful for the little things. Leonard Cohen left us his art, and oh boy was it beautiful, from his poetry to his songs. My personal favorite, “I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you, I’m glad you stood in my way.” Relationships and people are such an important part in our lives and somethings what causes us the most grief. This quote reminds us that nothing is permanent, so as long as it lasts, enjoy every second of it.
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