I can remember with absolute clarity the first time I heard Leonard Cohen's music in a top floor study bedroom in Barton Street London. The combination of that voice, the melodies, the album title 'Songs from a Room', & this particular photograph on the back cover went deep.
While I've never been a great Cohen listener or collector he stood for much that I love & respect. Watching the DVD of his most recent (& I suppose last) tour I was struck by his dignity, humility & awareness of the wider political context within which he was performing to his devoted followers. There was little of the mega star bravura & conceit. Rather, an astonishment - even wry amusement - that anyone should be listening.
"There is a crack in everything/ That's how the light gets in".
Much quoted & deceptively simple (for those with ears to hear it is a distillation of cabalistic thought).
Right now, there seems to be not so much a crack as a bloody great gash through everything. How dearly we need some light to come flooding in. What a bitter irony that at a time like this another voice of weighed & tempered words should disappear.