Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, amongst other incredibly prestigious awards, Leonard Cohen was featured in a “profile” columned article, telling The New Yorker intimate and essentially unknown details from his early and, of course, current life. The one-of-a-kind man, most commonly known for his 1984 original release of the continuously attempted and praised ballad “Hallelujah”, delved into his romance and undying love for the beautiful woman who graced the back of one of his many albums, Songs From A Room, wearing nothing but a mere towel, Marianne Ihlen. However, after pursuing one another, their lives took their unfortunately separate paths and the relationship eventually ceased “like falling ashes,” according to Cohen.
Years passed and, while the two stayed in touch, Cohen was blindsided by tragic news that Ihlen had failed to mention: she was suffering from cancer. It was an email from Ihren’s close friend in July of this year that informed Cohen of the few days she had left, to which he responded with,
“Well Marianne, it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine. And you know that I’ve always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom, but I don’t need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road.”
The crushing email reached his gravely sick love in time, bringing not only a warm smile, but peace.
Cohen went on to discuss his declining health and various work pieces that remain unfinished. He said,
“I don’t think I’ll be able to finish those songs. Maybe, who knows? And maybe I’ll get a second wind, I don’t know. But I don’t dare attach myself to a spiritual strategy. I don’t dare do that. I’ve got some work to do. Take care of business. I am ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable. That’s about it for me.”
Cohen’s newly released album, “You Want It Darker”, will be released on October 21.