While puttering around the kitchen, I often have music in the background, usually of the soothing classical variety. But when I came in from outside on this brilliantly sunny summer day in the Umbrian countryside, I was met by the unmistakable, raspy voice of Leonard Cohen singing “Suzanne.” What could he be doing here? Fish out of water?
My awareness of Leonard Cohen came late in life. One day his “Halleluiah” sent me reeling. I found myself trying to sort out the words amid the mystery:the danger of David gazing at Bathsheba and going for broke. In fact that last is a key word
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Our place here was a total ruin, broken beyond belief, but we fixed it, and it seems to have had a similar effect on us. I usually only turn on Cohen’s music when I’m in a particularly sensitive mood, and I would not have guessed that today would be a day that he would “speak” to me. Yet I love the Italian way of saying that I am molto wrong,
something that comes up frequently in my life here:”ho sbagliato.”
As I think about it, Leonard Cohen is right for all places and seasons. He doesn’t appear to be someone who feels at home, except perhaps while singing about what it means to be human.