“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.”
Leonard Cohen wrote this letter for his one-time muse, Marianne Ihlen, as she was dying of leukemia earlier this year. The letter was made public in August with his blessing, and when I’d read it, it made me cry, this sentence in particular: “Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.” Because it was so beautiful, because I knew we were going to lose Leonard soon. It’s making me cry again tonight.
“You Want It Darker” is a lovely coda, but all the same, I’m sitting here listening to the old stuff tonight.