Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Leonard Cohen on Travel

Leonard Cohen is such a favorite of mine, almost a guilty pleasure but even more so. He is the kind of close held thing that I cherish and don't tell others about. I would be too wounded if they didn't like it, or maybe my view of them would be diminished forever in the event they didn't appreciate or "get" him.

As a poet and songwriter, I knew his talents were supreme, but as commenter on the nature of daily life I hadn't seen much from him. This latest tidbit in a New York Times interview about his return to public performance stood out. Of course, he is talking about a very peculiar kind of travel known to touring performers, but I think it translates to a lot of jobs people do that involve a lot of travel:

“There’s a similarity in the quality of the daily life” on the road and in the monastery, Mr. Cohen said. “There’s just a sense of purpose” in which “a lot of extraneous material is naturally and necessarily discarded,” and what is left is a “rigorous and severe” routine in which “the capacity to focus becomes much easier.”

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