A year ago on this day Leonard Cohen died. A year ago on this day I was recording what was to become my album.
A year has passed, Leonard Cohen is still dead, and I have released my album. Today I’m not in the studio but in the library, using the time my daughter is at nursery to catch up with work.
It feels strange to look back. To notice both the changes and the things that are constant.
The world seems to get progressively crazier every day, there’s uncertainty in everything. And yet the leaves outside look the same, yellows and browns, ready to decompose, and I am poised to fight the darkness that reliably descends upon me this time of the year, trying to pull me down and render me nonfunctional. These are constants. Funny how even adversarial constants can provide comfort - maybe it’s just having the impression that there’s some kind of cosmic order at work in all this chaos.
Another thing’s changed - I feel strangely optimistic. I think I have a bout of optimism every 10 years or so… but this time it feels like it’s actually based on something.
Yes. Things don’t look good on the surface. The world seems to be run by lunatics, there’s enough random shootings and terrorist attacks to unnerve the most insensitive souls; then there’s all those things that are being brought to light, like for example, the sheer scale of how women have been disrespected, harassed and abused and how no one’s given a damn.
But I feel optimistic because everything is so awful that it’s becoming impossible to look away. Because more and more people are bound to wake up.
But most of all because I know there’s so many of you out there who are out of place in this world - because all of this scares the hell out of you, because you try to do good things, because you speak up or at least try to not make things worse while you quietly despair.
There’s so many of you out there who help each other, show kindness, shake your head in disbelief, cry, feel angry and want things to change.
I feel optimistic, because for the first time I don’t feel powerless. I feel I have a voice and I want to use it. I’ve got each moment in my life to choose to make a difference… it might be on a microscopically small scale… but that doesn’t matter. Because I know, as Malvina Reynolds already pointed out: “they’ve got the world in their pocket - but the pocket’s got a hole…”