It isn’t that in my life I had some inner vision that I’ve been trying to present. I just had the appetite to work. I think the appetite for activity was much more urgent than the realization of any search or vision. I felt that this was my work, and that it was the only work I could do. This sounds like the most hackneyed nineteenth-century platitude, but in the midst of my own tiny personal troubles, I was able to turn to art, or whatever you want to call it. I was able to turn to art, and in the making of art find solace and strength. I mean, this sounds terrible, but I turned to the thing I knew how to do and I made some songs out of it. And in the making of those songs, much of the pain in my life was dissolved, from time to time. And that is one of the things that I see that art does, is that it heals.
Leonard Cohen Interviewed by Mikal Gilmore, 2001. Accessed at Stories Done: Writings on the 1960s and Its Discontents by Mikal Gilmore (Free Press: 2008)
I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Sept 27, 2017.