By Inna Rogatchi, Times of Israel—
Remembering Leonard Cohen on the 5th anniversary of his passing in the special series of artistic homages.
“This is not silence
This is another poem” – wrote that remarkable man back in 1958, when I was still a baby, and Leonard, who was from the generation of my parents, was a young poet of twenty four, and who already then said that he ‘knows the silence’.
This man was a pride of Jews and the world: sublime talent in literature, music and painting, genuine warmth, fantastic humour, elegant modesty, rare charm, self-ironic dignity, and immense magnetism. We all were blessed by his presence at our age. I am positive that anyone who once visited Cohen’s concert left the premise becoming a bit better person. I am also positive that that was the real mission of Leonard’s earthly life: to make many of us a bit better by his own inner light, would it be via a couple of lines, or a song which would jump into your subconsciousness for good, or a drawing which is drastically different from anything you saw and is so honest intellectually that it let you to hear the artist voice speaking to you through his as if a bit naive lines.
And we personally, my husband and I, we were very blessed by Leonard’s always amazing and always warm and smiling presence in our both lives. Five years on since you cannot speak with Leonard any longer, his ring is on my husband’s desk in the most central place, just in front of Michael’s eyes, his photos with his autographs to us are in my study and in our dining room, and his books, also autographed, are everywhere, and are read often. The only thing still problematic during these five past years is Leonard’s records. To my own surprise, I still find it uneasy to listen to his records because his voice makes the missing worse.
Towards this sad anniversary, commemorating the five years since Leonard Cohen’s passing, we were asked to prepare a special presentation of our both’ art dedicated to our beloved man.
I am sharing it with a wide audience now remembering the man who ‘knew the silence’ , but who also knew in his masterhood how to ‘ring the bells’.
When Michael created his well-known Jewish Melody series, he did one of the best works in that very strong and universally admired collection as a homage to Leonard. The work Zion Waltz which is well-known today was inspired and is dedicated to Cohen. And he loved it. Michael did a special large version of the work and we sent it to Leonard to Los-Angeles. It was close to his 79th birthday. We heard from Cohen at once: “Michael, at my age, I am busy with giving my things to people. But not this one. Not this.” ( September 2013, Leonard Cohen’s letter to Michael Rogatchi. The Rogatchi Archive). Continue Reading….