The year was 2000 and my best friend at the time was named Leigh. She was born and raised in California and moved to Georgia to care for her ailing grandmother. She was a newly divorced single parent and we met at the daycare. Leigh was unlike any of my other friends.  Her perspective on life was different, as her life experience was different. Mostly because she was raised on the West coast.  Up until that time in my life, I felt that I was well-versed in music…thinking of myself as an aficionado of sorts. Then Leigh introduced me to a few artists I’d not heard of, or listened to, and my life was changed forever.

Two words…Leonard Cohen.

Leigh and I would make it a point to get together once a week.  Sometimes we would take the kids to the park.  Sometimes we would go out to eat.  Sometimes one of us would host a sleepover and we would put the kiddos down and share a bottle of wine, while listening to music.  I really miss those days. There is nothing like having that girl time. One evening, over a bottle of Malbec, we listened to Leonard Cohen.  I had never heard of him before that night. I recall we were in the middle of a deep, philosophical talk, but I couldn’t concentrate…I wanted to hear Leonard.

His voice. His story. The lyrics.  The sound.  I was hooked. I felt I’d been deprived for not knowing of him sooner. And I later realized that it’s best that I discovered him when I did.  I can’t say I’d have been able to appreciate his depth.

I could go into a mini biography, a discography or list his most popular songs.  Instead, I want to leave you wanting to learn more about this fascinating gentleman.  I will share that my faves are:  “Famous Blue Raincoat, ” “Suzanne,” and “I’m Your Man.” He is an uncompromising artist who has stayed true to himself and the music. If you’re not familiar, I do hope you take a minute to listen.

I must mention this…I attended a conference in Chicago in 2008, with a few of my coworkers.  Our department was brand new, so none of us really knew each other. We were walking to the art museum, when I heard my coworker, David, singing “Famous Blue Raincoat” under his breath.  And I chimed in with the next verse. He was amazed that I knew of his music. We talked about Leonard Cohen for hours during the conference. It brought us together and although we now work in different fields, on different sides of the state, we are still close.  It was the man himself, Leonard Cohen, that helped solidify that friendship.  Such good memories!