Leonard Cohen on Creativity – BrainPickings

Sometimes in the low velvet of Leonard Cohen’s voice, you can hear the welcoming rumble of the earth.  I remember first hearing The Songs of Leonard Cohen and becoming an instant fan.  It was the songs, the poetry, the novels and the image too; timelessly astride the rock and roll world that was my usual fare.

The inspirational Maria Popova, over on Brain Pickings, selects some insights from Paul Zollo’s Songwriters on Songwriting.

Like most artists, Cohen has little truck with the illusion that inspiration is all and effortless.  I particularly enjoyed his distinction between work and employment:

“[fulfilling work] has a certain nourishment. The mental physique is muscular. That gives you a certain stride as you walk along the dismal landscape of your inner thoughts. You have a certain kind of tone to your activity. But most of the time it doesn’t help. It’s just hard work.

But I think unemployment is the great affliction of man. Even people with jobs are unemployed. In fact, most people with jobs are unemployed. I can say, happily and gratefully, that I am fully employed. Maybe all hard work means is fully employed.”

I think that resonates not just for artists but for all of us sovereign professionals.

Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah - 20 facts about Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah

(Photo: Clara Molden, via Telegraph.co.uk)



About Andrew Munro

An independent business consultant, interim manager and writer, Andrew operates through his company, Burning Pine Ltd (http://burningpine.com).
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