Sunday, April 24, 2011
I always take the iPod when I head up there, primarily because it’s a lonely hike; I’ve never seen anyone else on that trail. But also because I know that Leonard Cohen, at one time a resident of the Zen Center, occasionally returns for a visit, and I like to fantasize that one day I will arrive at the flat to find him standing quietly, looking down to the valley below, contemplative as always, perhaps composing some song lyrics in his head. I am determined not to intrude upon his reverie if this ever happens. However, should he deign to speak to me, I’ll have the iPod for a conversation starter. I imagine it will go something like this:
LC: What are you listening to on that damned thing?
Me: At the moment, Loreena McKennett… but to be honest, Mr. Cohen, I have far more of your stuff on here than hers. And I gotta tell ya, I think Rufus Wainwright did the best cover of “Hallelujah.” It’s brilliant.
OK, you’re right, sounds too much like starry-eyed chatter. If I ever see him, I shouldn’t even acknowledge that I recognize him, just nod, eat my snacks quietly, and head back down.
I practiced that today—eating my snacks quietly, I mean, while I scanned the upper slopes for deer. Well, except for a few brief moments while I sang along with Bob Dylan on “Love Minus Zero/No Limit.” Then I started back down, the clouds having nearly filled the canyon with fog. And there they were, two does leaping away, thirty feet below me. I watched their tails bob in retreat, and found myself softly singing “Hallelujah” as I walked back home through the misty forest.