Happy New Year

Here we are, on the second day of 2017, which like the first has dawned bright and sunny, at least in the Hamilton/Toronto area, and despite the bad news in other parts of the world. Let’s keep focused on Leonard Cohen’s lines, “Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything/that’s how the light gets in./ That’s how the light gets in.”

We lost Leonard on Nov. 7, but last night I was at my friend Mary Blum Devor’s 90th birthday party and we sang “Halleljuah,” one of Mary’s favourite songs, in his honour, played on guitar by her son Jack and nephew Leeav. I was very touched by an experience on the evening when Leonard’s death was publicly announced: I had not heard the news yet, and got on the TCC after seeing a play in Toronto. A woman sitting next to me suddenly turned to me and said, “Did you hear that Leonard Cohen just died? You look like you need to know.” This woman, her daughter (20-something), and I talked about Leonard and our love for his music for the next few subway stops, until I had to get off. This sharing of our love and our grief seemed a very Canadian moment.

Here is a haiku for 2017:

Twenty-seventeen,
What will you bring? what changes
will come our way?

A very happy birthday, Mary — mother, “bubbe,” friend, and psychotherapist — may this be a wonderful year for you, and all of us.

About Ellen

I am a member of The Writers Union of Canada, the League of Canadian Poets, and CANSCAIP. I have received grants from the Ontario Arts Council for both writing and teaching. I currently work with Learning Through the Arts and Living through the Arts, programmes run by the Royal Conservatory of Music that enable artists to work in schools and community organizations. I have also taught in many other school and community programs, and have been a judge for various writing contests for both young people and adults.
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