Sunday, November 09, 2008

There is a Crack in Everything. That's How the Light Gets in.

Last night I saw Leonard Cohen in concert in Cardiff and it was one of the finest concerts I have ever experienced. At 74 years old the voice is deep and sure and wondrous. His musicians and singers were all magnificent and the audience in raptures. It was a sublime event involving two and a half hours of many of Cohen's best known songs. "Thanks for keeping my songs alive". He said. Cohen was gracious, stylish, humble - yet always the poet. Referring to his previous stage tours fourteen years earlier he said "I was sixty then - just a kid with crazy dreams"!

"Ring the bells that can still ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in."

Anthem - Leonard Cohen

Just over a month ago I was in Ireland. We went over for a short break. starting with a visit to an old friend near Cork. Our friend lives in an old cottage way up in the hills. I was especially struck by a stone statue in the garden. I have no idea how old it is or who or what the lady represents. I just love it.

After Cork we headed West to County Kerry for a few days. We stayed close to Killarney Lakes in full view of the wondrously named MacGillacuddy's Reeks, the highest mountains in Ireland. Day one we toured the Dingle Peninsula and Day two we toured the Ring of Kerry. It was a lot of driving but the scenery was wonderful - the weather was good, too. The stretch of road at Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula was especially beautiful.

On our last day we took a trip through the Gap of Dunloe. A vintage bus picked us up and took us to the start of the gap. From there we shared a jaunting car with another couple and rode the seven miles through some stunning scenery. The final stage of the trip involved an eighty minute boat ride through the Killarney Lakes. We saw two White Tailed Eagles which have been introduced to the area.

That night we went to see Riverdance which happened to be on within walking distance of where we were staying. We had always wanted to see the show and were not disappointed. It's a spectacular show which lterally takes your breath away.

Now all eyes are looking towards Christmas and the rather unsure new year ahead. I have already donned my white beard and red costume for the scores of Father Christmas radio scripts which are likely to come my way in the next six weeks or so. I rather like being a Santa voice-over. It is comforting in a cheerful way which is a good thing. As Leonard Cohen said last night... he had to give up the discipline of religious order because the cheerfulness kept breaking through.