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larger than life

Sometimes images are not planned, they develop organically from an experience that touches the soul, or a story begging to be told - this is an example of such a case.

My wife and I had traveled to Montreal for vacation and on the anniversary of the death of the musician Leonard Cohen. Prior to the trip I had known Cohen solely as the writer of the massively successful hit song ‘Hallelujah’, made famous by Jeff Buckley.

As we visited Montreal it became evident that not only was Cohen an admirable poet/songwriter/performer but a revered and beloved son of the city, After attending an exhibition celebrating his life (A crack in Everything) I became much more aware of this extraordinary and oft underrated man.

But Cohen lived a troubled life, fighting depression. This led to him retreating from society and living in a monastery for a number of years as an ordained Buddhist monk.

But what of the photograph? This was taken later in our visit, on a frigid, wet and snowy day. Choosing to shelter indoors for a period we visited the Museum of Fine Arts, and from within came across this highly pertinent and compelling view. As a display of reverence a portrait had been commissioned on the side of a 9 story tower block, a portrait I later discovered inspired by a photograph captured by his daughter, Lorca.

Noting the uncompromising weather conditions I had left my camera at the hotel, but I feel this opportune capture on the humble mobile phone befitting of the story I wish to portray.

So here stands Leonard Cohen, looking down on the city of his birth, and looked up to by those that still hold him as a giant, one of their own. A man larger than life in every respect.

I will leave you with one my favorite poetic refrains from the master himself;

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ‘til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
— Leonard Cohen

Rest in peace Leonard - larger than life, even in death.....