Ira B. Nadel and Stephen Scobie
Aaron Kahn and Barbara Whitney of LEC

From Stephen Scobie:

Montreal was full of memories, full of those moments that Leonard Cohen draws our attention to when he sings "Oh bless the continuous stutter / Of the word being made into flesh." Words in Montreal were certainly stuttering like that -- quite literally, as names long familiar from electronic text became flesh in front of you: Jarkko, Henning, Lizzie, Ania, Bill....

And on stage, the words of Beautiful Losers stuttered into ecstatic being in the profound and courageous performance of The Laboratory for Enthusiastic Collaboration. (I've never realised before how rich and central Edith is to that novel, until I saw Barbara Whitney inhabiting her.) Or Aaron Kahn's impassioned reading of Israel, from Book of Mercy. Or a particular moment on Sunday morning, when I was walking through the Old Port, and the sun was pouring down, yes, no other word for it, it was pouring down like honey on Our Lady of the Harbour.

Yet for all the celebration of Leonard's words, there was one transcendent moment that involved the words of another poet -- another Montreal poet, the late Frank Scott. We listened to a magnificent recording *) of Leonard reading one of Scott's poems (with luck, the track will be included on the new album). The poem is called Villanelle for Our Time, and it's important to know that "our time" meant 1943, the date of the poem's composition, at the heart of a war.

*) Leonard recorded the track to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Scott’s birth. Music and reading by Leonard, improvisations and background vocals by Anjani Thomas /info from Jarkko.

Suzanne Holland and Esther Cohen
in the front of Leonard's present Montreal house
From Chantal Cras, France:

My first memory is from the Friday evening. We begun to meet some attendees. We saw a man, standing downstairs the Moyse Hall. He was alone, may be waiting for someone, may be waiting for nothing.

We started to speak :
"Where are you from ? Are you a teacher ?"
" No at all, I'm Leonard's friend".
So, I do not why but I got a feeling and asked:
"Are you Krantz (of The Favourite Game) ?"
A few seconds of silence...
"Yes, I am".

What a deep emotion it was to stand in front of one of Leonard's best friends. Thanks a lot Mr. Morton Rosengarten for these precious minutes of pure happiness!

The second one was the attendance of Leonard's sister, Esther. We were happy to see her very touched and very proud for the Tribute.

Judith Braun (Germany) and Michael Wolkind (UK)

Christof Graf (Germany)

Ira S. Muffin and Eva Széll-Poola
From Eva Széll-Poola, Montreal:

Thank you for the ring you sent
Thank you for the monkey
and the plywood violin
Thank you for the Book you signed
Thank you for your thoughts you sent
Through the souls on earth
Thank you for the music
Thank you for your verse
Thank you for your insight
into our human curse.

Montreal. Leonard Cohen Event 2000

(Eva was the winner of the Quiz).

Photos © by Eija and Jarkko Arjatsalo, except photo of Ira and Eva © by Lizzie Madder. Used by permission.