Middle-aged epiphanies, Leonard Cohen and the Lammas-point of life

Is 50 too late to start feeling middle-aged?

Or perhaps it’s to do with Lammas, the upcoming first harvest festival of the year. You see Lammas is when the first fruits are brought in. There’s still plenty to come but we’re well over the half-way point of the year. And when I came to think about this, skimming through various pagan calendars and wheels of the year, I realised that Lammas is the point I’ve reached in my life as well.

Much to my surprise, I’m okay with that.

So I’m not having a mid-life crisis this week, I’m celebrating the Lammas-point of my existence. I have two young children to look after. I’ve finished books (and they’re starting to get rejected at an altogether higher level than ever before!) and I like our house. I’ve even managed to get married and my job still clings on to a little bit of social value.

On top of those those classic material signifiers, I can do a headstand in yoga for the first time (take that aching joints and saggy bits) and I’ve finally started to understand why people make such a fuss about Charles Mingus (or Autechre). Plus, there’s an element of the sacred knocking at the door of my soul for the first time in a while.

Leonard Cohen got there first, of course. At the age of 54, he released ‘I’m Your Man’, a blueprint for how to look at the world from the craggy heights of one’s fifties (and clearly his current record performs the same trick if you’re warily contemplating your late seventies).

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within
I’m coming now, I’m coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

Well, yes. I’ve had the 20 years of boredom. I’m as sick and tired of trying to change the system from within as a man can be. And God knows I want Berlin and Manhattan.

Ah remember me, I used to live for music
Remember me, I brought your groceries in
Well it’s Father’s Day and everybody’s wounded
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

It’s me! Leonard is singing directly to me! I could quote lines from every song on the album but I’ll settle for one more.

Yeah my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play
And I’m crazy for love but I’m not coming on
I’m just paying my rent every day
Oh in the Tower of Song

“I’m just paying my rent everyday/In the Tower of Song”. I feel that’s where I’m living. Believe it or not, it’s a good location to finally launch that all-out assault on Manhattan.

About Dad Who Writes (Gabriel)

Writing, reading, listening, parenting... On Twitter as @dadwhowrites. View all posts by Dad Who Writes (Gabriel)

11 responses to “Middle-aged epiphanies, Leonard Cohen and the Lammas-point of life

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