In the summer of 1972, I went to Hawaii to help my youngest sister who had just lost her boyfriend in a car accident. She was 17 1/2 years old and several months pregnant.
She and Michael had been living in Tracy, California. Now she was suddenly alone, grieving and expecting. Rough times, to say the least. She wanted to go back to Maui where she had lived before and where she felt safer and more comfortable.
I picked up what little I owned in Sausalito, California and moved with her to Kihei, Maui to be her support. We rented a small one room unit on a property across from the beach. It was made of concrete blocks like many buildings on the islands were. It had space for two single beds on either side of the room. The bathroom was tiny. The kitchenette was just big enough. The geckos were easily seen on the white painted walls. We had a small table with two chairs and a record player.
I rented LPs from the library. We listened to music, drew, played cards, swam, walked, dealt with our crazy mother who lived “up country” and waited for “Tiny” to arrive.
I took the time to learn the words to some of my favourite songs. I would play a song over and over again on the record player, lifting the needle up and setting it down again on the groove just before the cut, and transcribe the lyrics by hand.
Here is my transcription of the Leonard Cohen song that I especially loved. You can click it to see it larger.
And now, 44 years later I live a few kilometres from the Jewish cemetery in Montréal where Leonard Cohen is freshly buried.
I was glad to hear he passed peacefully.
Leonard Cohen – One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong