Recently, I rewatched Lian Lunson's I'm Your Man, the 2005 documentary about Cohen and his career. It's is a concert video of sorts with clips of other singers covering Cohen's songs. Interspersed throughout concert footage are interviews by the singers as well as interviews with Cohen himself.
I've included quotes from my four favorite scenes:
“If it is your destiny to be this laborer called a writer, you know you’ve got to go to work everyday, but you also know that you’re not going to get it everyday. You have to be prepared, but you really don’t command the Enterprise.”
"Is this the true burden of being a writer? Being a part of a craft that among other things, demands a strange faith? There is no goal line, no clock, no score? Being a writer demands faith. It's true, you're not commanding the Enterprise, but you're still on board as it hurls through space. You have to trust that you are going in the right direction and that you will get to where you're going, when you need to get there."
“Sometimes when you no longer see yourself as the hero of your own drama, expecting victory after victory, then you understand that this is not paradise. Somehow we embrace the notion that this veil of tears is meant to be perfection that you have to get it all straight. I’ve found that everything became a lot easier when I no longer expected to win.”
"After my father died when I was nine, I took one of his bowties and slit it open. I put a little message in it and I buried it in the backyard in the garden. I had no other way of connecting with the event that was so mysterious, and curiously, not devastating. It seemed to be alright that my father died. It seemed that he died and it was in the realm of things that couldn’t be disputed or rejected or even judged. And so, my writing, and I don’t remember what it was, perhaps just some kind of prayer to speed him along in whatever realm he was traveling."