I would like to think Leonard Cohen is singing ‘Hallelujah’ today in honor of William Steig’s 107th birthday.
The world is diminished with the loss of Leonard Cohen. Leon Wieseltier’s memorable words (NYT) captured his essence, which is no small feat. Cohen managed to combine a sense of absurdity with a sense of the significance.
It might seem strange to place Steig and Cohen in the same arena, but both had a gift— they seemed to breathe in and out a different oxygen than the rest of us. Their words combined a beauty with a glimpse of eternity. They wrote about the cracks in everything and also about the light that comes from those cracks. Cohen said this was his credo and more than likely, this is the one line that many associate with Cohen.
If you are not familiar with William Steig’s books, you have a wonderful experience ahead and for those of you who know and love Steig, its time, it’s always time, to revisit some of your favorites. I share one of my favorite souvenirs from his book, The Amazing Bone
“Later she sat on the ground in the forest between school and home, and spring was so bright and beautiful, the warm air touched her so tenderly, she could almost feel herself changing into a flower. Her light dress felt like petals.
“I love everything,” she heard herself say.
“So do I,” a voice answered.
Pearl straightened up and looked around. No one was there.”
We miss Leonard Cohen and William Steig, but their words live on.