The third act

A: Nothing’s over till it’s over, but I find myself in a graceful moment. More or less relaxed.

Q: So you can really experience a big difference in how you tackle things now compared to earlier?

A: I read somewhere that as you get older the brain cells associated with anxiety begin to die. I think if that’s true – in my case it seems to be true – you can take it all a little more lightly.

Q: So the depressions that you had in your earlier days?

A: They’ve lifted. They’ve lifted completely.

Q: So ageing is quite nice?

A: In my case it’s been a great blessing.

Q: But there must be some hard part of it?

A: I think the collapse of the body is an aspect of it. And I’m not in old age, you know. I think I’m in that good period before the onset of the diseases that eventually kill you. I think it was Tennessee Williams said, ‘Life is a fairly well written play, except for the third act’. It’s a very bad third act.

Q: But for you it’s the best so far?

A: Beginning the third act is fine. I don’t know how the third act will unfold, but it doesn’t unfold very well for anybody. So I’m probably in the most graceful period that I’ve ever experienced, before the onset of this unpleasant destruction of the body, which is inevitable.

— Leonard Cohen, interview

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