Wishing for you a wonderful Happy 81st Birthday Leonard. May your day be filled with all that is important to you. I wish for you many more happy, healthy years. You continue to inspire me in everything I do. I am forever grateful for all the magical concerts I attended and those moments spent in your presence remain the highlights of my life.
The images included here are a dedication I made to you on a beach in Scotland, on a trip I made there earlier this year, a trip that would never have happened if it weren’t for the connection we made through our mutual love and admiration for your songs and poetry.
The other is a drawing I did of a photo I took during one of the New York concerts in 2013. Up to March of this year my drawing ability was non-existent. However I made it my mission to teach myself and many of the drawings I have attempted have been inspired by you. I feel this is one of my best to date.
Thank you for being my inspiration, and thank you for the memories.
Today is five years since the first of Leonard’s Lissadell concerts. So much has happened in those five years. On the night I thought it was going to be the last time I saw Leonard in concert, but such was the brilliance of that night, I just knew I had to see him again, and there started a wonderful journey, which I am still on! Details of that journey is what this blog is all about!
While this drawing isn’t as good as I’d like, I just couldn’t let today pass without honouring it in some way. The drawing is of a photo I took of Leonard during that concert on July 31st 2010.
I think I am better at editing photos than actually drawing them. This was a photo I took of the screen and just did a few tweaks on it today.
The wonderful memories of that night live on in my heart and the hearts of everyone blessed to have been there on that night, a night I then described as magic and a word that suffices!
As I once said to Leonard, Thank you for the magic and memories of Lissadell.
While I have always loved birds, and especially robins it is only in the last couple of months that I started photographing them everyday. While I got some lovely photo, the one I really wanted was one on a wire in honour of Leonard’s Bird on the Wire. A couple of days ago one obliged for the first time but it was too dark to get a decent photo. He must have read my mind though, because today he landed on the wire loads of times so I finally got the photo I wanted.
I’ve also started drawing in the last few days so decided to draw this photo. I have a lot to learn when it comes to drawing and I hope with time I can improve!
Here is the photo and the attempt at drawing it.
Leonard always inspires me and I see reminders of his work in everything I do.
So this time last year I had this image ready to post on the first anniversary of what I call my Hallelujah concerts but internet issues meant I couldn’t post then. So roll on this year and the 2nd anniversary. Great memories of a wonderful time. I guess I should have posted this yesterday but as Leonard would say “There is a crack in everything”.
A discussion on Facebook led me to comment I have a few special photos of Leonard at the beginning of the concerts. The following six I think are my best ones from these moments. It isn’t always possible to get good photos at this stage because fans can be clapping wildly over their heads so I feel blessed I was able to get these photos which I think tell a special story of the connection between Leonard and the audience on a given night.
Kilmainham September 14th 2012. (This was the day after I bought this camera with the sole purpose of being able to get better photos of Leonard in concert!)
Happy 80th Birthday to the biggest influence and inspiration in my life. Thank you for the memories Leonard. Wishing you a wonderful day and many more ahead. May you be blessed with good health and happiness all your days.
I created this image in celebration of your special day.
A few weeks ago my friend Maria Viana suggested to me that it would be great if as many of us as possible had a special profile photo on this day and she asked me would I create it. I made this using the album cover of Popular Problems for inspiration.
I was very saddened yesterday, when I heard the news that Esther Cohen had passed away the previous night. I had been lucky enough to meet her in New York last year, first at our fan meetup and then briefly before and after the second concert in Radio City Music Hall.
At the fan meetup, after the dinner and music ended, I nervously approached Esther. Having never met her I wanted to make sure I came across well and not intrusive in any way. When we started speaking she was so kind, complimenting me on my accent, which given that doesn’t happen often I was delighted! I complimented her on the wonderful red jacket she was wearing which she told me she had bought in a shop like H&M! We spoke about me being from Ireland and how much we love Leonard in Ireland and how she had never been here because she preferred to travel to more exotic locations!
We then had our photo taken and I asked her would it be ok to put it on my blog to which she told me she would be honoured and was indeed honoured that we, the fans of her brother allowed her to share our experiences with her. I told her we were honoured she wanted to be a part of it. When I think back to this night I find myself typing through teary eyes. Our conversations on the Sunday night at the concert were brief, but precious memories to me now. I’m honoured and lucky to have met such an amazing person.
Gwen and Esther
Esther listening to the music.
These lyrics from Leonard’s song Boogie Street have been on my mind since yesterday:
“We are so lightly here, it is in love that we are made; in love we disappear”
Sincerest condolences to Leonard and the rest of Esther’s family and friends. Rest in Peace Esther.