The clear sense that you know you’re in the homeward stretch is a very compelling component in writing,” he says. “A lot of other things fall away that you hope would satisfy you like human life, and your work becomes a kind of haven, and you want to go there, and you’re grateful when the time opens in such a way that you can actually sit down and work at your own work, because everything else somehow has failed.
“I’m speaking not just for myself,” he continues. “Somehow, just in the nature of things, you know, the disappointments accumulate, and the obstacles multiply and you sense the destruction of your body, and your mind, and you feel here is the last arena — ‘arena’ is too big, the last boxing ring, or the last Ouija board, where you can examine some of the ideas that have intrigued you. That have seized you, really.
From an interview with Leonard Cohen by Simon Houpt at the Globe & Mail