Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A sweet friend from another era in my interesting life sent me the Joni Mitchell Painting With Words and Music dvd last week.
I finally had time to unwrap and pop it into my 'puter for a quick look. And at the first drift of that familiar guitar, I immediately broke into tears.
For years, the song I claimed as my personal anthem was All I Want (I am on a lonely road and I am traveling), and then an entire flurry of songs took on personal meanings - A Woman of Heart and Mind (time on her hands and no child to raise), Car On the Hill (I've been sitting up waiting for my sugar to show...he makes friends easy, he's not like me - I wait for judgement anxiously), and of course Jericho - the last two being particularly imprinted with the aforementioned friend's mark.
Former husband Don was People's Parties and Same Situation - one never without the other, and later A Case of You (You're in my blood like holy taste so bitter and so sweet...I'm frightened by the devil and I'm drawn to those ones who aren't afraid...go to him, stay with him if you can, but be prepared to bleed).

Another man evoked Impossible Dreamer (don't think, just dance), and in the 90s, first Urge for Going, and then Cactus Tree became the song that described my life (there's a man who...and she's so busy being free) and the man at the center of it.
And then I quietly drifted away from everything, including Joni.

Oh sure, I listened to her now and then, but less and less frequently. And then this lovely disc arrived, and I chose first to listen to Just Like This Train...sung by a Joni who, like me, is older and wiser and more full of pain and laughter and darkness and light,her voice and delivery revealing all that and more.  And beyond the first few notes, just like that, my heart was opened again and all the fear and pain and fear and pain came pouring out. "I'm always running behind the time...lately I don't count on nothin', I just let things slide..."  The original, Court and Spark version wasn't nearly as rich as this live performance. It took years of experience for Ms. Mitchell to deliver that song with the depth of knowledge required to reach out, touch and open my heart.

Joni Mitchell's music is, very simply, the soundtrack to my life.  Thank you, Rick, for continuing to share that connection with me, if no other.


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Vivian said...
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