Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Joni Mitchell Tribute

I've been in a strange mood lately. Poetic, introspective, quiet. Joni Mitchell's songs from her "Clouds" album are perfect for such times.

I bought this album in the late 1970s, years after it was released. She was into jazz sounds by then. I found out some things about her. She is an artist and painter. She is from Canada. She is an amazing songwriter and her voice is unlike any other. I also found out, through her songs, that she has experienced loneliness, loss, fear, happiness and peace. Her songs speak to my heart. I have no idea how she reaches into my soul and sings the words that I feel but cannot express.

Her song, "I Think I Understand" is one of my favorites on this album. It's about Fear...facing it and overcoming it. The words are filled with beautiful imagery. Note the metaphor for Fear, Uncertainty, and the Shadow. My favorite stanza is the one that paints a picture of "sleepy rooftops round the harbor". 

Daylight falls upon the path, the forest falls behind
Today I am not prey to dark uncertainty
The shadow trembles in its wrath, I've robbed its blackness blind
And tasted sunlight as my fear came clear to me

I think I understand
Fear is like a wilderland
Stepping stones or sinking sand

Now the way leads to the hills, above the steeple's chime
Below me sleepy rooftops round the harbor
It's there I'll take my thirsty fill of friendship over wine
Forgetting fear but never disregarding her

Sometimes voices in the night will call me back again
Back along the pathway of a troubled mind
When forests rise to block the light that keeps a traveler sane
I'll challenge them with flashes from a brighter time

Oh, I think I understand
Fear is like a wilderland
Stepping stones or sinking sand

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