Crop Circles of Life

It’s been a Joni Mitchell week.

My head is spinning and my heart is beating, breaking, soaring.  Don’t know what to think … but a few lines from Joni Mitchell’s The Circle Game keep looping through my mind.

“And the seasons, they go round and round.  And the painted ponies go up and down.  We’re captive on this carousel of time.  We can’t return, we can only look behind.  From where we came.  And go round and round and round in the circle game.”

My young colleague had a beautiful baby girl.  My dad made a sad journey home to Alabama, to bury his dear friend from childhood, “the Atticus Finch of Birmingham”.  Walden’s niece is pregnant.  A family friend, younger than me, lost her husband.  My eldest daughter and I are prepping for a bridal shower honoring the first of her lifelong gang of girlfriend’s upcoming marriage. I just opened an email from my childhood friend-her precious mother died in her sleep last night. While trying to process that, another friend calls with a hilarious story and we laugh till we cry.  Sometimes you feel like a nut …

Death, birth, marriage and everything in between … all in overdrive. 

The definition of empathy – your hurt in my heart – is what I feel for my dad and the new widow. So, so sad.  Alternately, I’m delighted about the new baby and the one on the way.  Am thrilled for the bride-to-be. And my funny story friend is literally a major phoenix rising from horrible ashes; laughing with her is truly miraculous. And now I want to hug my motherless friend, but she is in a different city, gathering her troops from all over the country to mourn her mom … and watch her son marry next weekend.  And, once again, another Joni Mitchell song, Both Sides Now, begins looping…

“I’ve looked at life from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow, it’s life’s illusions I recall.  I really don’t know life at all.”

Surreal, sitting here on the sidelines … cheering, weeping, clapping, wailing. And, while well-versed in most things life, I still don’t get it.

But there is one thing I do get. Love.  Life begins and ends with love …  crazy, sad, joyous, mad, wiggly, mysterious love. Give it, take it, shove it, shower it, push it, pull it …  but make it the most active verb on the journey.

 My cooking partner once said, “You end all of your phone calls with “I love you”.  How can you do that?

My reply, then and now: “How can you not?”


32 thoughts on “Crop Circles of Life

  1. That was really nice. And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with music constantly looping through their mind. Lately, for me. it’s been The Moody Blues’ “Isn’t Life Strange.” 🙂

  2. And yet we go on. That’s a lot to process.. hope you’re taking care of yourself as you empathize and support.
    Beautifully written and tied together.

  3. I liked this post. It made me put my pain into perspective and realize that there are others out there enduring far greater tragedy than me.

    Thanks for writing it! (and now I have Both Sides Now in my head…argh! ;))

  4. Isn’t it strange – the timing of things. Extreme highs and lows. Well put.

  5. Lovely post, very true – and truer of my life, the older I get.

    I’m a big Joni fan too – “I’m frightened by the Devil, and I’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid”… That’s me.

  6. Love your blog! If you don’t object, I will add it to my blogroll. Have a great day!

  7. “It’s clouds illusions I recall, I really don’t know clouds at all.”

    I really don’t know what that means, but it’s on my iPod.

    There is another song “Birth, School, work, Death.”

    Poignant this weekend while my niece was saying “I do” and a friend receiving his college diploma we gotta text saying a family friend had just died. it was like flying thru the Bermuda Triangle.

    Life happens in a blink of an eye, and it’s what you do for others in that spit second that matters most.

    That and thanks for having spell check in your comment box.

  8. It’s funny how people often think balance means one level playing field with no highs and no lows. But I think your post is telling of what it really is: an equal give and take of highs and lows. The golden mean seems so boring when you compare it to the gifts found in ebbs and peaks of life.

  9. Great quotes!

    And I love your response for why you end your phone calls with “I love you.”

  10. This is a beautiful post. I’ve been having these feelings since my stepdad died last summer. Every time something wonderful happens I feel my heart swell with happiness, then deflate with sadness that he’s not here for it. I totally agree about saying I love you. I will call back if someone accidentally hangs up before I say it. Sometimes I slip though and say it out of habit to someone I shouldn’t. Oh well, maybe they needed to hear it from someone that day… right?

  11. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I like this post, it just goes to show that we never really know what is waiting for us just around the corner.

    I think it is perhaps best to take life one day at a time be they good days or not so good days.

    I am sending all my best wishes to you.

  12. The story and motions are timeless moments of life. What you experience is life all around you, reaching up, outward, and unfolding before your very eyes.

    Have you ever heard the song by Lady Antebellum, “I’d rather hurt than feel nothing at all.”

    Imagine life with no feeling, no empathy, just emptiness.

    This post is life abundant. Your beautiful writing captures the wonderful chaos.

  13. I think we would all be better off if we ended everything with an I love you. 🙂

  14. Wonderful post!
    Great blog, love your writing.

  15. Love that song Both Sides Now. I hadn’t really heard it until it was in the movie Love Actually, and that scene makes me cry. Which makes me love the song even more. Is that strange? Eh.

  16. Another one of many favorites – The Circle Game – I even studied the lyrics in a High School English class….I loved the song then and love it now and often sung in my head.

  17. And now it is in my head … again! Cheers!

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