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?”