everybody’s sayin’ that
hell’s the hippest way to go
well i don’t think so
gonna take a look around it though
—Joni Mitchell, “Blue”
In describing the arc of her songwriting, Joni Mitchell recently said:
My first four albums covered the usual youth problems—looking for love in all the wrong places—while the next five are basically about being in your 30s. Things start losing their profundity; in middle-late age, you enter a tragedian period, realizing that the human animal isn’t changing for the better.
I don’t know: maybe there’s something wrong with me. Because though I guess I too am moving through middle-late age, I think better of people, places, and things than I did when I was younger.
When I was younger, I thought that all would become all right in my lifetime. And I had a tendency to become distraught, at every signal that it might not.
Now I know that won’t happen, all becoming all right in my lifetime. But I know now better what life was like for those who came before, as compared to what it is like for those who are here now. Because I have been afforded the luxury of traveling widely, in space and time, through history.
And I see movement. I see an arc. I see that it is long, so very long, but I see that nonetheless it indeed bends that way, towards all becoming all right. Someday.
Not in my lifetime, of course. : /