Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Musings

My husband gave me this fantastic magazine a couple of days ago:

Ms. Mitchell has been on the scene for a very very long time, and thank goodness.  Her work has been one of the most influential musical and artistic/poetic experiences in my life.  I think the first album of hers I purchased was For the Roses.  It would be awhile before I listened to her first albums, Song for a Seagull being the first.  I'm listening to that this morning and am transported by her genius.

I first heard the song "Michael from Mountains" from Judy Collins' album Wildflowers, 1967, when I was a mere 10 years old.  Side two contains another Mitchell classic, "Both Sides Now."  Dad bought that album, for himself, and I instantly fell in love with it.  Little did I know at the time about this singular songwriter would become so important to me.

She spoke to my adolescent dreams, in poetic language that went to the heart of things I was already feeling but could not articulate.  Here I was, a creative, artistic young woman in a family who (I felt) did not understand me at all.  Like many teens, I dreamed of a life like none that I had known.  Many of my fantasies were romantically idyllic, but isn't this the way with hormones and inexperience?  It's the stuff that dreams are made of, and propels one into independent life.  Her self awareness and empathy with the human condition were especially compelling to this girl.

"Song To A Seagull"

Fly silly seabird
No dreams can possess you
No voices can blame you
For sun on your wings
My gentle relations
Have names they must call me
For loving the freedom
Of all flying things
My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach out of cry

I came to the city
And lived like old Crusoe
On an island of noise
In a cobblestone sea
And the beaches were concrete
And the stars paid a light bill
And the blossoms hung false
On their store window trees
My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach out of cry

Out of the city
And down to the seaside
To sun on my shoulders
And wind in my hair
But sandcastles crumble
And hunger is human
And humans are hungry
For worlds they can't share
My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach out of cry

I call to a seagull
Who dives to the waters
And catches his silver-fine
Dinner alone

- J.M.

Pure poetry.  Along with Leonard Cohen, also Canadian, perhaps one of the best musical lyricists/poets of my time.

Thanks to Steve for giving me the magazine (he knows how I love her) and sending me on this magical journey back in time.

My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach out of cry


  1. Joni Mitchell's songs are the soundtrack of my life. I started to listen to her when Song For A Seagull was released. Instant love, instant connection. I got to see her perform in the early 70s somewhere in Los Angeles. I loved her playing the guitar, the piano, the dulcimer. Her talent in every way astonished me. I wish I could find this magazine, I would get it as well. Truly wonderful post, Tara!

    1. you're in luck!

      You'll LOVE it!

  2. Hey, I fell in love with her too. But, as I was living over 5,000 miles away from California and was only 14 at the time, my love went unrequited and unnoticed. (Though she did write some songs which I'm sure were especially for me!).

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  4. Great stuff!
    Takes me back ...

    All the best Jan