On Your Doorstep Issue 8 - Page 117

here which raises my hopes. Perhaps, if the worst comes I was reading a book, and I haven’t finished it yet, called to the worst, this is how it could be? A group of survivors Henderson the Rain King. And there’s a line in it that I looking after each other in cold blind vapours on an isolated especially got hung up on that was about when he was flying peak. to Africa and searching for something, he said that in an age when people could look up and down at clouds, they Might these clouds really have a silver lining? shouldn’t be afraid to die. And so I got this idea ‘from both sides now.’ There are a lot of sides to everything, and so the I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now song is called “From Both Sides, Now.” From up and down, and still somehow It’s cloud illusions I recall Joni introduced the song this way at the White Swan in I really don’t know clouds at all.... Leicester, England on September 16, 1967: On the way down, my knees taking the strain, the weather This is a song that talks about sides to things. In most cases appears to lift. Greetings are exchanged. Someone gives me there are both sides to things and in a lot of cases there are a jelly baby, others simply smile. I wonder at the optimism more than just both. His and a hers. His and theirs. But in this of some, those in shorts, others in light plimsolls. It’s cold up song there are only two sides to things… there’s reality and I there, I say. The wind.... They smile. They’re young, and full guess what you might call fantasy. There’s enchantment and of hope..... dis-enchantment, what we’re taught to believe things are and what they really are. And that’s it. There are those who are going up, and those who are going down. Some well equipped, some not. It I realise I am not scared of death, though I don’t really look really doesn’t matter..... We live within illusions. forward to dying. Pretty much everything else is in the clouds. The attraction of the undiscovered country is obvious Joni is waiting for me at the top of Y Gyrn where the view today on this leaderless plain, where the main religion is back up to Corn Du and Pen-y-Fan is superb. She smiles, then greed, but, despite that, there are still surprises to be had, fades. I hear her sing.... and, as the lady says, there are two sides to most things..... I’ve looked at life from both sides now Truth and illusion..... From win and lose and still somehow Both Sides, Now was inspired by a passage from Saul Bellow’s It’s life’s illusions I recall Henderson the Rain King: I dreamed down at the clouds, and I really don’t know life at all thought that when I was a kid I had dreamed up at them, and From Both Sides Now Joni Mitchell having dreamed at the clouds from both sides as no other generation of men has done, one should be able to accept his death very easily. © 1967 Gandalf Publishing Co. Joni Mitchell in conversation with Gene Shay, “Folklore Program” March 12, 1967 http://jonimitchell.com/library/view.cfm?id=4378 117