As I write this morning I am listening to Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now. Do you know it? I remember falling in love with it when I watched the film Love Actually. The words spoke to me then and they still do. A taste:

“I’ve looked at life from both sides now,
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall,
I really don’t know life at all”.

Deep, isn’t it? Life is full of illusions and dreams…and reality is often hard to accept. Without digging too deeply – I’m feeling a little philosophically-challenged today – I can really relate to the feeling that I don’t know life at all sometimes. Is it possible to know something that is such an eternal study in contrast?

View from a chalet in Bridgetown, WA.
An unexpected trip away with my Blue Eyes.

What I do know is that life is challenging, hard, unfair sometimes, frustrating, unpredictable, busy, beautiful, fantastic, not long enough, inspiring, exciting…it’s ordinary yet extraordinary, it’s mundane and miraculous, it’s simple and incredibly complicated. Sometimes, as the great biblical philosopher Solomon said, it seems meaningless – “Everything that happens has happened before; nothing is new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9 CEV) – and yet, life is full of teachable moments. For some it seems a curse,  and yet, life is a gift. Can you think of anything else that is so full of contrast? Life is like a mountain range, peaking and plateauing before plunging into a deep valley, only to rise through the mist to new heights.

Lately, life has been all of the things I described earlier. I have intended, so many times, to write on this blog; I have taken photos to complement posts that are yet to be written…but life, being the tempestuous force that it is, has found other things for me to do. Not that I’m complaining. I haven’t had a bad run lately. It’s just that sometimes, I feel an urge to write and it’s a hunger that remains unsatisfied because there are so many other things to feed first. I can feed that hunger partly by writing reviews of books I have been sent – but I know I have more to say, even if it’s only for myself. I sometimes feel I can express myself better through writing than talking (which is why I have no desire to be a motivational speaker!).

Do you have moments like that? Do you feel that life is sweeping you along its river and you just need an island to rest upon? Hmm…perhaps I was less philosophically challenged than I thought!

As I close, the words of Lightning Crashes by Live are swelling up towards a crescendo:

“Oh, I feel it coming back again
Like a rolling thunder chasing the wind,
Forces calling from the centre of the Earth again
I can feel it.”

We may not be able to understand, to truly know life, but we can feel it.




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