Songs as Faithful Companions

Joni Mitchell’s ability to carefully choose words to convey emotions is admirable. Two of her songs — Down to You and Shadows and Light — have been my faithful companions since my youth. I guess we are still together after all these years because as I change, I keep discovering something new in them. These are poignant chants that remind me of the impermanence of all things, that change is the only constant in life, that the pleasant does not exist without the unpleasant, and that good and bad, right and wrong, reside in all of us. Great wisdom through inspired, sublime poetry!

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Down to you

(first and last strophes)

Everything comes and goes
Marked by lovers and styles of clothes
Things that you held high
And told yourself were true
Lost or changing as the days come down to you
Down to you
Constant stranger
You’re a kind person
You’re a cold person too
It’s down to you
It all comes down to you

Everything comes and goes
Pleasure moves on too early
And trouble leaves too slow
Just when you’re thinking
You’ve finally got it made
Bad news comes knocking
At your garden gate
Knocking for you
Constant stranger
You’re a brute you’re an angel
You can crawl you can fly too
It’s down to you
It all comes down to you

Joni Mitchell © 1973; Crazy Crow Music

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Shadows And Light

Every picture has its shadows
And it has some source of light
Blindness blindness and sight

The perils of benefactors
The blessings of parasites
Blindness blindness and sight

Threatened by all things
Devil of cruelty
Drawn to all things
Devil of delight
Mythical devil of the ever-present laws
Governing blindness blindness and sight

Suntans in reservation dining rooms
Pale miners in their lantern rays
Night night and day

Hostage smile on presidents
Freedom scribbled in the subway
It’s like night night and day

Threatened by all things
God of cruelty
Drawn to all things
God of delight
Mythical god of the everlasting laws
Governing day day and night

Critics of all expression
Judges in black and white
Saying it’s wrong saying it’s right

Compelled by prescribed standards
Or some ideals we fight
For wrong wrong and right

Threatened by all things
Man of cruelty-mark of Cain
Drawn to all things
Man of delight-born again born again
Man of the laws the ever-broken laws
Governing wrong wrong and right
Governing wrong wrong and right
Wrong and right

Joni Mitchell © 1975; Crazy Crow Music


 

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Piero Falci is an author and educator who believes that the inner work that leads to personal awakening and transformation is indispensable to create a wholesome world. He is an explorer of the mysteries of life who loves to observe, reflect, and write, and who not only strives to live a life that matters, but also hopes to inspire others to do the same. He is a promoter of peace who believes in advancing the idea that Heaven is here if we want it to be. He teaches mindfulness meditation, mindful living, and the official Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program as taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He organizes Silent Peace Walks.

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www.PieroFalci.com

www.SilentPeaceWalk.org

www.PeacefulWays.org

www.MindfulSouthFlorida.com


 

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