People love to share their anecdotes to show their attachment to classic albums. Well, here’s mine. I was showering at home and playing “Chelsea Morning” on my phone, minutes before which I had just been admitted to the school that I couldn’t stop dreaming about. “Chelsea Morning” is a joyful song about a happy morning Joni Mitchell spent in her apartment in Chelsea, New York, of course. She woke up with such joy that everything she heard, saw, and knew seemed pleasing. I was actually feeling the same way, like there was no discontentment in my life, at least on that very day and several that followed.
I came out of the shower and put on my clothes. “We’ll put on the day, and we’ll wear it till the night comes.” What kind of a happy day was it that Mitchell actually wanted to put it on like clothes? I know.
And then there is “Both Sides Now”, a cover with orchestral arrangements of which was included in her 17th album released in 2000. That year I was born and she was 57 years old. Her voice was well soaked in cigarette smoke and alcohol, one may say. She did smoked and drank a lot over the years, as she experienced “up and down”, “give and take”, and “win and lose”. Critically, that 2000 album is definitely not one of Mitchell’s best ones, but the respect should be paid to an artist like her whose wisdom grows with age.
I sometimes feel like an idle teenager and all that I have is youth, like I’m currently on my bright “side” of life and is about to explore the dark “side” of it, because I have no clues about my future. But I do hope that many years from now I can say “I really don’t know life at all” with the ease Mitchell showed in the orchestral version because, like she did, I have figured out at least something during the journey.