Dear Judy Collins,
I was a typical freshman in college when I first saw you onstage in Cleveland, Ohio. It was love at first sight.
I wanted to become the man who helped you understand the clouds and love. I wanted to be the one who soared among the ” ice cream castles” and “feathered canyons” in the sky. I learned later that Joni Mitchell wrote the song but I never felt like she needed me for anything.
Yes, that was just one of life’s illusions, as I recall.
But I looked outside today and I immediately thought of “Both Sides Now” and you and that one failed year at university. Thank you for that.
I wish you could be here to see these clouds today.
Are they similar to the ones that inspired Joni Mitchell to write this song, I wonder?
I know. No two clouds are ever alike. Still, feelings run in similar veins. If I could write a song about clouds (as a metaphor, I suppose) this would be the day to do it.
From “Both Sides Now”
Bows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all
Post script: And minutes after I published this post, it began to rain, the sun-drenched life-infusing five-minute rain on a hot Caribbean afternoon. Somehow, Judy, I think you would have loved to step out into that rain.