There are two sides to love and relationships that Joni Mitchell highlights in these iconic lyrics. She encourages us to take a look at both sides now – the give and take – “and still somehow, it’s love illusions I recall, I really don’t know love at all.” I appreciate her honesty and candidness in sharing being perplexed when dealing with love and relationships. I think we all find ourselves in that situation more often than we would care to admit.
As I created this piece I thought about all the times we need to look at both side of things. Be it work, home, family, community, church, or even just facing our own strengths and weaknesses. It is easy to see the good side, it can even feel obvious to experience the down side of things. It takes more effort to put those two pieces together to see the full picture of the situation, relationship, experience, or the simple task. That effort means we need to muster our courage and wisdom to filter through it all and face the lessons buried deep in things. Otherwise we miss the chance to use the good and bad to help us be better in the future.
Even with all that effort, we can end up not understanding it all. Not knowing what happened, why it happened, how it happened or even fully understanding our part in it all. Time brings wisdom and yet that doesn’t mean we will ever fully understand the opposite sex, our family, our colleagues or the people in our lives. It doesn’t mean we give up, it means we work harder to gain more understanding. We will never understand everything, and often we may feel frustrated by that. The point is to try and understand, not knowing is part of the human experience, it is part of relationships, and it is part of being who we are. It really is about give and take.