“And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return, we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game” *
A good few years ago I worked with Joni Mitchell. I, along with every single journalist I spoke to, were total fan boys and girls of Joni. I wore the grooves off of Blue and Court and Spark. We all squealed inside at getting to work with her, or interview her.
I was doing PR for a project of hers. Joni is a true glow-in-the-dark artist. A treasured moment: when she came floating into my office, sat down at a chair I had right next to my desk. All blonde gossamer bright energy; and those beautiful cheekbones! She lit up a Gitane. And then lit another one from its dying embers. And again. The whole visit. And talked non-stop. I had to pinch myself. Here I was discussing Joan Didion’s ‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem’ with Joni Mitchell! Here I was setting up an interview with Rolling Stone for Joni Mitchell!
I was thinking today about why, even though I am quite clear that I want to quit drinking, my early morning steely resolve dissipates towards the end of the day. Why this circle of quitting, feeling good — even better, and then taking that first drink and feeling the initial relaxing glow. And then back to daily drinking.
The Circle Game came into my head yesterday.
I am going to break this circle/cycle.
I’m going to get off this boozy carousel.
Hard to pick just one track from Court and Spark. I do love ‘Free Man in Paris’, but ‘Car on a Hill’ came up in my mind’s juke box.
*(Lyrics by Joni Mitchell)