the dichotomy of the artist

A strange dichotomy: the suffering of the artist, and the vivid dream of success.

One is the power of deep feeling in darkest times, the other is the conjuring of visions of supreme validation and luxurious reward.

I think the artist must harbor both simultaneously.

Joni Mitchell gave up her child for adoption when she was alone and destitute in her early twenties.

She wrote songs about her many deep painful thoughts and feelings.

At the same time she became ambitious and went to Los Angeles from her native Canada to succeed, and succeed she did.

Her success rode in on regret and longing and loneliness. 

After thirty years she and her daughter were reunited and the daughter went to visit her birth mother for the first time in LA.

Joni lives in a nine million dollar mansion now purchased with the pain of her beautiful songs and her plaintive singing.

This very day my oldest daughter Nina releases a brand new song she wrote and sang and played all the instruments on.

Rob did the mastering for her and it sounds big and beautiful.

The song has some deep sadness which is part of what makes it great.

Listening to my daughter's song for the first time this morning made me think of the young Joni Mitchell and how she suffered.

It makes me think of the Don McClean "Vincent" song too.

"..now I think I know

what you tried to say to me

how you suffered for your sanity

how you tried to set them free

they did not listen they did not know how

perhaps they'll listen now...."

We walk the line between our pain and our beautiful dreams.

We struggle and we strive, and life takes us.

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