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Both Sides

April 3rd, 2009

Both Sides

I can’t seem to escape the musical references lately. Maybe it’s because I seem to constantly have my iPod on these days. Or maybe it’s just because I’ve always used music as a reflection of how I view the world at the time.

Joni Mitchell.

I tried to love you back in high school when I discovered folk music. The Indigo Girls version of “River” made me weep with that sentimental and bittersweet holiday-ness.

Now it feels like I get your music all the more so for the time I’ve spent thinking about it. In university, getting talked into “Hejira” by my writing professor. On a trip once, with “California”, “Carey” and “Raised on Robbery” taking up 3 slots out of 192 on my Shuffle. Finally getting “Both Sides” by watching Love, Actually, still and always my favorite movie, the one I can watch a million times, never quite memorize, and no matter how many times I watch, I learn a little something new. (Sandra’s probably quite sick of it after nearly six years of me babbling about it.)

What I love about Joni Mitchell is how her songs feel when you hear them. A few chords, her lonely and substantial voice, can instantly make me understand a little about the emotions she’s singing. The lyrics are strange at times, like obscure poetry. But when you hear her sing them, it’s so easy to understand.

The lyrics without the music would be so less than enough.

Color (1 of 2)Color (2 of 2)

I’m into this idea of diptychs lately; pairs of images or imagery that together tell a little bit more of a story than either could alone. When studying art history, I found a special interest in Early Christian and Byzantine art. Maybe it was the diptych/triptych concept… needing more than a single frame to tell the whole story.

So too, with my photography these days. Maybe I’m not skilled enough to get the shot I want in one image. Or maybe the storyteller in me relates to the idea of painting a more resonant scene by the ability to document two points in time.

I’m starting to collect these pairs, these fraternal twins, at some point hoping that I know what to do with them. I have this need to collect these little fragments of my life, to store them, and sort them, and categorize them. Maybe in hopes of looking back and seeing this full and vibrant beauty that, at least for right now, I’m too close to see.

…something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day…

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2 Responses to “Both Sides”

  1. Jen Bennett Says:

    Love seeing your posts and seeing what your up to. I hope things start looking up for you. You have alot of friends out here in cyber-space! Keep your chin up. I know my ipod has been good for me lately, too. By the way- I love, love the cool necklace on your post today. Where did you get it?

  2. Janna- LilacPOP Says:

    Wow, we are so much alike! Love Actually is my favorite movie too. I love diptychs and triptychs as well and do that with photography. One of the classes I took in college focused on using them in photography and how you can totally change the look of something by putting 2 photos together. They can tell a story on their own but together tell a completely different story. When I think back to all that I created in college, I did a lot of series like that. I’m also obsessed with balance as well. I got into squares right before I graduated. I started focusing in on my life drawing subjects and doing square vignettes of parts of the body. Now with my photography I do a lot of squares. They appeal to me.

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