[ by Charles Cameron — a study in dualities in songs of the wondrous joni m ]
Okay, let’s start with the source of that supremely compressed universe, frostbite and sunstroke:
I say, “compressed universe” because those two words represent the two poles of the entire universe from one angle, and wherever two such poles are present, they transcend:
breath, death alpha, omega womb, tomb etc
The unity of opposites is the central category of dialectics, said to be related to the notion of non-duality in a deep sense
The road up and the road down are the same
Nicolas of Cusa [in Joseph Kelly, The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition:
God is the principle of unity, of identity, bringing together in himself all opposites and then transcending them. He is the opposite of the opposites. He negates the contradictions of the world.
He is the opposite of the opposites!
And Wikipedia again:
Mircea Eliade, a 20th-century historian of religion, used the term extensively in his essays about myth and ritual, describing the coincidentia oppositorum as “the mythical pattern”. Psychiatrist Carl Jung, the philosopher and Islamic Studies professor Henry Corbin as well as Jewish philosophers Gershom Scholem and Abraham Joshua Heschel also used the term.
That’s pretty much my reading list for eternity, plus or minus Plotinus, Shakespeare and the Upanishads..
So, Joni. Singer-writer in a long tradition.. Vic Garbarini, Joni Mitchell is a Nervy Broad:
For Mitchell, ordinary life is a semioticist’s paradise, a place where coincidence and synchronicity can be the catalysts that reveal glimpses of a deeper pattern, a unity that underlies and ultimately resolves what appear on the surface to be irreconcilable opposites. In Mitchell’s tales of incredible coincidences on steamy streets or chance encounters with affable drunks in hotel lobbies, vital pieces of the puzzle drop into place, and the whole is glimpsed.
Oh yes, Joni sees both sides now: