[Vision2020] The Journey Continues

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Sun Sep 26 14:04:13 PDT 2010

Speaking of "journey," I instantly thought of Joni Mitchell's way too good
album, "Hejira," from 1976, featuring the late genius jazz bass player Jaco
Pastorius ( http://www.jacopastorius.com/  ;
http://www.jacopastorius.com/music/essential/joni_hejira.asp  ),
whose playing is like a human voice complementing Mitchell, with
his unbelievable fretless phrasing, on the title song "Hejira," "Refuge of
the Roads, and other songs on this album, (lyrics lower down).  Therefore I
just now listened to this album, which will never grow old (music can be a
form of immortality, despite Mitchell's despair: "chicken scratching for my
immortality," as she wrote in "Hejira"), for the umpteenth time, and *"Refuge
of the Roads" stunned once again!*  "Amelia" is another gem (they're all
gems), obviously composed with Amelia Earhart's risky aviator life, as a
theme. The word "Hejira," a variant of "Hegira," has a profound history and
meaning, as the following reference indicates:


 Hegira or *Hejira* (both: hĭjī*'*rə, hĕj*'*ərə) [Ar.,=*Hijra*=breaking off
of relations], the departure of the prophet
Muhammad<http://www.answers.com/topic/muhammad>from Mecca in Sept.,
622. Muhammad was a monotheist and preached against the
polytheism of the Meccan religion. This aroused the hostility of the
merchant leaders of his native city, who derived much of their wealth from
pilgrimages to Mecca and its surrounding cities. Forced to flee from his
enemies, Muhammad went to Yathrib (later renamed
where he became ruler. The Muslim era is dated from the first day (July 16,
622, in the Western calendar) of the lunar year in which the Hegira took
place, and the abbreviation A.H. is used with that year (A.H. 1) and
subsequent years.
Definition of *HEGIRA*
*:* a journey especially when undertaken to escape from a dangerous or
undesirable situation *:*

First Known Use: 1753
Refuge of the Roads
by Joni Mitchell

I met a friend of spirit *
He drank and womanized ^
And I sat before his sanity
I was holding back from crying
He saw my complications
And he mirrored me back simplified
And we laughed how our perfection
Would always be denied
"Heart and humor and humility"
He said "Will lighten up your heavy load"
I left him for the refuge of the roads

I fell in with some drifters
Cast upon a beachtown
Winn Dixie cold cuts and highway hand me downs
And I wound up fixing dinner
For them and Boston Jim
I well up with affection
Thinking back down the roads to then
The nets were overflowing
In the Gulf of Mexico
They were overflowing in the refuge of the roads

There was spring along the ditches
There were good times in the cities
Oh radiant happiness
It was all so light and easy
Till I started analyzing
And I brought on my old ways
A thunderhead of judgment was
Gathering in my gaze
And it made most people nervous
They just didn't want to know
What I was seeing in the refuge of the roads

I pulled off into a forest
Crickets clicking in the ferns
Like a wheel of fortune
I heard my fate turn turn turn
And I went running down a white sand road
I was running like a white-assed deer
Running to lose the blues
To the innocence in here
These are the clouds of Michelangelo
Muscular with gods and sungold
Shine on your witness in the refuge of the roads

In a highway service station
Over the month of June
Was a photograph of the earth
Taken coming back from the moon
And you couldn't see a city
On that marbled bowling ball
Or a forest or a highway
Or me here least of all
You couldn't see these cold water restrooms
Or this baggage overload
Westbound and rolling taking refuge in the roads


^ *On Travelogue this line is changed to*:
A drunk with sage's eyes

© 1976; Crazy Crow Music


by Joni Mitchell
I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
There's comfort in melancholy
When there's no need to explain
It's just as natural as the weather
In this moody sky today
In our possessive coupling
So much could not be expressed
So now I'm returning to myself
These things that you and I suppressed
I see something of myself in everyone
Just at this moment of the world
As snow gathers like bolts of lace
Waltzing on a ballroom girl

You know it never has been easy
Whether you do or you do not resign
Whether you travel the breadth of extremities
Or stick to some straighter line
Now here's a man and a woman sitting on a rock
They're either going to thaw out or freeze
Strains of Benny Goodman *
Coming through the snow and the pinewood trees
I'm porous with travel fever
But you know I'm so glad to be on my own
Still somehow the slightest touch of a stranger
Can set up trembling in my bones *
I know no one's going to show me everything
We all come and go unknown
Each so deep and superficial
Between the forceps and the stone

Well I looked at the granite markers
Those tribute to finality to eternity
And then I looked at myself here
Chicken scratching for my immortality
In the church they light the candles
And the wax rolls down like tears
There's the hope and the hopelessness
I've witnessed thirty years
We're only particles of change I know I know
Orbiting around the sun
But how can I have that point of view
When I'm always bound and tied to someone
White flags of winter chimneys
Waving truce against the moon
In the mirrors of a modern bank
>From the window of a hotel room

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
Until love sucks me back that way

© 1976; Crazy Crow Music
by Joni Mitchell

I was driving across the burning desert
When I spotted six jet planes
Leaving six white vapor trails across the bleak terrain
It was the hexagram of the heavens
it was the strings of my guitar
Amelia * it was just a false alarm

The drone of flying engines
Is a song so wild and blue
It scrambles time and seasons if it gets thru to you
Then your life becomes a travelogue
Of picture post card charms
Amelia it was just a false alarm

People will tell you where they've gone
They'll tell you where to go
But till you get there yourself you never really know
Where some have found their paradise
Other's just come to harm
Oh, Amelia it was just a false alarm

I wish that he was here tonight
It's so hard to obey
His sad request of me to kindly stay away
So this is how I hide the hurt
As the road leads cursed and charmed
I tell Amelia it was just a false alarm

A ghost of aviation
She was swallowed by the sky
Or by the sea like me she had a dream to fly
Like Icarus * ascending
On beautiful foolish arms
Amelia it was just a false alarm

Maybe I've never really loved
I guess that is the truth
I've spent my whole life in clouds at icy altitude
And looking down on everything
I crashed into his arms
Amelia it was just a false alarm

I pulled into the Cactus Tree Motel
To shower off the dust
And I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust
I dreamed of 747s
Over geometric farms
Dreams Amelia - dreams and false alarms

© 1976; Crazy Crow Music
Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett

On 9/25/10, Tom Hansen <thansen at moscow.com> wrote:

> California State University at Monterey Bay and Fort Ord
> http://www.tomandrodna.com/ourvacation
> Tomorrow . . . Big Sur.
> Later, Moscow.
> Tom Hansen
> Monterey, California
> "If moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime."
> - Jack Kerouac
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