I've Looked At Life

I've recently been granted cause to look back over my life in a way that has been both joyful and painful. I hasten to add, however, that the pain is the kind that leads to personal transformation, so I've been relishing it without a single thought of regret or remorse. I'm sorry for those of you who are still in your forties and younger because there's no way you can know exactly what I'm talking about. That's not me pulling the age card, it's just facts...

I feel like something's winding down and that there are burnt bridges that I must repair. People from my past  are reappearing, which leaves me with questions: Do I really want to reconnect? Do they want to? And if we do, what do we do with the 30-plus years between us during which we lost track of each other? Do we re-involve ourselves in each other's lives, or do we say what we have to say and retreat back into the land of memory? I don't know. The internet has created a phenomenon that I'm not sure we were intended to deal with. This is something I've only just recently been confronted with and I have no answers. All I'm certain of is that I refuse to have regrets over things I did when I was young. Life is for learning and, regret, which is self-centered, distracts us from connecting with life. Let's face it. Life is messy and who would want a life spent in a heartless, uneventful sterility? I've loved, I've lost. I've screwed up and I've triumphed. And I'm still learning.

Here is an extraordinary video. On its own this song would express what I'm feeling, but this particular performance, recorded when Joni Mitchell was in her late fifties, exactly where I am now, says it all so much better.