Rows and Flows of Angel Hair

8 Jan

I was listening to Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” the other day:

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and they snow on everyone
So so many things I would’ve done
But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Similes and metaphors . . . so very cool!  That, my friends, is beautiful writing.  You can call them lyrics, or you can call it poetry; whatever you call it, make sure you add the word “brilliant” to your description.

Here’s the thing about similes and metaphors: they have to be relatable and easily understood; if not they are simply clever writing which has very little value to the reader.  In truth, I’m not sure what Joni meant when she said “I really don’t know clouds at all,” but I also don’t really care.  The line “feather canyons everywhere” is so damned brilliant that it transcends the importance of understanding the final meaning, at least for me.  Comparing clouds to angel hair, or ice cream candles . . . man alive, that is just brilliant writing, and only a true Creative would see those things while looking at clouds.  You can’t really teach that kind of vision, and I don’t think Creatives really have to force the creative process.  It’s just how their minds work . . . how our minds work!

We are members of a very select group. We see things through decoder lenses, and those lenses are not available to everyone.

Enjoy them!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

30 Responses to “Rows and Flows of Angel Hair”

  1. swalia January 8, 2019 at 6:17 pm #

    A poet’s imagination at its best!!

    • Billybuc January 8, 2019 at 6:19 pm #

      Truth, Shaloo…by the way, I like your new profile picture. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Janine Huldie January 8, 2019 at 6:19 pm #

    That really was gorgeous and such inspiration for little old me on this rainy, Tuesday here while take a quick work break to check in your blog, my friend. Thanks for this and so much more! Now, wishing you an amazing Tuesday!! 🙂

    • Billybuc January 8, 2019 at 6:21 pm #

      Janine, I’m looking out the window at a solid sea of grey. I know what you are talking about for sure. Here’s to sunny skies and warmer temperatures, my friend. Thank you!

  3. Mike January 8, 2019 at 7:14 pm #

    Brilliant writing is tough to come by. But here it is again.

    There is a very rare typo here, ‘We see like through decoder lenses..’

    • Billybuc January 8, 2019 at 10:21 pm #

      Thanks for catching that, Mike! Someone has to constantly keep an eye on me.

  4. Shell Vera January 8, 2019 at 8:33 pm #

    Beautiful sentiments! I haven’t been doing as much creative writing these days. I’ve been on a more non-fiction and thought-based kick. But this post reminded me of my love to write and just let the story flow. Thank you!

    • Billybuc January 8, 2019 at 10:22 pm #

      And I thank you, Shell! Fiction is my escape from reality,one which does very little harm to anyone. 🙂

      • Shell Vera January 8, 2019 at 10:33 pm #

        I used to write for the same reason and then I stopped last year for no reason other than I had to get some books written. Goal 1 for this year is to finally publish at least three of the booms in my head! Number 1 is almost complete. Final edit and formatting is in progress!

      • Billybuc January 8, 2019 at 10:35 pm #

        Well good luck with that, Shell. I hope the editing goes smoothly.

  5. Marlene Bertrand January 8, 2019 at 8:46 pm #

    I have been off the internet for a while – just returned today. What a beautiful way to start back. I have always loved this song. I never really thought about the lyrics except they sounded beautiful in my ears and the only lines I truly remember are the ones in the chorus. Beautiful. Have a wonderful week.

    • Billybuc January 8, 2019 at 10:22 pm #

      Thank you Marlene, and welcome back dear friend. You were missed by little old me.

  6. Ruchira Khanna January 8, 2019 at 9:35 pm #

    I am a big fan of metaphors and Joni has expressed despair beautifully along with the similes. On a side note…the ‘sunny’ California has lots of clouds that are just waiting to pour on the thirsty parched land.

    Happy New Year, Bill

    • Billybuc January 8, 2019 at 10:23 pm #

      Ruchira, I hope you get that rain you so badly need. It was a tough year for those of you in sunny CA. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. 1authorcygnetbrown January 8, 2019 at 10:19 pm #

    I was thinking just a few days ago about the uniqueness of man’s ability to create new environments for himself. As humans we can recreate the world in which we live (sometimes to all creature detriment). Plus, as far as I know, we can also create worlds in our minds that exist no other place.

    • Billybuc January 8, 2019 at 10:24 pm #

      Tis true, Donna! It is my way of grasping onto sanity. I love my fictitious places…very safe for me.

  8. Sageleaf January 9, 2019 at 2:15 am #

    I know what you mean! When you write poetry and lyrics, prose and even creative non-fiction, your words become an extension of the creative process. They become the plume, the paintbrush. They serve to paint, to sing. They harmonize the human condition. And other creatives look at words like Joni Mitchell’s and look upon them with awe – as something to aspire to…
    Lovely thoughts for this winter’s day. Sending you hugs from across the varied lands and cool winds…

    • Billybuc January 9, 2019 at 2:53 pm #

      Thanks Lil Sis…those hugs are always welcomed here as the wind blows and the rains fall. When oh when will the warmth return???

  9. Rodric Johnson January 9, 2019 at 2:44 am #

    This might be strange, but I feel that way about the Star Trek the Next Generation’s script. I look at the series over and over paying attention to the artistry of the words, pun intended. I wonder if other people out there are going gaga over the wordplay of Jean Luc Picard.

    • Billybuc January 9, 2019 at 2:51 pm #

      What’s strange, Rodric? I’m binge-watching The 100 for the same reason. 🙂

      • Rodric Johnson January 10, 2019 at 1:02 am #

        The 100 is great! I have seen everything, all episodes. I will not spoil it, so I will say no more. I too, enjoy the way linguistics license was used to make that script great.

  10. Shauna L Bowling January 9, 2019 at 9:46 pm #

    I’ve always loved Joni Mitchell and “Both Sides Now” in particular. You’re right, Bill – her mastery of similes and metaphors paint beautiful pictures in the mind. Her angelic voice sends the listener to those clouds that she thought she understood. In this song she sees beauty in the clouds, but something happens to cause her to only see the destruction they can bring; the beauty is masked. This song can be symbolic of so many things: relationships, society, world disparity… Just when you think you have the answers or the perfect love, forever friendship, something happens to shoot it all to hell and you realize you really didn’t have a grasp at all.

    • Billybuc January 10, 2019 at 2:55 am #

      No clue, Sha! That’s what I’ve learned over seventy years…I have no clue about life. lol But I sure am enjoying it!

      Love you dear friend!

  11. Greg Boudonck January 9, 2019 at 10:19 pm #

    As we often admire the clouds here in Puerto Rico, I found myself sinking into those amazing lyrics. Thank you for sharing that Bill.

    • Billybuc January 10, 2019 at 2:56 am #

      You betcha, Greg, and thank you for always stopping by.

    • phoenix2327 January 12, 2019 at 5:30 pm #

      I’ve seen the cloud formations in Puerto Rico and they are inspiring.

  12. phoenix2327 January 12, 2019 at 5:29 pm #

    Funny thing, Bill. I got an email from Linkedin about courses for improving business skills like time management, communication and such. I had to shake my head when I saw one about Creativity. How can one possibly teach creativity? I suppose you can encourage someone to think outside the box but I don’t consider that real creativity. To me, creativity is being able to look at something and see not just what it is, but what it could be. You’re either born hard-wired like that or your not.

    Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. It’s been niggling at the back of my mind for a few days now.

    I really like this song. It’s on my Spotify playlist. Have a good weekend.

    • Billybuc January 13, 2019 at 3:57 pm #

      I don’t think it’s possible, Zulma, but if someone truly can teach it, I know a number of people who should sign up. lol I think it’s a great marketing gig, but no way it can be taught.

  13. Andrea Stephenson January 13, 2019 at 2:13 pm #

    It’s good to be part of a select group that sees things in a special way 🙂 It can be very difficult to come up with original similes and metaphors so it’s very special when someone makes you see in a new way by doing so.

    • Billybuc January 13, 2019 at 3:44 pm #

      all true, Andrea, and you definitely are a member of this special group…thank you for always being here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: