Thursday, May 19, 2016

THE BIG YELLOW TAXI

The lyrics to a Joni Mitchell song has been percolating in my brain for several days now. I'm sure there's some deep hidden meaning as to why I cling to this song and hear Joni's voice clearly in my head, but I've been in an anxiety overload lately so the deepest I can get is to say that change can suck especially if it's an unwelcomed change or an unnecessary change. Perhaps as I slowly meander towards my golden years, the lyrics of this song are quite prophetic...

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot


One might think that a pink hotel, a boutique and a swinging hot spot are good things, but I'll be honest with you...I rather long for those simpler times without the use of gimmicks and come-ons. My simpler times don't include pink hotels. No, my simpler times aren't like the times the crazed Trumpsters long for. My simpler times are when life didn't seem so oppressive or heavy...when dreaming was not only allowed, but highly encouraged. Now, I sit here wondering how many paradises have been paved and made into a parking lots or something as meaningless as a parking lot.  Perhaps the ultimate in meaningless things to build would be a pink parking garage as tall as the eyes can see filled with yellow taxis.

They took all the trees
Put 'em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot


Imagine a tree museum.  Imagine our earth without trees.  Imagine mother nature being all, but forgotten and our grandchildren and beyond having to look at pictures of trees and flowers because they no longer exist in the concrete jungle we made in its place. It's not an impossibility! Think about all the living things that no longer exist due to man's gluttony and the pollution he creates as he grows and changes and builds his pink hotels and swinging hot spots. My mind flashes back to a commercial they used to run on television years ago. A Native American stands and weeps as he gazes out over the destruction man needlessly glorifies as progress. Whoever created that ad wasn't paid enough...

Hey farmer farmer
Put away that DDT now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Please!

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot


It's incredible when I think about all the poison we've ingested in our lifetimes and here we are still polluting...still damaging the place we call home. We eat food full of GMO's, hormones and other chemicals without thinking about what damage that had done to our brains and our bodies. My mind cries out for places like Flint, Michigan whose water supply has been not only poisoned with lead, but worse, our government, our protectors have allowed and encouraged things like that to happen as our infrastructure decays and crumbles and another pink hotel and swinging hot spot is built. We, the people expect to be protected against ALL enemies foreign and domestic, but that oath that is taken by our leaders seems to be taken too lightly. I consider lead to be as much of an enemy as any terrorist is. I consider leaders who pledge to protect us yet turn their backs on us in our time of need more of an enemy than a leader or a protector.

Late last night
I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Took away my old man

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot


Unfortunately, we all have our day in the sun and then we die. The land we had hoped to make a better place, the life we had wanted to give our children and the dreams we all seemed to have dissipate into a paved paradise.  The big yellow taxi takes us all away whether we're ready or not, but in the mean time can't we do more than sing a song of protest? Can't we actually do something? Can't we do anything to make the world a better place or should we start saving our pennies so we can see the trees when they're in a tree museum?

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got

Till it's gone
They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot

8 comments:

  1. Lovely to see a post from you. Not good to hear you are in a less than stellar place.
    And that song is truer now than it was when Joni Mitchell first sang it. Which is sad, bad, and fairly damning of our species.

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    1. I miss writing and the contact I have with all my blogging buddies. Hopefully, I stop letting anxiety stand in my way of doing the things I love to do...writing and painting and other things as well.

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  2. I like that song. I did a blog post several years ago called 'Sumner's Big Yellow Taxi', which was about a beautiful little pumpkin farm down the hill from where I lived in Washington State, and how the whole thing was torn down, paved over and a Winco Supermarket built on the site. It broke my heart. As for a world without trees, have you ever seen the 1972 movie 'Silent Running' with Bruce Dern?

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    1. That's so sad and the movie doesn't sound familiar but I check it out and see if Hulu or Netflix carries it.

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  3. Just remember, there are those of us who will never stop planting trees, even when it's not on our own property. Many will take root where they wash up or get tamped into mud. Revolution without explosions --always preferable.

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