Thursday, May 13, 2010

Both Sides Now


"I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still some how
It's Cloud illusions I recall,
I really don't know clouds at all."*

~ ~ ~

Having gained passage I come upon a thick forest. The trees, shrouded in mist, are massive and elegant. My footsteps are muffled as I wander among the giants. Every few steps I stop, breathe in the earthy scent and listen. Life is going on around me, and with limited sight, my hearing has become my guide. I marvel at the way that works. In the middle of my reverie, I hear a far away voice, "Psst." Another person is near-by. "Up here." Raising my eyes upward, I see a very strange sight; a young man is hanging upside down from the bough of a tree. He is not tied, only holding on by the sheer strength of his legs. I notice the limb is actually a connection between two trees, on either side of him.

His is certainly a strange morning exercise. It seems as if I've stepped into a world of circus acrobats. I am uncertain what to make of it all, though many things come to mind. There is a sense of balance, perhaps between two worlds, or even between the past and the present. That upon which he hangs seems to be bridging some place, or some time. He is literally suspended; frozen in time?

In this gray world, he stands out in his colorful raiment: bright red tight-like leggings, and a billowing white blouse. It takes strength and courage to hang on, I suspect, not to mention a purity of heart, to keep himself aloft. His blonde hair hangs down and were he upright, it would have seemed to be standing straight up on his head. His hands are clasped behind his back. I see no alarm in his expression, only determined concentration. He certainly is viewing things from another perspective.

Perhaps he practicing to be a vampire? Certainly, viewing the world from his position, is akin to seeing another side, or putting yourself in another's position.

Of course, hanged also implies sentenced, convicted and being punished. Yet, without the bonds, it might be self-inflicted. Being suspended thus, he might become stunted, mixed up, stalled, or perhaps he is just hanging around?

Remembering from where I'd just come, it occurrs to me that perhaps our 'hanged man' is being tested? Or having failed with Madam Justess this is what a person must suffer? It certainly is an awkard position.

My mind is in chaos trying to puzzle this out. One thing is for sure, he's seeing things from 'both sides now.'

*Song for the Hanged Man: Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell

~ ~ ~

A few points of interest. I noted the triangles his legs and arms make, and considered it to mean triangular thinking, though, I missed Robin's meaning, which I should have picked up on: "a symbol of the first degree of Wicca."

Along with my own thoughts of this being a new perspective, it represents suspense (I like that), and change. Suspended from living trees also represents a "growing experience" from surrendering oneself to new attitudes. This is all about seeking to gain knowledge and wisdom. What I failed to actually notice was the halo of light surrounding his head.

Keywords: balance; bridging two worlds - changing; new perspective; non-conformity; strength; courage; purity of heart; (self)-sacrifice; surrender; serenity; exercising free will; liberation (of spirit); devotion; learning; growing; suspense.
(reversed) stuck, stalled, frozen in time; turned around; mixed up.

1 comment:

  1. A well thought out summation of The Hanged Man! Not quoting it all, but I love the last paragraph before the keywords. I think this is when more "knowledge" is assimilated-during that time of suspension.

    :) Leigh