Both Sides Now

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“I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all”  

-lines from Both Sides Now, written by Joni Mitchell, song by Judy Collins 

In a recent blog, I advanced the idea that the Romantic and the cynic are one and the same. The lofty, effervescent thoughts, “powerful feelings recollected in tranquility” become shattered when reality sets in. 

https://www.bing.com/search?q=Both+Sides+Now+Judy+Collins&FORM=EDGNCT&refig=4fa06227f1f44461e92c1912bfb38830 

Lord Byron, a Romantic poet, seemed to worship nature but hated humanity, as reflected in the following lines:  

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
   There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
   There is society where none intrudes,
   By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
   I love not Man the less, but Nature more,                                                                                                              From these our interviews, in which I steal 
   From all I may be, or have been before, 
   To mingle with the Universe, and feel 
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal. 
 
   Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean–roll! 
   Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain; 
   Man marks the earth with ruin–his control 
   Stops with the shore;–upon the watery plain                                                                                                          The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
   A shadow of man’s ravage, save his own, 

The love of nature leads to the love of humanity, says the Romantics. Byron’s poem states that he loves man less but nature more. He believes that inanimate objects are what hold people together. Wrong! 

Another poet, George Herbert wrote in a poem “For if I should,” said he(God),
 

“Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
 

He would adore my gifts instead of me,
 

And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature;
 

So both should losers be. “ 

Resting in nature is exactly what the Romantics do! 

Lord Byron correctly believes that humans have made a mess of things. But where he is wrong is that by worshipping nature, things will be made right. 

Humans fell in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve disobeyed. But God sent His only son, Jesus to save humanity and to restore people to the way He made them. 

It’s Jesus who brings people together. 

There are two basic commands in the Bible: 

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 

 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 

Love of God, not His gifts, leads to love of humans.   

As a recovering Romantic, I’ve looked at both sides now, where to just say “I love you” right out loud, with no basis become just an illusion of love and the relationship faltered. As a recovering Romantic, I’ve looked at both sides now, where to just say “I love you” right out loud, with no basis become just an illusion of love and the relationship faltered. As a recovering Romantic, I’ve looked at both sides now, where to just say “I love you” right out loud, with no basis for that emotion, but now need something real, like commitment or compassion, to drive it. I’ve been spending time with a special person and have been trying to reflect God to bring us closer together.