The Circle Game

Cee and Chris

I heard Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game” playing the other day and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.  (The song and lyrics links are below.)  It speaks so much to loss and grief.  It’s a poignant song about a young boy growing to manhood and how his hopes and dreams are changed by the losses he encounters going through life.

We’re captive on a carousel of time…

The song’s chorus talks about going round and round, and being captives on a carousel of time.  Isn’t that how grief works?  We never quite get over it.  We just experience one loss after another, some small, some big, but always adding to our load, stuck on a seemingly never ending carousel of time.

We can’t return, we can only look behind from where we came….

And how often does that happen?  We spend too much time in…

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  1. That is one of my favorite songs and I never thought of it as a song of loss. More a realization that times keep moving on and the slow turning of the worlds seems to speed up as we get older and wish we could go back to the slower days of youth. But loss? All life contains some loss, doesn’t it? Everyone dies. There will always be losses along the way for all of us. Some more than others, it’s true, but it’s also universal. Am I getting this entirely wrong?


      1. I guess. I just never thought of it that way. It is sad, of course, because the passing of time is also the passing of many other things … I suppose loss to me is loss by death, divorce, break up …. a clear break from a relationship of some kind. Maybe it’s a matter of perspective and defining what words mean to you.


        1. Losses happen all the time. All we grieve over. Some more than others. You should check out my other blog. Here is a list of loss that can affect our lives and how we deal with life. And this other link is all about feelings. Sometimes we don’t know what we feel. We always answer we are “fine” or “good”. But how do we really feel. I’m learning I don’t always recognize the good and happy feelings either. The feelings list just is a nice reminder that I am alive and doing well. If I’m not experiencing a balance of what we consider good or bad feelings, I’m holding something inside that needs to be dealt with.


  2. I have been singing this tune all wrong. Her version is much different than mine. I’m wondering who else sang it that I may be imitating. I know I can look it up but decided to comment instead. Thanks for posting this. Interesting.


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