One way of hearing Joni Mitchell’s “Cactus Tree” is as a series of loops along a longer path. The main path is defined by the opening riff, and the loops are the individual verses, which are separated by more stretches of the main path, the riff. Each verse adds another face the list of relationships recounted in the song.
The repetition of this riff at the end and the suggests many more loops to come, thus invoking the meditative quality of a labyrinth walk. We are not here to find answers, only to turn over the questions.
Thank you for reading.