When I was nine television was embryonic in comparison to the proliferation of networks and signals that abound today. As I recall, we had a choice of exactly three channels: CBC, ABC and CTV. One Saturday evening the family was tuned to CBC for a musical special. As I watched the black and white RCA Victor screen, a woman of incredible beauty strode to centre stage as the lights created a cascade of haloed brilliance around her head. She sat atop a stool and began to strum her instrument, her eyes closed as if in an untouchable place where art and truth mingle with melody. I have never forgotten that day and from that moment until this I’ve been a diehard Joni Mitchell fan.
As a Canadian woman she makes me proud of our shared heritage and as an artist I will always be in awe of her brilliance. Joni paints, Joni composes, Joni writes. If you have the opportunity to read some of her poetry, you will be moved by her deft ability to at once conceal feeling only to reveal it on a deeper level simultaneously. If you can, listen to her album Blue because It is truly her best. Any woman who has ever found herself taking stock of her life while carrying around a broken heart will relate to the passion of Joni’s soulful ballads. When I was fifteen we were asked in English class to write an essay detailing which famous person we would most like to meet and why. I chose Joni. I got an A. Happy 65th Birthday Joni and thank you for a body of work that is still unrivalled in it’s diversity and range. By the way, I chose ‘Raised on Robbery because of a post on Amy Nathan’s blog. It seemed more than apt.