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.


Author: valo

I am a poet, writer and activist with a special interest in human rights for children and women as well as the elimination of poverty worldwide. If you read this today, feed someone locally for me will you? Drop off a non perishable food item at the food bank nearest you and consider yourself hugged. Thank you!


  1. Those moments are gleaming diamonds amid the suffering. Joy and misery always seem to co-exist. I’m tickled pink that you will be reading Dorothy! I’m certain you will love her. 🙂

  2. We find the most meaning in the simplest of things and places — you have a lot of good memories intertwined with what I know have been some very hard times.

    I also wanted you to know that I received my book of Dorothy Parker stories today, and I can’t wait to get reading…on your suggestion.

  3. I read your article Joanne and it was wonderfully accurate. So bittersweet to realize that our generation is becoming almost antiquated. This must be how our parents felt about the big band era of the 30’s and 40’s. I’ve found some solace in artists like John Mayer Coldplay who approach that ‘feeling’ the older music imparted. Nothing comes close to the memories we connect to those song though, that feeling of first love and the dipping of our toes in the sea of independence. Oh gee, I’m getting all sentimental now.

  4. Completely agree with you on the fact they don’t make music like that anymore. You might enjoy the article on my blog sidebar, if you get a chance. Just click on the Guelph-Mercury link, which is actually a Canadian newspaper I believe, so you may be familiar with it. It pretty much sums up my feeling on music these days. I have a feeling you might agree with my sentiment.

  5. I’ve never seen her. I’ve seen many many people but no one would mean as much as seeing Joni live. The sixties have never been matched for the sheer experimentalism and originality of sound. I’m probably sounding my age now, but they don’t make music like that anymore. Joni and Neil Young were very influential on my generation. Who affected you like that Joanne?

  6. Have you ever seen Joni Mitchell perform live? We enjoy concerts, and most of them are artists from late 60s through the 70s/80s. I’ve never seen Joni Mitchell, but what a musical era hers has been.

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