Working Together

"We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again..."

Excerpt from "Working Together" © David Whyte
in The House of Belonging

Many Rivers Press

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Someone to Blame - Janis Ian

It is June and time to pick a new featured artist.  I pick Janis Ian.  A lot of the reason I can do much of what I do today is because of what Janis Ian did long before anyone had any real understanding that vast paradigm shifts were afoot or that a future was burgeoning in feminism and computer technology.  In my case, when I was young few women spoke, wrote or sang taking the kinds of risks that Janis took.  She created more room for women like me.  Timid women with deep thoughts with no where to put them; women who needed more permission than a tool box.

Some will only remember Janis Ian as a singer/songwriter for her hits like "At Seventeen" and "Societies Child" but if you have been wandering around the peripheries of the Music Industry or read science fiction (to name only a few niches she has established herself in) you would understand what an icon of strength, vision and conviction she is.  The power in her understated performance on Tea And Sympathy in the video below is breathtaking and she still records and tours handling an audience like they are intimate and beloved playthings.

So when I say "I can because Janis did"  it is because she laid the groundwork for a lot of the liberties women take for granted these days.  I shoot my mouth off now and write what is on my mind and I blame her....but not, of course, for my poor aim.  So it is Janis Ian in June.  No music widget that I could find, sadly, but...she certainly has a great website with a listening room available.

I highly recommend you take a moment to explore her site as it is an historical monument to music and righteous personal industry.  For a tremendously interesting read, I direct you to Ian's autobiography, Society's Child.

Photo credit: Peter Cunningham

1 comment:

marciamayo said...

I can because Janis did. Thank you, Cile, for using your great intellect and talent to remind us of the things we need to remember.