annie loyd

Joan Baez

Joan BaezI don't remember when I was first introduced to the music of Joan Baez - I think it might have been by a babysitter that had a attended Woodstock! The lyrics, the sound, the rhythm, the cadence of the music of Joan Baez has been a consistent inspiration in my life. It has also been a barometer!

In late 2008 while I was in the midst of the struggle for gay rights and the aftermath of the devastating outcome of Prop 8 in CA and Prop 102 in AZ, and the ongoing apartheid of "brown-skinned" people particularly in AZ under the tyrannical dictatorship of the Sheriff - Joe Arpaio - of Maricopa County in AZ which was materializing in such awful racism, I thought of Baez often and her music became a montra once again.

I like to look back through history to find guidance from the experiences of others that have walked the path before me. I had known, that during the time that Dolores Huerata and Cesar Chavez were creating the co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, Baez had been friends with Chavez. In 1966, Joan Baez stood in the fields alongside Cesar Chavez and migrant farm workers striking for fair wages. I had considered at one point wroking to bring Joan out to AZ for a benefit concert to support the educational endeavors of the students that were being left behind because of the passage of proposition 300.

I began researching what she was doing and all of the sudden a dear friend acquired her latest cd entitle "Day after Tomorrow" and I couldn't stop playing it!

Then came the NPR interview: The lead track, "God Is God," is by revered songwriter Steve Earle, who also produced the record. Baez says that she had difficulty interpreting the song and turned to Earle for advice.

"The song confused me at first, because it's saying, 'God is God, I'm not God, we're not God,'" Baez says. "So I said, 'Well, Steve, what's the deal? I thought we had this sort of thing about we are God and God's within us,' and so on. And he said this is recovery-speak. In recovery-speak, when you say you turn yourself over to your higher power, that's something outside of you. But, in fact, for many people, that is God or their concept of God."

 After some reflection - I thought ~ in the midst of all that is going on, Baez is tapping into spirituality - and - that ring a bell within.

Several incidents ocurred toward the end of the year that created opportunities for me to pause and reflect. This album became a constant companion! Shortly, thereafter I took some huge steps back and began a sabatical to find my inner strength and peace and to discover a way to stand for what I believed in without having to ride the fence of fighting agianst somthing or someone else.

Here is a brief documentary of Joan Baez and Steve Earle:



tmas vigil.


The highest art . . .  sets down its creations and trusts in their magic, without fear of not being understood.

~HERMAN HESSE (1877-1962). Reflections, 516, ed. Volker Michels, 1974

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