Monday, October 19, 2009

Joan Baez- a personal hero

Last night I watched a wonderful documentary about the life of musician and activist Joan Baez. It traced her life from the humble beginnings of her folk music career and how her passion for truth defined her. She wrote songs about injustice and the vision of peace in a time of war.
She was outspoken and sullen. Hated by some, loved by others.
She protested for peace along with a generation of pacifists. I always loved that about her. For her, war and killing were never the answer. This is something you either get or you don't. I was struck by the support her parents extended her to encourage her to speak out on volatile issues and stand up for her beliefs. She said she was at her best when she merged her music and politics.

It was these fundamental issues that defined her and led her on a personal journey that has never ended. She fell in and out of love -sometimes with the wrong people. She experimented with life and in the end never wavered from the truths that made her the icon she was. In biblical days, someone who stood so steadfast in their beliefs would have been penned a saint!

I look at her now, she's 68 and stunning. An old soul with a wonderful story! An eloquent, soft spoken soprano who speaks and people still listen. There's power in her words and her message is the same.
Presidents have come and gone. Parties in rule have changed.
Accords have been signed, wars launched, soldiers are fighting, innocent people are still being killed, but her message is still as relevant today as it was 45 years ago...

We must work for Peace.

Through her music, she was able to reach out to a generation, and in doing so embraced the world.
She shared with people
at odds,
at loss,
in their darkest days.
She never gave up!

Who is todays Joan Baez?
Who is the soul - standing steadfast in their beliefs, no matter how unpopular?
Who is taking on the demons?
Fighting the good fight and not backing down.
Standing up for their principles?
Letting people listen?
Reaching out?
Who is todays Joan Baez?

What made Joan Baez beautiful then and now is that she has lived her life on her own terms - no one else's.
She let her be herself. It was who she was.
I think that's what real inner beauty is.
Letting yourself become who you need to be.

Patricia Hecker

1 comment:

Christie Cottage said...

I watched her on PBS a while back and I believe she was on avis Smiley too.

She is a wise old soul and truly stunning! Age has been kind to her!