May 24/12

Jane Siberry

Speak a little softer,
And work a little louder,
Shoot less with more care

And sing a little sweeter
And love a little longer
And soon you will be there

-Jane Siberry, "One More Colour", Speckless Sky

Good afternoon, everyone! Welcome to the fantastically sunny day that it's become. I'm very happy to be alive and very happy to be talking to you; I hope you feel the same.

Balance has been waxing in my brain for a couple of months now. For the first time, I'm happy to contemplate it and even take action. Having spent most of my life trying to be exceptional at this or that, or else just battling to keep my head above water, balance has evaded me - even its value has - until this year.

When I was thirteen, an ex-hippie (who had become a government worker) told me this: "Everthing in moderation...even moderation." He was drinking when he said it; to me, the meaning was straightforward. Looking back now, I realize he was much wiser than I'd suspected. The question is, did he know how wise he was?

When I say take action, let me give you an example. As I've mentioned before, I need to keep in shape just to carry out my incidental tasks. I do so by runnning in the yard, or riding the exercise bike, or just running up and down the stairs for fifteen minutes. Those are all great exercises for staying in shape, but incomplete: if you don't stretch afterwards, your legs will become disfunctionally stiff.

I don't remember when, but I guess I missed stretching a couple of times. For the past two weeks my legs have given me sharp pains when I've stretched. My fitness program has been out of balance. So this morning, I corrected it: I spent an hour stretching my hamstrings. Yes, it took an hour, but now they're back - back in balance.

Much of life can be portrayed the same. A few pursuits might be going well, yet one is suffering from neglect. It's all too easy to keep neglecting something: you know if you get back to it now, you'll have to make up for lost time. Just getting back into it takes input without any immediate results.

Lately, I've been singling out the neglected things and attending to them. (Suddenly I'm reminded of the song "Fixing a Hole" by the Beatles.) This blog is one of them; I hadn't been posting as often as I used to. You'll notice, though, that lately I've been doing better.

To Jane Siberry: Her single "One More Colour" from the Speckless Sky album is one of the greatest songs ever, in my opinion. I've always wondered why that song didn't receive more attention. I did see the video on the CBC show "Video Hits" (now there's a reach into the past, eh?) with host Samantha Taylor.

From Toronto, Siberry's got that contemplative style you often find among Canadian artists. You can tell she spends a lot of time in her own head, where a questing Creator experiments with Her ideas. Glenn Gould had that same presence, and you also sense it reading Robertson Davies. (Both can be found in my archives.)

I haven't followed Jane closely enough to know her material as Issa. However, I did You-Tube "Map of the World Part II" and "Mimi on the Beach" before writing this article. I wouldn't be surprised if both were more popular than "One More Colour", but musically they didn't compare (in my opinion). I could have done with more melodic, wonderful ballads like "One More Colour". If they came, but I was somewhere else, please let me know.

Jane, for "One More Colour", I love you - and "I hear you."

Wikipedia was a source for this article: here, and here.

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