Janis Ian’s Grammy-winning audiobook and the miracle of the internet
Janis Ian was doing a farewell tour and I wrote about it in a post on this site. She is one of the singer-songwriters whose music brings me back to my first boyfriend and dorm rooms and late-night discussions. I found her audiobook amazing — human, relatable, and braced with her music.
Through the magic of the internet, she and her wife reached out to me and offered tickets for a concert because of my admiration. We never know when our words reach out and touch someone from our past, someone we’ve never known, or create a connection to a s/hero, editor, or publisher. Or a singer/songwriter!
Janis, amid her final tour, developed laryngitis due to vocal fold scarring. On her website, she says that she may never sound like “herself” again, and has been forced to cancel tour dates.
Podcasts and downloads and CDs are available through her website for us to enjoy. For her, though, I am guessing that the loss of the gift which was her voice is earth-shifting.
Other singers have lost their voices, and others of us have developed physical limitations which place boundaries on what we experience or can do. Many writers or others chronicle their journeys through territories they never chose to visit; some movingly use their precious remaining time to share those journeys.
Cai Emmons is a novelist diagnosed with ALS. Her writing is her communication, and she continues to teach us.
But loss is loss.
We are thankful for the gifts of others, serendipity, and the technological tools that continue our enjoyment.
We mourn those gifts and capacities we miss in friends and family.
We learn about our paths yet to travel.