Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
What have you got going on in your life today? Is it anything that can be changed? Is it anything that you'd like to celebrate and linger in? Is it something that you'd like to run away from, avoid until you just don't have to face it any longer? Did you dread the morning sun and the unavoidable issue of having to peel back the covers and get yourself into a presentable manner to go out and face the careless, grouchy, unimpressed public? Did your problems start right there in the bed, with a person that you've grown curious about? What have they become? Have they always been like this? Have you always been like this - so damned tough to please and amuse? Is happy hour the only motivating factor you can think of, even under these bright and warming lights? These are the questions asked by many people, or asked of many people. Perhaps you're one of them. Here's to hoping that's not the case.
It would be better, for the soul, for the shaking hands and the saggy eyelids, if you fell more into the feelings that Jenn Grant gives to her sensitive and engaged characters. The brilliant Canadian singer and songwriter has put out one of the best albums this young year has seen yet. "The Beautiful Wild" is a collection of songs that sound as if they were meant to take us out into favorable corners of the chaos, to places where we're really able to take stock in what we have and perhaps downplay the things that we don't have.
Her characters tend to look on the bright side, even if that bright side is still a touch dimmed and unclear. They're getting by in as graceful of a way as they could ever hope for. They seem to be willingly and happily submitting themselves to that chaos, to the brambles and the barbs. They'll go into them with eyes wide open and they have company. These folks tend to have someone by their side whom they can count on and it's likely what makes all the difference in the world, when those thorns and those claws get into your skin fairly deep and the first drop of blood balls up at the site of the puncture and then trails down the shin or the shoulder.
Grant sings, "I can be sure/The biggest heart is yours/No matter what they say/My baby finds a way/My baby finds a way/My baby finds a way," and you're thinking that it would be nice to be her baby, to be the one that she has so much faith in. You scan your deck of life cards and determine just exactly what you have, if it's anything close to that. If you're lucky, you fold the cards down and realize that you've got enough to make it through these wilds.