Cloud Blood by Ani DiFranco (or, why I don’t tidy before playing guitar)

I had the pleasure of seeing Ani DiFranco perform live, many years ago, at Jazz Fest, in New Orleans. I maneuvered my way to the second row, behind a number of other girl-fans thrilled to be that close to Ani, and swooned over her blend of honest, soulful, funky music.

And then the woman in front of me turned around, smiled, and pushed me into the front row. Suddenly, I loved her as much as I did the musician playing onstage.

Ani DiFranco has definitely been one of my biggest inspirations as a musician, and her music has carried me through all kinds of turbulent times in my life. So it isn’t surprising that one of my favourite songs to perform is one of hers.

Also unsurprising is the fact that, after taking a two year break from playing guitar (having twins changes everything), I still remembered how to play this one, despite the fact that my beloved songbook has gone missing.

Here’s me on my 12 string guitar, performing Cloud Blood.

Yes, the room behind me is messy. I could’ve made the bed. I could’ve cleared my man’s random clothes from the background, and hung a curtain across my closet, and dealt with a hundred other things you can’t see that qualify my house as somewhere between “cluttered” and “a disaster.”

But if I’d stopped to tidy, I never would’ve sat down to play. Same thing with writing: if I did everything else on my to-do list first, I wouldn’t have 5 manuscripts written and another in-progress. In fact, I’ve changed from the kind of person who valued a nicely made bed to the kind of person who couldn’t care less if the bedsheets remain rumpled until I get into them again at night.

Sure, it would be nice to live in an organized space, but my reality includes toddlers, so it’s much easier to shrug, ignore the mess, and play guitar or write anyway.

I hope you enjoy the song. Who are some of your favourite musicians? Please leave a comment below and share. 🙂

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