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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

HARMONY and the passing of a legend: Joanne Klauke-Labelle, R.I.P.

I remember when Joanne decided on that one word - HARMONY - as a response and outreach to many things: personal sorrow, anguish at "not getting the right signals in time", a way to open firmly shut doors to agony and abuse in the young - amidst seemingly incoherent attempts to work through it; poverty; ignorance.

Music was the natural and available solace that broke down all walls, cleared a way through all fog, crossed all religious, tradition, political, and economic boundaries with brave and unconcerned disregard, and made the clasping of hands a precursor to placing them gently on the keys of a piano, to begin all of those personal journeys through darkness and sorrow, bravery and light.  

Whatever the issue, music could assist. Whatever the sorrow, music could soothe, when words, or money, or paint brushes, or car parts, or tended gardens, or the whir of a sewing machine, or rough affection, or intellectual prowess, met with unreachable anger. Music, for her, and people like her, became a tool in a cache and medewewin arsenal with which to combat all manner of ills - one of many in the artists's never ending and surprising medicine bag of responses to all the worst, manifested in the world. It crossed generations, united the disparate, and brought understanding in seemingly impossible circumstances, simply by being nothing but itself: honest response and the lament of the aggrieved.

"Hello, baby, hello, haven't seen your face for a while;
Have you quit doin' time for me, or are you still the same spoilt child;
Hello, I said hello, is this the only place you thought to go;
Am I the only man you ever had, or am I just the last surviving friend,
That you know.

Harmony and me, we're pretty good company,
Looking for an island, in our boat upon the sea.
Harmony, gee I really love you, and I want to love you forever,
And dream of the never, never never leaving Harmony.

Hello, I said Hello,
Open up your heart and let your feelings flow,
You're not unlucky knowing me, keeping the speed real slow.
In any case I set my own pace
By stealing the show,
Say Hello, hello.

Harmony and me, we're pretty good company
Looking for an island in our boat upon the Sea
Harmony gee I really love you and I want to love you Forever
And dream of the never, never never leaving
Harmony.  (elton john)

.......................Surprisingly, there's a little John the Baptist in us all, when all we have to create Harmony -

   .... amidst the war which seems, like schism, always so much easier to sell, promote, advertise, report on, and add to, for its incessant promulgators -

is the ability to begin a dialogue of its gentle demise, with

Always underfunded, always underrated, and - like all means by which we cope, naturally,
as creative beings, with loss and stability, kindness and hope, dreams and efforts, unrealized - mostly ignored, except when faced with crisis and no coping mechanisms -
the last grip upon the rope was always one step closer to
Ringing a bell.

One could see it, like a fierce light, suddenly lit, in the dulled eyes, made brighter, instantly, and in the emerging, anxious and strengthened grip upon the string of the proverbial bell, in whatever manner the bell came: guitar, drumstick, tambourine, baton, piano key, maracas.....spoon.

Today, my dearest Friend,
It tolls for Thee. Heaven, I feel certain, will answer.

Ms. Dawn M. Nevills
Anglican, and your grieving Friend.