I guess I am all about posting other people’s stuff today. Amanda Palmer moved me once again. And oh, she inspires me to keep going so often. I mean, hmm.
But man – I am in a swirl personally – this is what I can say at the moment: Moved out of my home in September with no new place to live. Broke up with Paul. Was gonna camp in the woods before traveling to New York to see my family and elderly mom. For some reason hung out in AZ an extra week for a 45-minute acoustic gig at Art in the Park. I left my belongings in storage, my instruments at a friend’s house, my art at my massage therapist’s office. Stayed at a friend’s place. Rather than driving with Paul, I flew to New York. Mom has dementia, elderly aunt is spending the end of her life taking care of Mom. Spent three weeks in New York, saw a couple of friends in the city, but mostly stayed with my family. Made some music in the city – it will be coming out to the world soon through the SpeLcast Podcast. Had a peaceful and loving reunion with my sisters and aunties and niece and nephew. Was present with my aunt and my mom, calm and present. Yeah, I was calm. I miss the hell out of New York, out of places where the politics are liberal and artists are rampant. Came back to Arizona a little over a week ago – am staying with the same friend. Got my art and had an art opening. Am slowly gathering my instruments. Had band rehearsal and felt very awkward. I don’t feel like I fit in Flagstaff anymore. Am going back to New York in November. Might stay through Christmas. Must leave the east coast in January – I need to follow the sun or I get very dark – and after this year it is too dangerous a risk to ignore that need. I’m thinking of spending some time in San Diego. I was wondering why I am here in AZ right now – oh yeah – art show, and, activities around the show. And on the 29th, the Lofi Sofias are playing the Mudshark Halloween Party. And it all feels awkward, like I stepped into some other reality and none of this matters. Any and all bullshit is unbearable. I am writing bits and pieces of songs, they are coming out, coming through. I need to put into action, besides selling art, the other ways I make money. Tarot, modeling, teaching. I am teaching yoga this weekend. Taking care of dental appointments, doc appointments, making sure my car runs. I just wanna go home – but I am here. And it is beautiful – the aspen leaves are changing, the air is fresh. Things are about to get very different – a lot moist, a little bit dank. And all I can do is trust, trust, trust. And I am so thankful that trust is working and for my friend who has offered me a room in her home while I sort things out.
At this point, just gotta keep making art and music and writing.
Back to Amanda Palmer. She shared this today:
yesterday, someone texted me that they while they “understood it”, they thought this video was total “emotional and intellectual bullshit”.
let me tell you a little bit about what it feels like to be raped, make a project like this, and then hear those words.
when you experience a rape, a sexual assault, etc…there’s multiple layers of horror. there’s the harrowing moment itself.
and then there’s the aftermath, the gaslighting from others, the oh-shit-was-that-really-my-fault?, the self-loathing, and … just endless confusion.
it can often feel easier to bury and compartmentalize the experience rather than to deal with all those confusing voices in your head.
who wants to deal with that? it’s…too hard.
so we just “get on with life”. a bad thing happened. but whatever. it’s too complicated. forget it.
when we just “get on with it”, we feed power to a system that let rape happen in the first place. that’s why, at 45, having been raped/assaulted multiple times as a teenager, i feel so strongly about sharing the shit i buried for so long. because…well, i can now. i am so much stronger now. i can hold a lot more than i could at 20.
“why keep digging up the dark past, amanda?”
“why you gotta sing about rape, abortion and morbid shit?” “CAN’T YOU SING SOMETHING HAPPPY???”
well: to me, happiness lies in closure, in catharsis, in connection, in finding other people who “get it” and love this work.
crazy as it may seem to some, this kind of work actually does make ME happy. i think it makes other people happy, too. given a certain definition of “happiness”.
when someone i know reaches out to me to call this kind of work “emotional bullshit”, it’s tempting to go down that old shame spiral and blame myself for wanting something. OH NO. maybe they’re right. maybe i’m BAD??
but i am older now, and wiser. i’ve written a whole book about this stuff
i know that what i want is connection with others.
validation that yes, that happened but it’s over now. this kind of art brings deep catharsis, a kind of closure, a true liberation from old stories and pain.
when someone sees a piece of art like this and calls it “bullshit”, it says a lot about the fear within that person. everyone has seen the statistics. we know that rape happens ALL. THE. TIME. but many people do not want it discussed.
saying the truth? talking about it, making art about it, writing about it..?
that…annoys people. it’s UNPLEASANT. IT’S NOT HAPPY.
interestingly, i talked to a few men yesterday, after this video came out, who were LEGIT ASTOUNDED at the number of nodding heads in the comments. like, shocked at all the “me too, me too, me too….”
i’m like: where’ve you *been*???
YES. GAZILLIONS OF WOMEN HAVE BEEN RAPED.
REALLY IT IS REAL.
if, as a 45-yr-old old artist who feels strong, secure, and at general peace with her experiences, if even *i* can get thrown for a whole day by a text like that, even though thousands of people are loving my video…. imagine what it feels like when you’re 20. it’s REALLY HARD.
we must persist.
our job is to keep talking, even though it’s “annoying”. to make art. plays. articles. talk about it in bars. at work. at parties. if we don’t: it won’t feel real to these guys. the system will maintain.
things have to change.
i love you. i believe you.
it’s not “bullshit”.
one more thing…. Aimsel Ponti, an american journalist, wrote a beautiful article about the mashup video yesterday.
it’s the only interview i’ve given about it.
you can read it here. thank you all for sharing the work and becoming patrons. it means, as you can imagine, a lot to me. (Amanda’s patreon)