I really don’t know where to begin. Facebook, like a secret lover, has whisked me away from my duties of sharing on this platform. It used to be I felt weird self promoting. All that “look at me, see what I’m doing, I’ve got a cool life” kind of stuff, it was strange. Then I started to dip my toe in, “look at me here with NYV, look at these super cool students and bands we’re working with, etc.” Soon it became a living, breathing talking photo album, anecdotal, informational, out of body, 24 hour streaming infomercial. And you can see what others are up to, too, someone got married, someone’s fighting cancer, a student graduated from college, a distant relative attended a party. It’s all there for our voracious curiosity. I’ll admit it, I’m a voyeur. I’m living and breathing the Facebook fantasy.
But in today’s historic social upheaval, I’m not looking for it to be my People magazine of days gone by anymore. Nothing is the same since November 9, 2016. I feel like I’m living in the upside down world; everything I have ever valued is being reflected in it’s polar opposite apparition. It’s as if my pocketbook has been dumped over and everything has fallen out, things that were MINE; loose change, lipstick, business cards, keys, crumbs, reading glasses, playbills, empty candy wrappers, wallet, all on the floor. And now nothing is recognizable as you try to put it all back in. You can’t, it doesn’t fit anymore, because the reality has changed. The pocketbook is stiffer, smaller, restrictive, un-welcoming, the zippers have sharper teeth, and it can no longer tolerate certain shapes and sizes. Yah, the United States is suddenly unforgiving, inhospitable and in someone else’s pocketbook. We lost our souls with the ushering in of the Trump regime, we went to sleep a barely Democracy November 8, and we woke up to a surreal game of the Apprentice on the Grand Stage where Trump is the King of Hearts shouting “off with his head” and everyone is drinking the same cocktail, with a float of paranoia.
I hate it, I’m ashamed, I can’t seem to get back to work. Were it not for bookings already in the calendar, I’d be totally undone. But like everyone else in their various shades of despair, disregard or elation, I have to live this truth today. I say here and now, I am not going to be a party to this Presidency and I accept the consequences that may come as a result. It’s how I’m going to move forward. I am even more engaged and active as a citizen and it will enrich my work exponentially, for this I am certain. I embrace the cleansing, so I can make the most honest music and sing with my strongest open vowels, “I am what Democracy looks like today.” In and outside my musical world, I am the voice that will remind you that you can’t hate people you don’t know or understand; I am the body that will come between you and the preferences you have imposed on this sleeping culture legislating a woman’s right to govern her body and receive proper health care, I am the mother who will stand on the frontline protecting the Earth. Get your water hoses ready, I’m your greatest adversary, sound in my thinking, clear in my goodness and motivated on behalf of my daughter, my nieces, my friends, my friend’s kids, my neighbors, etc. YES, I AM HERE. WOMAN, MOTHER, FEMINIST, HUMANITARIAN, WRITER, COMPOSER, SINGER, and EDUCATOR.
The revelation of music is in the revolution, the evolution, the discourse and despair, the unraveling and assembling, the terror and joy, the discovery and risk. I’ve always been an artist that has led with my free will first, rarely an advise taker, always ignoring boundaries and limitations, just doing what comes most natural. It’s not that anyone is laying in adoration of my work, but as an artist, you must do what is pure, true and good. And in that exploration, I promise to do my best.
This is my New Year’s Resolution, like never before. I will reflect my heart in my music and in my daily actions. I will look deeper into myself to ask what I can do for others and how to be of service. I will be the walking, talking model of a grown up woman who will mentor young women trying to discover who they are and how to navigate this modern day suffragette saga. Let freedom sing, pure and strong, right before wrong, love before con.
Hold one another close this holiday season, spend time talking and helping the world be a more beautiful place to reside one act of kindness at a time.