Monday, February 14, 2011
Years ago I was somersaulting through my emotional history in my therapist’s office trying to reconstruct like an amateur CSI my many horrible wounds and such. It was awkward and fruitful and painful (of course) and fascinating I was being midwifed through my history by Sage Walker who is still in practice and very good at doing stuff like this. It was she who introduced me to the idea, the concept of defensive structures that prevent the very thing we long for, love. As small little people (children) when we are abused we create defenses that are very complex and effective at protecting our most soft places, our fragile psyches as it were. The problem begins later when we are adult and have outgrown the need of protection but the structures exist later on to prevent the thing we long for “connection” or “love”. So it is up to us to break them down and deconstruct our inner landscapes to welcome in an undefended way, love. Sounds simple it is not and honestly many would argue silly and useless and time wasting. Ah…if only that were true. It is not true and as an artist, a communicator, a tortured soul (some of us) it is our job to be a conduit for life. A conduit of feelings, which we express in the various mediums that exists, when we act or write or paint or construct words we filter, express what is there, through our souls to you the audience some of us are better at it than others. In a roundabout way it follows that our complex history colors who we are and how we “roll” and whether or not we are fluent in sharing this without crumbling into a whining not so interesting mess. A fine balance it takes and mastery, still we have in some cases years and decades to get in step and mature. My mother in law coined a saying “Well behaved women seldom make history” it is from a paper she wrote in the 70’s that was published and it caught on. It is an important saying one that we must adhere to. I have a friend who has wasted many years being a “good girl” she has always done what she thought was the “right” thing to do. Yet it has cost her decades of loneliness and nothing sucks like waking up in your forties realizing no one is keeping score. Thank society and religion for this. Now we are here in 2011 and I am encouraging her to be brave and naughty and to go into the unknown uncharted territories for her. It is tough stuff but worthy stuff in the end because I am convinced when we die no one is going to hold up a stick and say whether we measured up or not and to what? Maybe we may go back and remember as best we can what occurred but even then who cares. Now I am not giving you carte blanche to like a wrecking ball shatter lives. No I am not, there is such a thing as integrity and kindness and decency and yet the line is fine. Tricky stuff love, it doesn’t behave like the romance novels tell us or the laws of nature love just misbehaves and that is what is so delicious about it when it strikes. I am feeling a bit bruised by how far we females have to go in the world to get respect STILL. It is very frustrating and soul killing to list the many artists who are female who have gone unaccounted for, whose creative output has been disregarded because they are female. Women who have spent their entire lives not getting credit or success or the sunlight of attention they deserve. Today in 2011 there are millions of women who still are not being counted. I was listening to Elvis Costello (on the red Grammy carpet) speak about the lack of female record producers and how it is weird to him that more women are not producing. He said it was sad. I know that there are female writers in every medium who are not being hired or paid what they deserve. Don’t get me started with Hollywood where it is racially challenged as well as sexist. UGH…so much work to do still. So today this is dedicated to my friend who I encourage to drop the “Good girl label” and to go with love and to you the ones who never give up the good fight to level the playing field called life. Equal pay, equal respect, go girl, it starts with YOU!
Posted by Rae Dawn Chong at 8:45 AM