‘Love, Retold’ personifies non-violent and exploratory angles on our perceived powerlessness created by an ultimate truth; we cannot control others or their willingness to be in a relationship with us, if we truly seek to love.
Today I’m starting to put vocals on the music and song cycle now known as Twelvemonth. As you can see from my songbook, lyric writing is not always (rarely in fact) a straightforward affair. I work in pencil for a good reason. And don’t let anyone tell you that using a rhyme dictionary is cheating. This song is from the second cycle and …
Maybe it’s my depression that twists a rainbow world into shades of grey. Or maybe the Order of the Phoenix really is a minefield riddled with CPTSD. In fact it’s so bloody obvious that my suspension of disbelief is starting to waver with the Potterverse. Surely there’s one decent, aware wizard or witch who would have said–a kid wrenched away from his parents at one year old might suffer some attachment disorder and need help.
Juggling time is a huge deal in a open relationship if the type of open relationship you have means investing in every relationship you develop. And it’s not only in your intimate relationships, it’s time spent with their parents, their brothers, sisters and depending on how close they are, cousins, uncles, aunts and the rest. It’s the emotional labour of negotiating holidays, cultural and family traditions and personality dynamics.
Gone are the days when I positively affirmed every day in the shower, and shared uplifting memes. Now I see these past behaviours as tragic extent of mine and others’ unawareness. I thought if I changed my mindset and concentrated on dismissing the negative and amplifying positive activism, that the world I wanted would resettle itself with my aligned actions.
Privileged white woman pain is more gradual and less dramatic than that experienced by intersectional minorities. It is insidious. Kind of like bonsai trees, white women have the innate capacity to grow to a normal size but our roots and branches are cut so that we grow far smaller. Stunted or trained along a trellis in such a way that few see, sometimes not even us.
Like Mithridates, the ancient Greek King who–legend has it–ingested small amounts of poison to create immunity, it is the art of swallowing what we hate little by little, of being formed by it, developing an immunity to it and even learning to appreciate the rush it gives us so we can make it in this sick world. If it is no longer poisonous to us, it is easier to dish it out as we deny that it’s poison. It’s still poison though.
If people only have a choice between evils–be it republicans or democrats, leave or remain, tories, labour lib-dems etc. –then those who don’t want any of them are coerced into making a choice they don’t want, it violates the principles of consent at a very basic level. Consent must be free of coercion by definition, otherwise it is not consent. And when the costs of not picking a side are too high, the voter relationship with the government becomes non-consensual.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, twelvemonth is an archaic noun meaning “a year”. As any writer or musician will tell you, the relevance of things happening around you increases the further you immerse yourself in your work, until every song you hear or snippet of dialogue appears to have a direct link to your project.
There’s a relief that comes with such a diagnosis. But also a glimpse of the fatality that living in our society provides. It’s a label which means you can be put in the box, ‘no longer of any use to society’. And the purpose of getting well is to be of use to society because the machine, the machine must be fed. That is the way of things in the system we have built.
The powerful emotional link that binds families who grow up together often manifests itself in curious ways when adult adoptees meet their biological families. Yet as common as it is, few want to touch it because–well–incest. But this issue needs more awareness, and not only because according to recent reports it’s on the rise. Also because I believe that it’s a fertile ground for a particular type of abuse.
I don’t hide my white privilege but many of my friends don’t know that my Greek-American father wasn’t considered white as a young man. But they don’t tend to ask because I look utterly white, a caucasian through and through. It’s such a small thing, that it barely scratches the surface of relevance. And yet weirdly enough my realisation of what this means is emblematic of our globally expansive-yet-locally-intolerant times.
But the loss of religion, shame and guilt left me without morals. Quite by chance, I found that I was amoral by choice.
Trump wants to make America great again, Theresa May wants to take Britain out of Europe. What they mean is that they want to return to a simpler more ignorant time, one where white people could exploit others–be parasites–without accountability. Abort the awareness baby. Abort.
Yet when you have learned that the best, and almost exclusively only way to survive is by diminishing yourself in order to support those in power–mainly white men–it is paralysing and seemingly impossible to enter into the fray against them. This is the inadmissable and often unconscious conundrum that many white women face deep in their core.