anitalorrainemoore

Musician devoted to Justice, Creativity, and Courage


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TuesDay NewsDay Vol 3, Issue 4 – March 17, 2020

Hey yall, It’s Tuesday.  The Earth turned into the Sun again today.  The clouds parted so that we may feel the warmth of that Sun too.  For those things and more, I am hella grateful.  Please see the passage below.  I am re-reading this little book called Practicing Peace and it speaks to every ounce of what is happening in the world right now and how we can all choose to evolve through these times.  Pema on Racial Injustice

Dedication: To everyone. All the people. All the animals. All the plants. All the Spirits.

Quote:  Practicing Peace by Pema Chödrön.  “War begins when we harden our hearts, and we harden them easily— in minor ways and then in quite serious, major ways, such as hatred and prejudice—whenever we feel uncomfortable. It’s so sad, really, because our motivation in hardening our hearts is to find some kind of ease, some kind of freedom from the distress that we’re feeling. Someone once gave me a poem with a line in it that offers a good definition of peace: “softening what is rigid in our hearts.” We can talk about ending war and we can march for ending war, we can do everything in our power, but war is never going to end as long as our hearts are hardened against each other.

What happens is a chain reaction, and I’d be surprised if you didn’t know what I’m talking about. Something occurs—it can be as small as a mosquito buzzing—and you tighten. If it’s more than a mosquito—or maybe a mosquito is enough for you—something starts to shut down in you, and the next thing you know, imperceptibly the chain reaction of misery begins: we begin to fan the grievance with our thoughts. These  thoughts become the fuel that ignites war. War could be that you smash that little teensy-weensy mosquito. But I’m also talking about war within the family, war at the office, war on the streets, and also war between nations, war in the world.

We often complain about other people’s fundamentalism. But whenever we harden our hearts, what is going on with us? There’s an uneasiness and then a tightening, a shutting down, and then the next thing we know, the chain reaction begins and we become very righteous about our right to kill the mosquito or yell at the person in the car or whatever it might be. We ourselves become fundamentalists, which is to say we become very self-righteous about our personal point of view.

…The next time you get angry, check out your righteous indignation, check out your fundamentalism that supports your hatred of this person, because this one really is bad—this politician, that leader, those heads of big companies. Or maybe it’s rage at an individual who has harmed you personally or harmed your loved ones. A fundamentalist mind is a mind that has become rigid. First the heart closes, then the mind becomes hardened into a view, then you can justify your hatred of another human being because of what they represent and what they say and do.

…If you look back at history or you look at any place in the world where  religious groups or ethnic groups or racial groups or political groups are killing each other, or families have been feuding for years and years, you can see—because you’re not particularly invested in that particular argument— that there will never be peace until somebody softens what is rigid in their heart. So it’s necessary to take a big perspective on your own righteousness and your own fundamentalism when it begins to kick in and you think your own aggression and prejudice are reasonable.

I try to practice what I preach; I’m not always that good at it but I really do try. The other night, I was getting hard-hearted, closed-minded, and fundamentalist about somebody else, and I remembered this expression that you can never hate somebody if you stand in their shoes. I was angry at him because he was holding such a rigid view. In that instant I was able to put myself in his shoes and I realized, “I’m just as riled up and self-righteous and closed minded about this as he is. We’re in exactly the same place!” And I saw that the more I held on to my view, the more polarized we would become, and the more we’d be just mirror images of one another—two people with closed minds and hard hearts who both think they’re right, screaming at each other. It changed for me when I saw it from his side, and I was able to see my own aggression and ridiculousness.

Image result for pema chodronIf you could have a bird’s-eye perspective on the Earth and could look down at all the conflicts that are happening, all you’d see are two sides of a story where both sides think they’re right. So the solutions have to come from a change of heart, from softening what is rigid in our hearts and minds.”

Practicing Peace Mini-Book PDF

 

Song: I Want To Be Here – by Neko Case, here’s the video Bruce and I played for today with this song, recorded by my awesome roommate, Andrea. InstaVideoSongPost

Dear Humans,

The excerpt from above means a lot to me.  I wish I could somehow transfer this sentiment of softening our hearts to every human on this planet.  Some people know this already, but some people don’t and would never agree… so we’d have to sneak it in while they were sleeping.  We could send a little whisper of Love into their ears via magic fairy dust or something they couldn’t successfully shake out or wash off in the morning.  I don’t have much to say that Pema didn’t already about all that’s happening out there in the world.  I wish everyone rest and a calm heartbeat.  I wish everyone food in their bellies and enough resources to provide for what they need.  I wish for marginalized people to have some peace of mind and heart.  I wish those in power would use it for the betterment of society instead of to its detriment.  I wish for people’s hearts to soften and to feel what it is that could truly save this world, Love.  (and 6 feet of temporary personal space…)  Goodnight y’all.

 

 


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Grit and Moss

 

    At this moment, all that exists in my sights are the darkness of the night sky through the window, the golden light of a candle glimmering in my periphery and the glow of this computer screen.  Of late, I have read many stories by writers about their influences and writers whom they adore. The most compelling stories depict how the main inspiration was the author’s own life, their own experiences and hardships were their teachers and the stories told themselves, their fingers were merely a medium.

    Songs seem to come to me this way.  Ideas for paintings, projects, special studies… they all jump into my mind and slam the “Go” button, yet, it wasn’t my choice to press it.  Once, I was asked to write my autobiography on one page. That was horribly prohibitive. It takes a half-hour just to get started when telling about my life.  Perhaps I am simply detail-oriented or lack conciseness. I see everything as bleeding into everything else, just like a watercolor painting which starts with too much water.  Except, in life, those bleeding tales need no judgment, at this point, of too much or too little liquid. Those tales exist only in the memories of my body and when I think back to them or something reminds me of them; I can only experience them in the moment or in a dream.  At times, I become overwhelmed with the sound of my heart beating and shortness of breath. Other times, the need to sleep or eat suddenly tips me over and makes me weak in the knees. In more extreme cases, fear fills every pore, unexplainable in the present moment as to why and I find myself floating above, as an outsider looking in, disassociating.  Somehow, I can become a shadow when the worst moments resurface. I get lost in the replay and the mountainous weight of knowing there is nothing I can do to change the stories. In those dark and tremendous moments, there are veins reaching into the future, into the people I love, into the choices I make, into the way I look in the mirror, into the way strangers look at me…  All this is happening under the guise of a smiling, confident, albeit sometimes distracted, woman.

    Imagine what it would be like if those moments disappeared.  What would happen if those shocking and depressing moments no longer plagued those of us who share them?  There could be a light, a blinding light, swirling out of my forehead. I see light emanating from my fingertips and from each strand of hair.  There is no memory in my body, from the earliest of early storage drawers of visions, that does not have a tinge of sadness. I cannot remember ever feeling completely light, free, and without judgment.  Fear permeates every facet of life. I could be beaten for not finishing my dinner or having an accident potty training. I could be abused or taunted by any man who walked by. I could be ridiculed for being imperfect by any movement, decision, performance or by simply existing.  Simultaneously, I was treasured and praised when I was approvable. In public, I was the gem of the show. I was “the rock”. The undeterminable atmosphere of our home, the lack of comfort, the affectation of normalcy, the quid-pro-quo nurturing, the unending sarcasm, perversion, and the predatorial context into which my sister and I were forced to exist has created, in me, a person who needs to come to terms with the impact such a life has had on my body.  The lives and bodies of millions of people in this world are all carrying scars on their beating hearts from childhood. They learned about their lack of importance, their prescribed stupidity and their lack of control so early, the notion that such things don’t HAVE to hold them down may never be realized in their lives. They may never individuate.

    I have the privilege of a new awareness of how my body, heart, and mind are all interconnected and I proclaim that the marks carved into my being are going to be brought to light.  Immunity to sickness and dedication to health are the core of my focus now. The amount of time it will take to begin to feel whole and happy again may be lengthy. Yet, I am here.  I am learning. My body is going to heal. I have magnets in my heart and the celestial bodies and our beautiful, magical planet are connected by those same forces.

I am filled with grit. I am the softest green moss of the forest floor.

In some corner of my mind, I have yet to unearth, there is the North star of hope.

I am seeking Spirit by this river’s shore and in my inner flame’s ashes and smoke.

long exposure of photography of brown tree

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

 


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Conundrum…

I was just on the phone with my grandmother.

She told me that my mother wants to donate a thousand dollars to my album fundraiser.  The only thing she wants in return is her own copy.  That was the last thing I expected to be thinking about tonight.  I told Maw Maw that I’d have to think about it.  There are several reasons why I need to think about it and Becky Miller’s voice just popped into my head as I think about them… I feel surprised.  I feel nauseous.  I feel trepidatious.  I think she doesn’t know what she’s getting into.  There’s only one real reason for all this fear, Darlene.   Darlene will smack my mother in the face via song.  I don’t want my music to hurt anyone, but Darlene has fighting gloves, armor and a helmet she wears around my mother.  Darlene is a force.  Darlene is fierce.  Darlene is both scared and strong.

Becky Miller said to me once, “You are not responsible for how someone else reacts to your truth. You are only responsible for being honest about who you are.”  I can’t control how my mother reacts to this.  I am nervous she’ll hate it.  I am scared she’ll sue me for non-support.  I’m afraid she’ll deny it and make me out to be the bad guy.

Tonight, for the first time, I read the lyrics to Darlene to my grandmother.  I could barely get through the song, reading it more like a poem.  I was choking up and holding back tears to be able to pronounce the words clearly enough so she could understand what I was saying.  At the end (I was grateful I made it through), she was quiet.  I had no idea what she was going to say.  I asked her, “You there?” and she answered, “Yes, I’m here.  That brought on a few tears. Your Paw Paw’s going to like that.”

So here I am, back to wondering if I should accept the money and give her a record, if I should accept the money and not give her a record, or if I should just reject the whole idea. The brave little one inside of me is afraid that her mother will judge her and hate her even more.  You see, in May of 2002, she called me from jail. She’d been arrested for not taking care of her children (I will spare you the details.).  She used her one phone call to tell me that I ruined her life.  Over the years, she’d called me stupid, lied over and over again, and very nonchalantly said to me when I was seven, “If it happens again, honey, let me know.” after I told her I’d been molested by her boyfriend’s son.  Of course, it happened again, and again, and again.

I don’t think about these things every day, consciously.  However, they color my existence and make me the sparkly person you know today.  I was polished through those moments to become Anita Lorraine, named after both my grandmothers and now have chosen to take my grandfather’s last name, Moore.  Anita Lorraine Moore.

It may take some time to come to a decision on this.  I hope I make a decision that makes the world a better place for us all.  This album is the crux of my inspiration.  Some of my music is happy.  Some is contemplative.  Some is magical.  Some is angry.  Some is broken-hearted.  Darlene, however, is revolutionary and bold.  She is a phoenix.

 

Darlene was raised in two different worlds

One was safe. The other, toil

Darlene paid in the old-time way

Full-grown girl, before she turned eight

 

Her daddy shamed her in the end

Momma left her on her own to fend

She needed love and a place to go

A place she found just a mile or so

 

Grandfather’s hands worked to the bone

Grandmother’s love gave her a home

Grandfather gave her all his pride

Grandmother was her sweetheart’s bride

 

She tried to pray but could not hear

The voice of God within her ear

Darlene knew she couldn’t run

To save herself from his father’s son

She had to freeze, her mind to bend

To save herself from her mother’s men

 

Grandfather came to the rescue

Grandmother was someone she looked up to

Grandfather’s grown into an old man

Grandmother still, she still holds his hand

 

You know Darlene’s not the only one

Children’s tears can’t be undone

But if this truth we refuse to ignore 

This world would change, we would take no more 

 

Darlene learned how to spread her wings

Sang with angels inside her dreams 

Her light shone through the darkest of  nights

Into a song… born of candlelight 

 

We are born fearless

    Named after our kin

 

    Blood and bone

    Show where we’ve been

 

Blood and bone

Show where we’ve been

 

     Blood and bone

     Memories and skin 

If you want to learn more about the fundraiser, visit: Sacred Album Recording Fundraiser 

If you want to see the live video of Darlene, visit here: Darlene Facebook Fundraiser Live Video Series

If you want to share or talk about anything, please send me an email, my door is open: anitalorrainemusic@gmail.com

Please consider donating to my album, 5% of all donations go to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country.)

Thank you ALL for your support of this music, it means the world to me.
$40 = 1 hour in the studio ~
$5 = gas back and forth to the studio! It all helps.

LOVE,

ALM

 

 


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July 1st… Journal today and Khalil Gibran

Monday… July 1st

Today, right now, I feel peaceful. I am sitting on the couch with my coffee, grey cashmere sweater score from the thrift store, tons of reading material and my ankle propped up on ice. This whole process of surgery and healing has taught me so much I never really understood – how important the pause really is. The caring for your body in a way that reflects that you ACTUALLY care about what happens to it and how it functions. It’s unbelievable to me that I went so long without really taking care of this ankle, or thinking about this at all… the life of childhood sexual abuse survivors perhaps – but I’ll only speak of my own experience. I think back and see so many unspoken, unseen barriers to recognizing the problem. I never want to be that distracted and oblivious again in my life. Therapy, Al-Anon, music, and most of all that Divine resilience spark from somewhere within me (and us all, right?) has put me in this place of submission. I know I’ll be taken care of. What a privileged feeling?

Right now, my mind goes to the families on the border of our country, the refugees trying to find a safe place, a home, the war-torn families of people across this world who truly DON’T know that they’ll be taken care of. Sitting here, I truly don’t know what to do about that. Is there something to be done? Is there nothing to be done? I can’t take on the weight of the world alone. How is it that my conscience (I’m teaching about conscience and morality in my Critical Thinking class this week.) is so heavy from the knowledge of what is happening around me but also the feeling of being incapable of doing anything about it. Is that not the essence of trauma? Am I wrong that everything will be taken care of? Is this a false sense of security in some unseen force? When I have been abused in the past, I didn’t know what to do so I froze and allowed it to happen until is was over and I could escape. Some don’t escape. My escape was in my mind, as my body was being invaded. What of right now? Is my escape the comfort of my mind since there is this seemingly limited amount of impact I can make on the atrocities of this world? (I made 74.50 Friday night performing to send to the Border relief organizations sending lawyers and food/water/proper care to those families.). It seems like so little… I curiously don’t feel shame. That I am proud of, however there is guilt – the healthy spark to do something to rectify wrong-doings comes from guilt. I didn’t create the system in which we live, yet as I live and breath, I benefit and continue to perpetuate its eventuality.

Are we all going through trauma right now, on a cellular and spiritual level right now, if not physical (since it’s all connected)? The world feels to me to be chaotic and mean, and while I sit here with my coffee, it’s hard not to think of all those who are unsafe and literally grasping for their lives.

From therapy, I learned that many truths can be simultaneously existent – the ever-present paradox – the both/and – not simply the limiting either/or. Literally, I believe this is the only mindset which can release me from my own rambling, concerned yet paralyzed state. Also, it’s the only perspective which can shed light on numerous co-existing perspectives of abundance which are hard to see while thinking about the suffering of this world. I never just think about the suffering, I FEEL it. Everyone can. It is impossible not to (even if you are unconscious of it, it impacts you. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)) – it is all recognizable and at times, insidiously invisible. So why is it that the joys and the love and the light is so hard to absorb and hold? Again, that shift in lens is the antidote for the tunnel vision. A trusting that somehow, those positivities are truly out there in and amongst the negativities. …and if you venture out to the furthest reaches, perhaps those challenges (in hindsight) give us the tools we need to survive.

In an attempt at gross summation and perhaps even over-simplification – maybe we can cradle in our palms these painful knowings and trust that they are providing insights about how to better live, how much more aware I can be to not only see and recognize, but to act upon those recognitions to create a more just world in one fluid, unnoticeable and perpetual movement with the intention of good?

“On Good and Evil” – Kahlil Gibran (I find deep feeling insights every time I open The Prophet.)

“And one of the elders of the city said, Speak to us of Good and Evil. And he answered:

Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil.

For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?

Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.

You are good when you are one with yourself.

Yet when you are not one with yourself, you are not evil.

For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house.

And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sing not to the bottom.

You are good when you strive to give of yourself.

Yet you are not evil when you seek to gain for yourself.

For when you strive to gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast.

Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, “Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance.”

For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.

You are good when you are fully awake in your speech,

Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose.

And even in the stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.

You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps.

Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping.

Even those who limp go not backward.

But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.

You are good in countless ways, and yo are not evil when you are not good,

You are only loitering and sluggard.

Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.

In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness: and that longing is in all of you. [I am brought to tears at this moment reading this line again.]

But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs of the forest.

And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and bends and lingers before it reaches the shore.

But let not him who longs much say to him who longs little, “Wherefore are you slow and halting?”

For the truly good ask not the naked, “Where is your garment.” Nor the house less, “Where has befallen your house?”

Another memory I heard singing in my ears while typing this, “I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch, he said to me, “You must not ask for so much.” I saw a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door, she cried to me, “Hey, why not ask for more? Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir …I have tried, in my way, to be free.”

– Bird on a Wire, by Leonard Cohen.

Nothing is left unresolved, only momentary feigns of understanding…