The Joke

Music has been like oxygen for my soul over my entire life. It moves me, it nurtures me, it inspires me, it heals me. Yesterday I heard a song that did all of those things for me. It’s by an artist I love, Brandi Carlile. It’s called “ The Joke”. After I finished sobbing, I found an interview with her, where she talked about the lyrics, and why she felt compelled to write this song. She spoke of the things happening in the country right now, the bullying, the discrimination, the shattered dreams of little girls after the election, the bias against immigrants, refusing them sanctuary. It was a powerful interview. The lyrics came from her heart. They certainly touched mine. Here they are.

“ You’re feeling nervous, aren’t you, boy?                                                                                                                 With your quiet voice and impeccable style.

Don’t ever let them steal your joy.                                                                                                                                And your gentle ways, to keep ‘em from running wild.

They can kick dirt in your face                                                                                                                                   Dress you down, and tell you that your place is in the middle, when they hate the way you shine.                           I see you tugging on your shirt, trying to hide inside of it and hide how much it hurts.

Let ‘em laugh while they can, let ‘em spin, let ‘em scatter in the wind.                                                                      I have been to the movies, I’ve seen how it ends.                                                                                                       And the joke’s on them.

You get discouraged, don’t you, girl?                                                                                                                         It’s your brother’s world for a little longer.

We gotta dance with the devil on a river, to beat the stream.                                                                                     Call it living the dream, call it kicking the ladder.

They come to kick dirt in your face,                                                                                                                           To call you weak and then displace you

After carrying your baby on your back across the desert.                                                                                            I saw your eyes behind your hair, and you’re looking tired, but you don’t look scared.

Let ‘em laugh while they can, let ‘em spin, let ‘em scatter in the wind                                                                     I have been to the movies, I’ve seen how it ends.                                                                                                       And the joke’s on them.

Let ‘em laugh while they can, let ‘em spin, let ‘em scatter in the wind.                                                                        I have been to the movies, I’ve seen how it ends.                                                                                                       And the joke’s on them. “

Actually, the joke is on them. In spite of their greed, their hunger for power, the cover-ups, lies, abuse, discrimination, religious fanaticism, misogyny, more than ever before we are coming together, standing up for each other, the planet, marching, forming movements. We see children mobilizing, protesting gun laws that are causing this country to have the highest death rate from guns in the world. Women are refusing to accept abuse and harassment as a fact of life, coming forward, no longer silent, fierce and fearless. We are demanding equal pay, equal rights, and equal opportunities.

The joke is on them, because their treachery is being uncovered. Trump has become a laughingstock around the world, his name a punchline and a synonym for idiocy. No one outruns the Karma police. Those that live from cruelty and sadism always come to a bad end. Look at history.

To those of us who choose to live from love, in spite of experiencing sexual abuse, domestic violence, bullying, racism, misogyny, or discrimination, own your strength, your honor, your courage, and compassion. You are amazing. You are a miracle.

The joke’s on the dark ones, because they have only made us stronger, and more determined to prevail. Even those they have been able to kill, live on, their teachings inspiring generations, while the offenders fade into nothingness, a footnote in history.

We stand together, one heart, rising up, invincible. They can’t stop us. Nothing stops love. Nothing stops compassion and mercy. The light always triumphs over darkness. May this song uplift your spirit as it has mine. I send love to all souls who have survived these trials, and to those experiencing these things now, we are with you. Thank you to Brandi Carlile, Philip John Hanseroth, Timothy J. Hanseroth, and David W. Jr Cobb for this incredible  anthem.

The official video of this song is on YouTube. It’s worth watching. Blessings, Judith

Why Women Die

Artist Karol Bak

Today a White House staffer resigned due to allegations of domestic violence by two ( yes, you read that right), two of his ex-wives. These allegations included photos. The response from General Kelly regarding the staffer was that “ he is a man of integrity, and a good friend.” Others, including Senator Orrin Hatch, who the staffer also worked for, encouraged the staffer “ to stay and fight” these allegations. This attitude of denial about domestic violence is why so many women die at the hands of intimate partners. Let’s look at some statistics, shall we?

From the NCADV, ( National Coalition Against Domestic Violence) “in the U.S, 20 people are abused by intimate partners EVERY MINUTE. There are more than 10 million abuse victims annually. 1 in 3 women have been physically abused by an intimate partner. 1 in 5 have been severely physically abused. 1 in 7 women have been stalked. On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 20,000 calls.”

1 in 3 female murder victims are killed by intimate partners. 19.3 million women have been stalked. These statistics are staggering. Unfortunately, the response we see across the board from men like those in the White House is always the same. Denial. Minimizing. Victim blaming. Blatant lying. Cover-ups. Let’s face it, the current President has allegations of sexual assault made against him by 19 different women, while openly bragging he can grab women by the pussy. And people still voted for him.

I have made no secret about being a survivor of domestic violence. Severe domestic violence. And you know what I heard from customers in our restaurants who knew nothing about what was going on in private? “ Oh, your husband is so charming “, or, “ you are so lucky to be married to a man like that”. People see what they want to see. The culture of patriarchy and misogyny that we live in makes it easy for men like this to get away with being violent bastards behind closed doors. Almost every survivor I know has heard the same things about her offender. It hurts.

Domestic violence crosses all communities, religions, and races. People may wonder why women don’t speak out. We do. 20,000 calls a day to hotlines is speaking out. Women tell friends, family members, therapists, and the police. They get restraining orders. They report stalking. So often, all of this ends in tragedy. Why? Because this has never been seen as the blight on humanity that it is. Women are just not valued as much as men. If men were being treated this way, it would be stopped.

I found the news today to be disgusting. The response from Kelly was appalling. Typical, but appalling. This, right here, is why women die at the hands of intimate partners. What has to happen to us for us to be believed? Believed about being raped, molested, beaten, emotionally abused, bullied, intimidated? Short of filming it as it’s happening, what proofs can we offer to a culture that doesn’t believe us, or if they do, doesn’t care enough to enact laws to protect us?

I say, it’s time for this to end. I say that those of us who have survived this are fucking miracles. I’m lucky to be alive. I made it out. For all of those who have, own your courage. You know what it took to escape, and then, to heal. For those of you still in it, don’t ever give up. Tell someone. Keep going. Many of us made it, you can, too. I send love and light to all of us, millions of us, over decades of this. Centuries, really. We are fierce. And to the deniers and enablers, the perpetrators of violence, we’re coming for you. Our voices will not be silenced. Your time is over. Your Karma is catching up with you. I have two words for you. Fuck. You. ( Namaste). Judith

Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken

Will Cook photography

As I watched the Grammys last night, I was blown away, as I always am, by Pink. I probably have all of her albums, including her latest,  Beautiful Trauma. Last night she performed a song from that album called “ Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken”, co-written by her and Michael James Ryan Busbee. It’s an anthem for our time, in the face of the wave of sexual abuse reports, harassment, and discrimination against women. Women are breaking their silence and coming forward in record numbers, an army of warriors who have had enough. Last weeks trial of Larry Nassar, the team doctor for the U.S. gymnastics team, was a nightmare, revealing decades of abuse. He pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of young girls on the team, some as young as 6 years old. He is already in prison on charges of having child pornography, over 30,000 Images. Over 150 victims were allowed to speak to the court, giving statements about his impact on their lives. The entire country learned about the years of the sexual abuse of young girls, their trust and innocence betrayed, stolen from them, while those charged with their safety did nothing to stop a monster, even when these girls tried to speak out.

So many of us have survived the theft of innocence, of trust, of feeling safe in our own bodies. There are all different kinds of betrayals. All different kinds of thieves. Some are parents who are supposed to love their children, while neglecting them, or beating them, or indoctrinating them into cults, or rigid ideologies at the earliest age. Some are teachers, some are clergy, some are coaches. They are everywhere. For children, receiving  love, acceptance, and approval becomes dependent upon giving up the Sacred birthright of being who you are. Thieves.

Another type of theft is to be in a relationship, claiming to love your partner, while doing everything to avoid true intimacy. Lying, cheating, or deflecting, refusing to take personal responsibility for anything, prevents any spiritual growth, any evolution. It freezes a relationship, keeping it in stasis. Codependency, allowing oneself to remain stuck, investing in someone’s possibilities, is equally soul destroying. Thieves.

Another type of theft is racism, denying the humanity of another in order to feel superior to them. Thieves. Misogyny. Pathological narcissism. Religious fundamentalism. Thieves. Thieves of joy. Thieves of safety. Thieves of love.

I love the lyrics to this song, because it speaks to the fury of betrayal, and the incredible courage we have in overcoming it, reclaiming our personal power, and moving on. Some of the lyrics are: “ There’s not enough rope to tie me down, there’s not enough tape to shut this mouth. The stones you throw can make me bleed. But I won’t stop until we’re free. Wild hearts can’t be broken. No, wild hearts can’t be broken. “

What we are is magical, beautiful, wild, and free. In Native culture, the eagle represents our connection to Spirit, to the Divine. Eagle flies higher than any other bird. The lyrics go on to say, “ My Spirit above me. You cannot deny me. My freedom is burning. This broken world keeps turning. I’ll never surrender. There’s nothing, but a victory. “

We will never surrender. This battle has just begun. We won’t stop until we’re free. Until everyone is free. We are strong. We are fierce. We are an army of light, truth, and justice. And we’re coming for the thieves and their enablers. What they didn’t realize is that Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. They’re about to find that out. Strap in. It’s about to get interesting. Blessings, Judith

** Thank you To Will Cook photography for permission to use his amazing Eagle photos. He captures the essence of the Eagle Spirit better than anyone I’ve seen.

** Thank you, Pink. We love you.