December 23, 2003
almost cut my hair
Shelley writes: “She who dares [sing] now does not live to pass her exuberance and spirit on to her offsping, and each new generation becomes more silent in the face of adversity.” She’s referring to birds outside getting quiet when a hawk is in view, among other things.
This made me think of ani difranco, an incredible talent who sings her truth regardless. Sometimes I worry for her safety, since clearly there’s danger in this world. By telling the uncomfortable truths, we could be painting targets on our chests. My wife once got hate mail simply by choosing Bobby McFerrin’s 23rd Psalm, which refers to God as a woman, for her choir to perform at Christmas-time.
So what do we do? Keep our mouths shut? Get unlisted numbers? It’s a real problem. As Ani says, “[we learn] by example to just keep moving [our] feet.” Enough fear all around, and the hawks have it easy. But the more we speak our minds, the more we’ll want to stop and help change things.
But why should we even risk it? Why should we even take the time? Because someone did it for us, which makes it our responsibility.
If not us, who?
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