April 13, 2012
Come on, everybody…PROJECT:SHADES
“Never happen if we never try…all the nights awake and the tears we’ve cried could fill the seven seas…so…come on everybody…come on, everybody..we’ve got to give ourselves got to give ourselves a hand…and if we feel it’s all a mess, yeah yeah, why don’t we try a little…try a little…love and tenderness…we’ve got more than comes around, yeah yeah…why don’t we care a little, share a liitle..it’s sure to come back around…”(Tesla, “Stir it up,” Psychotic Supper, 1991)
After the last few days of mulling over the bigness of a project like “Shades,” and after trying to garner the attention and the support of service agencies who are in the business of helping those who need it, and after having door after door closed in my face, I have come to the conclusion and am thinking of it as more of a God given message that perhaps it is not those agencies whose help I need to get. Maybe this time instead of trying hard to get the attention and the support of agencies who do not need this sort of help or, let’s face it, attention, I thought that there was a far better group who could help with this, and I know that you will agree with when I say that you know who that group is.
PROJECT:SHADES is not about helping an agency or a few agencies.
It is instead about people who are very weary of knowing that there is an entire population on the planet who lives their lives daily in the shadows of the darkness that is abuse, that is violence. Everyday people like me live with the memories of what has been our lives, and each and everyday we are taken back to a time in our lives when it seemed like everyday we had the possibility of going to the ER, which for a lot of survivors became a place of safety, of solace, but also may have become a place of confusion on the part of the workers and the emergency employees who treated them, and the confusion came from the fact that they’d seen these people so many times and for the very same reason – because they got beat up by their significant other. What those people cannot ever know in a personal way is that the victim they treated then, just like the very ones they treat now, do not leave their situation at home for one reason – they are scared shitless to leave because they do not want to find out if their attacker will make good on their threats. I have been there, and in some ways I am still in that mindset of fear.
I am fearful of what he might do to me and I have always been.
I used to be ashamed to admit this, but over the years I have managed to just accept that the fear has taught me much. The fear has made me think outside of my own safety zone, and the fear has made me want to prove this man wrong about who I am. The fear has made me strive to put it in his face that I am not some stupid woman who is nothing without him and my fear has made me far more intelligent than even I believe myself to be. My fear taught me not to settle for less than I deserve in my life, and my fear taught me that there is no one like me on this planet and it was this same fear that there would be many more people like me who are fearful as hell of the people who attack and abuse them daily and who would need to be stronger than they ever have been in their lives if ever their soul would survive this hellish part of their Journey.
I know this Path. It is the Path for the Strong Ones. I Am One of The Strong Ones…and so, too, are You…
My fear served me well.
It made me stiffen my backbone, dust myself off and learn that I am not a doormat. It made me desirous of a better life, of a better love, of a better everything, and everyday I take a look at the fear that taught me so much and so very well, and I realize that my fear is the same fear that paralyzes an entire population of people in this country who live their lives daily not sure of anything more than that they do not want to piss their attacker off and that they want peace in their lives. I went through all of this, but at the same time, not so strangely, I was empowered by the anger that was fueled by the fear.
The Rage which is deep seated. The Anger, righteous. The Drive, real. The Love, True…in all cases and no matter what.
My rage is not the same rage that fueled me in the past, toward vengeance, toward thinking of doing tawdry and even unseemly things that no good person would do, but I didn’t- and I pride myself on a whole lot…my integrity…my sense of respect for other people…but mostly, my ability to rise above the anger, the rage and the feelings of disgust that I have for a problem that has been made into something that is not as big as it is, that is not as harsh a reality for a lot of people that it is, and more, this issue with violence against domestic partners, no matter what their gender, has caused me to take up my sword, my shield, my broken heart and my great big Soul, my readership, and yes, my friends, my family and the people whom I love the very most, and makes me want us all to be a collective catalyst for change, makes me want to do what I can to help make these tears we’ve cried and this aching within just finally and forgivingly cease and dry up.
And the way that I will ask you to do this with me is the same way that I do anything – big, bold, in your face and unapologetically. I make no apologies for the thing that is at hand, and I make no excuses as to the reasons that We must do this – We don’t have to explain ourselves to anyone. We just have to do this.
“I get by with a little help from my friends…”
I make it no secret that there are just a few people on this planet who I can give a hug of thanks to for always listening to me when I cried, when I couldn’t figure out why I was in the situation that I was in, and always, they never turned their backs on me.
I want to make the call out to anyone who is reading this to help me with this project. I need people from all walks of life, and you are no exception. We need people from all age groups and from every income level, every race, color, creed, religious belief, every sexual orientation…everyone…and anyone who can take the time to help us put this together…and we need ya yesterday.
This is not an effort to collect or to raise money. It is an effort to collect pairs of shades and to raise awareness. I need artists and musicians, college presidents and politicians, rockers and rappers, every and anybody who is willing to help with this. I need videographers and techno-geeks, salesmen and marketing specialists, shop owners, pub owners, dog owners, cat owners…I need you, your parents, your siblings and cousins, and me, my parents, my siblings and cousins, and I just need any one with a heart and soul and the need to be part of something that is meant to grab attention, raise awareness, and bring a community together – the community of human beings who are ready for change – big change…and yes, you are needed now!!
If at all you should see little glimpses of your Self in this writing, I am hopeful, too, that you will see yourself helping with this, because this is huge, and it is needed. Give your time to this…this is big and life changing…for us all and for us each on our own…
Every 9 seconds someone in America is beaten by their significant other. Violence is never a good thing, no matter who tells you what.
We need to gather our strength, combine our voices, and get in the world’s face.
We need change, and we are the ones who need to exact it, because without our efforts toward anything, ideas are just ideas that stay ideas.
Yet, ideas beget action, and I have been called by a Higher Power to Act rather than to only Think…
“And before it falls apart, yeah, yeah,Why don’t we live a little, give a little, straight from the heart.” (Tesla, “Stir it Up,” Psychotic Supper, 1991)
Come on, everybody.
Come on, everybody.
We’ve got to give ourselves, got to give ourselves…a chance…
I Love You All!!