Be Brave video & Prefuse73 remixxxxx
September 20, 2011 · Print This Article
The year 2010 was not the most joyous one for me to get a smart phone and start reading the news. Maybe I was sheltered before, or maybe I was recovering from my own tragedies, so that I couldn’t take in what was happening on a larger scale. But I broke down & traded in my old phone for a screen slider and started to look around. Environmental disasters were in the headlines everyday- a tsunami in Chile, an oil spill in the Gulf, a flood in Pakistan, an image of Adelie penguins hovering over their eggs which were submerged by snowmelt caused by global warming. Human injustices also seemed to increase. The numbers of child sex slavery were astounding. Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo was held under house arrest and not allowed to take the prize awarded for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. In November, the great composer Gorecki died and I remember that weekend clearly, listening to the work and reading the lyrics in his beautiful Symphony No. 3, the lament of a mother who has lost her son in war. In listening to his music, I began weeping over human injustice. This was the context in which I started writing.
At first the song “Be Brave” began with a chant “I do dear Dodo I do dance for you”. Yes, a terrible lyric, but that was the sentiment I was reaching for. I wanted to make my own rain dance, a way of calling upon the gods to bring change. I started researching (and by “research” I mean, watching YouTube) the traditions of prayer dances, watching wise old Cherokee chiefs talk about nature, about our relationship to the earth and to one another. Finally, the lyrics started to come for the song- a lament, a lecture to myself for behavioral change, a demand for bravery and for hard work.
I am a bird in water, a whale on sand, I am the flood, the fire, the oil spill…