A short fashion film I created for my friends Amanda Bear and Felicia Gaxiola’s Larkspur lingerie line. Check out their Kickstarter and support some amazing designers creating organic, locally-made clothing. I’m so proud of what they’ve created.
::: Found on Upworthy :::
An experimental piece my I created, along with my friend Scott Arany, for the Via Crucis art show in downtown LA which is hosted by Big Art Labs and Tribe of LA.
The piece was part of a meditative installation my friend Scott Arany and I created, which invited people to sit in a safe space for mourning and allow themselves a contemplative time to express grief.
Melissa Harris-Perry’s Open Letter to the Steubenville Survivor
Dearest Beloved Girl,
This letter is an apology. An apology for being an adult who has failed to make the world safe for you. Because you should be safe. Even when you make the sometimes stupid, often naive choices that teens make, you should be safe.
Your vulnerability should not invite assault and attack of your body or your spirit. And so I am sorry, because we have failed to teach your male peers that they have no right to touch you without your consent or to use you to meet their needs or to discard you if your victimization does not fit their life plan. I am sorry we have failed you.
This letter is also a note of gratitude for your willingness to report this crime, to take the stand, and to endure the viciousness hurled at you this week. I know the words that run in a loop in your mind. Don’t tell. If you tell, no one will believe you. If you tell, everyone will think you are a whore. Sometimes he is the one who says them first, spewing the words like mold spores that grow in the darkness of your silence. Sometimes it’s your own voice telling you, I can’t tell. No one will believe me. It’s the reason 54% of survivors never report the assault. It’s the reason I kept my secret for nearly a decade. But not you, beloved. You demanded the right to be heard.
You may have lost your voice that night, but you found it again when you told the truth–even though you knew, didn’t you? You knew just how relentlessly they would try to silence you.
You knew that neighbors, and friends, and even members of the national media would mourn the loss of your attackers’ football careers more than the loss of your innocence. You knew that even those who claimed to be sympathetic would pass along the pictures of your assault with a tone deaf voyeurism that seeks to make you a thing instead of a person. I think maybe you knew, or suspected these things, but you spoke out anyway.
And that…that is astonishing. And I want to say thank you, because you did what so many of us never find the strength to do. You spoke for yourself. You spoke for the 44% of rape victims who are under 18–and you spoke for my 14-year-old self, who still hears that threat echoing in my head, “Don’t tell. No one will believe you.”
So, this is my apology and this is my gratitude. This is me saying, “I believe you.”
And I believe you are inherently valuable. Not as a character in some grotesque news cycle where your assault is all we know, but as a girl with hopes and dreams and ambitions and vulnerabilities and so much more growing up to do. I never need to know your name, but I need you to know you are not alone. Surviving is not a single occurrence, it is a lifetime of making choices that honor you and your right to speak. You have begun surviving. You will continue surviving. And if you ever get down, or wonder how you will go on, take out this letter and read it to yourself.
I believe you.
That night when you kissed me, I left a poem in your mouth.
You can hear some of the lines every time you breathe out.
And it’s not the best thing I’ve ever written, I’m still working on my rhythm.
My tongue gets tied sometimes, my throat gets dry, my hands start trembling.
Honestly, the only thing I’ve mastered is how to write a really good ending.
But I’m getting pretty tired of finish lines.
So this morning I bought a needle and thread, and started stitching you a sunrise.
And the seams are tattered and torn cos I got the cloth from from an old shirt
I was wearing the first time this world started tearing me open.
And I’ve been choking for my breath since then.
Have you ever spent a whole year hoping the morning wouldn’t come?
I’ve had a band-aid in one hand, and in the other, a gun.
Something’s been screaming “Fire, kid,” but something’s still screaming “Live”
so baby, write me a bridge away from this storm.
I don’t know the words to the song you were born to sing,
but I know your fingers will bleed when you play the chords
and maybe you’ll need me then like I need you now.
When I say that I miss you, I mean something more.
I mean I’ve been biding my time til you kiss me again.
I keep poems like secrets, then tell them when I’m tired of hiding who I am.
I am missing you most in the silence between songs on my favourite records.
Sometimes it takes so long for the music to start.
Is there a shoreline where the seaweed holds the rocks so tight they soften into sand?
Is it too late to say that’s how my heart feels in your hands,
like you could sift it through an hourglass, and pass it off as time?
Never stood still and neither did I. But I will. If you let me.
In your arms, I forget what the yarn knows of sweaters.
I forget how to hold myself together, so if I unfold now, like a love letter,
tell me you’ll write back soon. Tell me you’ll still come untethered.
I saw the moon last night for the first time in months.
She reminded me of you, slouching stubborn in the light.
I’d fight battles against the sun to rest against you tonight, to feel your breath on my pillow.
Those songbirds outside your window are dropping feathers like I dropped words.
I’m cold from all that came out wrong. I sleep alone now, even when I don’t.
I sleep backbone to floorboards cos they’re softer than regret.
Don’t let me go. Don’t let me go yet.
I traced your silhouette on the skyline.
Your crooked spine bent meadows into mountains I climbed to watch the sun set.
The sky never looked so gorgeous. All those fallen stars, sick and tired of being famous.
That man next door with his old violin. I swore his song could save us.
I’m ready to go home.
::: ‘Electoral Reform’ by Neil Freeman :::
do i contradict myself?