You belong somewhere you feel free.
Who doesn't love a good throwback? We're kicking things off this week with a post Dann wrote in 2018 called "Categories." With the election only a month away, it felt appropriate.
I’ve never been a fan of categories.
On a recent trip with students, one of them was wearing a New England Patriots t shirt while our guide, a local from the country we were in, was explaining about how much he loves his country. This got me thinking of the differences in the two ideas.
One: a (mostly) pre-determined set of characteristics, a box or category that some people try to fit into, whether it is their truth or not.
Two: a verb in which all those characteristics are put into action plus some, allowing individuality in the way which a person shows love for their country.
I’m sure there are a lot of people for which there is a sort of Venn diagram where both one and two share many of the same characteristics. Which is awesome. Maybe it’s just me. I do not enjoy being told “you have to do this” or “you have to act this way” (unless there are safety concerns or something – I’ll always wear my seatbelt). I also dislike the “here are the rules to be in this category” meaning that if you don’t follow those specific rules, there is something wrong with you and you don’t belong. And so, I prefer the idea of an action. I prefer the verb form. The form which allows a little bit of leeway. The form that encourages someone to take action, to question what they have been taught or even who they have been taught by, to take a knee or climb a statue.
So, if someone ever asked me “are you a patriot?” I don’t know if I could answer “yes.” But I could answer that I do love this country. That I am acting with love and that my love is not constrained by predetermined characteristics. I love all the good things it is and it is through and with this love that I want to change the bad things.
It's fighting systemic injustice time! (J/K, that's all the time.) Here are a few actions we're taking, and we encourage you to join us!
Buy a copy of My Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor. (Or check one out from the library if buying isn't an option.)
October is almost here, and you know what that means: our NEW OCTOBER SINGLE! This month's track is "Air." For anyone who has seen us perform it live, it's the one where Dann gets everyone to snap. ;)
The track will be up on our Bandcamp page this Friday, October 2nd (just in time for Bandcamp Friday!) and available everywhere else on October 5th. All the details on the writing process, the snaps, and the epic guitar solo (???) will be in our October email. Sign up for our monthly emails if you haven't already so you don't miss out!
Other exciting news: we've been invited to join the bill for a show celebrating the 25th anniversary of No Doubt's album, Tragic Kingdom. The show is being put on by ONCE Virtual Venue, the virtual wing of ONCE Ballroom in Somerville, MA. The bill includes amazing musicians like:
You're all incredible. Hang in there. <3