THE OSCARS HAVE COME AND GONE. I ENJOYED THIS SHOW THAT WAS SO MUCH MORE ABOUT GOWNS THIS YEAR. IT WAS THOUGHTFUL AND DIFFICULT, BUT WORTHWHILE AS I WAS MOVED TO TEARS WITH LADY GAGA’S PERFORMANCE. BELOW, I AM A SHADOW.
As you know, Lady Gaga performed her original song, co-written with Diane Warren, “Til it Happens to You”, to haunting effect. The performance was so passionate as she belted it out, and pounded it out on the piano. Tears and a standing ovation resulted. The song resonated. Fittingly the performance was introduced by Joe Biden. I watched it over and over, with crimson blue eyes.
I believe this is a song that every woman, and many men can relate to. Most of us have lives touched with sexual assault in some way, whether it happens to you or a loved one.
Having someone speak out in defense of someone vulnerable, is a brave and noble thing. It just is.
My photo above is part of a shoot that I will share tomorrow. It is a photo that is disparate and separate from the post in tone and color. I am in the shadows, looking out. You can not see my face. I did not plan this post this way, but today Gaga’s performance still lingers in my mind, and this shot looks different to me today than it did on Saturday, on the unseasonably warm and bright day. So this shot became a post about loss, fear, and feeling separate.
I wonder if victims of assault, any assault, (sexual assault, verbal abuse, bullying) feel this way: Inside looking out, their person distorted, the outside light, blunted and glazed by sadness.
If you have been treated badly, it is hard to not be guarded. Still. Thoughtful, overly concerned with the consequences of your actions. Will they invite shame, embarrassment, confusion? It can feel as though your jeweled shoes might well be lead; so hard to move forward.
I dedicate this post to anyone who has been made to feel shame. I hope you can be buoyed by common experience, and that you heal, with time. I wish for you, that you can take steps forward towards the beauty that is waiting.
On this topic, I want to mention an important film. it was written and directed by my friend, Dea Jenkins, who also speaks out this issue. Imbalance is an award winning short film, that tells the story, from a sadly true event, of a 10-year-old girl who is sexually molested on a subway. No one on the NYC subway train notices and she does not speak up. My friend speaks up, in the telling of this haunting film, and I am grateful to the brave women who are out there, listening and speaking up for others who can not.
************* XX, ELLE ****************