This is a video I directed for my band Trippy Hearts’ song “Flaming Gold Piano.” It feels right to release it on the full moon on Halloween 2020. It is from our album Lacewing, which was recorded and mixed by Z.V. House at Rabbitbrush Audio in Boise and mastered by Mell Dettmer at Studio Soli in Seattle. The video was filmed mostly at Hulls Gulch in Boise and stars my bandmates and me: Stephen Samuelson, Brent Heiner, and Hyrum Haeberle. I'm playing the Rhodes electric piano, my current favorite instrument.
“You can’t pay a fire to stop / And we call its power in now”
Here’s to the fire in our hearts that cannot be paid to stop, the destruction of old systems, and the beauty (I hope) that can only grow after the flames of destruction.
I wrote the lyrics to this song while feeling despondent about the current state of the U.S. and the broken mirror that we elected as a "leader." And how it didn't particularly surprise me when you see that pic of him sitting at a piano with his now-wife lying on top of it in a gold room. I remembered the piano being gold, like Elvis', and I thought, "OF COURSE this is who we put in power." Full disclosure: I think the piano was actually white. Doesn't really matter, though, if the whole thing were in ashes.
I created these shots of a fire poppy for the end, which only blooms after major fires:
I feel like Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day, mentioning over and over what a dooooooozy everything is. Because it is. I had an old acquaintance tell me I hated my race the other day because I suggested white privilege is a thing. She wrote, “#mentalillness,” “fucking insane,” etc. And went after me for suggesting those of us with generational and amassed wealth have any responsibility. It was ugly. I unfriended her.
And “unfriended” is a whole other topic for another day – it's a pickle of a thing that we live in a world where our lexicon is embedded with shit like “unfriended,” because we are are in the Land of Zuckerberg, which was originally conceived to rate the hotness of his classmates. “Fruit of the poisonous tree” comes to mind these days again and again as well, even if it’s a legal term. It feels like it applies.
SO! While I’ve been doozy-ing it up over here I’ve also been trying to intentionally take the antidote to the doozy. Antidotes, really, because it is a cocktail of doozy-busters, such as working out every day, meditating twice a day, naps when needed, connecting with my peeps, somatic healing, therapy, spending as much time as possible outside just BEING, taking FB off my phone, leaving my phone out of the bedroom at night, dreaming up ways to ritually sacrifice my phone. And ice cream.
I’ve also been doing this practice lately as recommended to me by a favorite quantum healer and human in general. You write, “I see and feel ______” and fill in the blank with whatever future you want for the world we’re building. You write these visions three times in the morning, six in the afternoon and nine before bed. Yes, I am still taking action steps in the now, like signing petitions, spreading the word to get people to vote, having important conversations, sending letters to my senators, giving money to worthy causes, reading and learning, amplifying marginalized voices, etc.
I am also writing things like, “I see and feel a government chosen by and working for the people.” Or, “I see and feel a renewed earth living in harmony with her inhabitants.” And, “I see and feel systems built on compassion and practical measures to take care of those who need it the most.” Or, “I see and feel timelines and trauma healing.” Stuff like that.
And then I feel into those things and actually envision them as well. No, I don’t one hundred percent know that it’s working. I also don’t know that my vitamin D and green smoothies are working. But I know it feels better to go to bed at night with “I see and feel equality for ALL” in my sights than whatever the doom scrolling in the Land of Hot-or-Not Zuckerberg brings in.
Sending you love from my Howski of Sutkowski (and Heiner, because my husband and I are moving through this together). To the Land of You. May we get to remember our own home vibration FIRST and then see what we want to build from there.
So don't just stand there, bust a dooze. ;-)
JK. I know you're not just standing there. Even though just standing there or lying there or languishing in shredded cheese would all be perfect reactions to the dooze-fest as well.
This is an exchange I had with an old acquaintance on FB, on a post a shared about Trump's paying only $750 in taxes. Another friend was saying she was sad that a bunch of our old friends with whom we grew up were still supporting him, even after children in cages, blatant racism, how he's bungled COVID and so many have died as a result, etc.
Of course my husband came immediately to my defense, fucking guns a-blazin'.
I unfriended and blocked this old acquaintance.
But this is also true of me:
I mean, I was the one who blocked her. 😂😂😂
But still got to get that say in. Honestly, though, it's an important say.
My original response to "Very successful old friends..." was much more inflammatory than what I ended up saying. And yet she came at me. I don’t blame her for getting angry. But what she threw at me was not mine to hold, so I really just watched as her rage chunks flew by.
I purposely said “generational and amassed” wealth to leave room for her amassed wealth that she undoubtedly made on her own. I have no qualms or arguments there. But we did both grow up in wealthy white families. This isn’t an indictment. It is what it is. Also, my crusade is not to hate on people with generational wealth. That would be wildly hypocritical. However, I personally feel it’s important to reach down the ladder of privilege to help those who need it the most, especially when you’ve been so lucky financially. Black people have a hard time amassing generational wealth because the system is rigged against them. Lest we forget that people are still paying the traumatic price for their ancestors being forced here so that we today can have our stuff our stuff our precious stuff. To me it’s just about a responsibility of both being on this planet and being an American. I also feel it is a scarcity mindset to believe that helping someone else have an opportunity takes away from your own wealth and opportunities.
It is illuminating that my mere suggestion of the existence of white privilege means I “hate [my] own race.” And it is “insane.” I don’t hate my race because I want better for all races. Again, I also benefit when others are lifted up. To me, this response is full of glaring racism. The delusion of white supremacy is showing.
I also find it disturbing that this is someone who runs a Creole/Cajun restaurant. I'll just leave that right there.
“#mentalillness” insults me (obviously) and makes light of mental illness. This is just...gross.
I can only hope that white people continue to wake up to their own place in the delusion of white supremacy. For their own benefit of getting free from it. But, more importantly, for the benefit of everyone who is not white. Like, to not die.
I think often about what a friend has said about the US having a sort of Stockholm syndrome. This rings so true to me. This idea that "we're the best we're the best we're the best I did this all on my white own because we are the damn best I'm gonna ride this thing into the ground burning all the way guns a blazin' flags a flyin' USA USA USA USA USA!"
BUT THIS TRUTH: "No one is free until we are all free." -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
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