Today I tried the Bach Chaconne for the first time. I played it right through, and it took me about thirty minutes, probably. By the end my left hand fingers were stiff and achy but my right hand, my bow, seemed to be moving on its own. I had heard the piece before, but hearing it slip, if haltingly, out of my own violin, felt as if my soul were about to slip over the brink into eternity. At times, I saw–felt something ethereal–otherworldly–that cannot be described in human words. It was as if the music was transfiguring before me into a Being that sent earthly life dissolving at its feet in one tortured wail of a deeper emotion than any human believes they possess. This piece is wind and fire and water; it turns from a tornado to a vast black whirlpool. As Brahms said, it is “a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings.” At parts, it pleas for mercy in a deep lament on its knees over and over and over again with minor key undertones that will not cease. Just when it seems all too much for the earthly body to withstand, the flow lessens and moves into a subdued major key that grows in power until it is once more sending the spirit flying out over the atmosphere and past the universe into the World beyond. The final key change, brought on by a violent, clamorous buildup, is quiet and uneventful. The notes are allowed to soar on their own as the undertones fall away, like a soul unshackled. The end of the piece pulls the soul back to earth and firmly chains it to the ground once more, leaving the owner waking breathless from what is now a dream.
Both men and women face judgement everyday. Society places people in boxes, and categorizes them based on their looks, hobbies, friends, family, and so much more. Women are told that they need to be skinny and beautiful. They are told if they do not have the perfect hair and clothes then they are not good enough. Men are told they need to dress right, eat healthy, be strong, exercise, and become everything that a woman could want. Due to this pressure from the media and peers, many people conform to these ideals presented by becoming something that they don’t want to be, or feel they have to be in order to be accepted.
The hall is illuminated by flickering flames. Dainty notes flit around the room. Ballgowns glide across the ground, and slippers tap atop the tile. My face is hidden beneath a shadow, my secrets below a heavy gown. I am free to express myself, without the burden to be who they all think I should be. Dancing, my fears fall in sheets off my conscience. The light notes tickle my ears, inciting a dance from within. Light as a cloud, I twirl and spin. My partner, a fox, guides me swiftly through the hall. A horse dances regally with a swan, a squirrel chats with a hare. Every soul is guarded, yet free. Each life has chaos controlled beneath their skins, but all may dance with the foe. No one knows what fear wears what shield. Yet, they carry on their elaborate dance. A final note settles in the air, and all movement stops. A solute to a partner, and the dance is done.
They were witches, black, dark, made of fire and earth and blood. Witches, full of smoke, filled with the wrath of thousands of armies.
They were witches, whose ancestors watched their comrades burned to death, who waited quietly, rage building and burning. They held this close, throughout the ages. This quiet tactic allowed them to survive through generations, allowed them to morph and grow and stretch.
They passed down their secrets, they feared nothing. They broke mirrors and threatened the powers that be. They played God, they created and destroyed, they built empires within the confines of a cauldron.
They taught their daughters, and the daughters taught their daughters. They passed down these secrets, passed down their quiet rage, passed down the power in their fingertips.
I am one of them.
I walk under ladders, I am a goddess. I am a wolf, I am a flame.
The smoke from my candles burns the lungs of the unworthy, the amulets around my neck grapple with ghosts. I summon spirits, I brew pain and fury and I share it as I see fit.
I am fire and blood, I am earth and rage, I am the wind and the rain, I am the birds in the cemetery. I am what stories warn you about.
We are witches, permeating every aspect of your life. We touch your dreams, we twist them into nightmares. We pull passion out of the air, we breathe smoke.
We are ferocious.
We are unstoppable.
We are the granddaughters of the witches you weren’t able to burn.
Dark, It’s blank
Can’t see anything
All I hear is the beating
Why can’t I see you
One more time
No don’t go
Don’t give up
Just because it’s hard doesn’t means give up
Please I can fix this
Can I help you?
Just keep holding on
Keep it beating
Don’t give up just yet
I am Indian
I wonder about the world
I hear the cries of people
I see war and blood all around me
I am a sister
I pretend everything is fine
I feel alone and scared
I touch the abandoned dream
I worry that there will be nothing left
I cry for my loses
I am a daughter
I understand the pain
I say everything will be fine
I dream of making a change
I try to find stability
I hope there will be love and peace
I am a Muslim
Time stalled as her name sharply cut through the air. She glided as in a trance to the black and gaping hole in the wall. As she stepped through, the darkness swallowed her and pulled her further in. A sharp wind blew around her and chilled her to the bone. Her heart pulsed rapidly inside her, beating against her chest, trying to escape. The darkness was endless, reaching away in all directions. With a sudden jolt, she stopped in her tracks. Silence encompassed her and the darkness was blinding. Her eyes searched for a point to focus on and found an infinitesimal dot of light in the black around her. Without warning, the spot shot towards her and drowned her with light. The thing she, just an instant ago, longed for was now overpowering and painful. Her eyes burned from the glaring light and wished once again for darkness. A shout burst through the silence and swallowed her with murmurs and utterances of indignation. A voice in her head imitated the doubts of the crowd, it told her she would never be enough. She pushed her head up but the weight of her doubts and fears were too heavy to bear. The light spun around her, mixing with the squall, pushing her to the ground. Her thoughts muddled and her eyes gave in. Crystals of misery ran in streams down her face. She glittered in grief on the ground. The shouts of disgust mixed with cries of pity, swallowing her in humiliation. She hung off the edge of the cliff of despair. She felt as though she’d never know happiness again, so she let go.