Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Time to Speak Out About Domestic Abuse

I had the pleasure of performing this past weekend in a benefit concert for Safe Harbor, a domestic abuse shelter and service organization in Central Virginia. Initially, I was lukewarm about the event, not because of the gig itself, but because finances (or lack thereof) had forced me to pass up on a theatre reunion kinda thing at my grad school alma mater. So, with a pout firmly in place, I said yes to the benefit gig, and even agreed to attend a rehearsal or two, since I was going to be around anyway. As things got closer, and I took the time to plug into the cause promoted by the show, it became more and more clear to me why participation was not only meaningful for me, but has become a catalyst for me to step out on an issue very near and dear to my heart.

I have always had plans on the back burner to take action, speak up, find a way to do more than write a couple of songs about the abuse us humans visit on each other. The kind of abusive behavior I have the most experience with is the yelling, name-calling, ridiculing, controlling kind. It’s a sneaky kind of thing. It doesn’t leave any scars on the outside, but you can spend a lifetime trying to run down and heal the internal damage. In some ways, I think that the walking wounded find their way to each other, no matter what kind of abuse they have suffered, or whether they talk about it openly. Over the years I seem to have collected a great number of lovely souls with abuse stories as friends. Both men and women, it seems we strive to say the right thing for a loved one who has rarely heard a kind word, be the shelter for a moment’s peace, or solace in helping each other find an authentic way to stand in our own truth.

Themes of release and healing have surfaced repeatedly in my writing, whether intentional on my part or not. No doubt I will circle back around related ideas in the future, but for now, I’m looking for something a little more tangible. Following the concert for Safe Harbor, I dialed up their website, and filled out a volunteer application form. How I will find time for this, I don’t know, as my life is already well populated with issues and causes. But, the time feels right for me to step out on this issue, and I look forward to whatever opportunities come my way.

To learn more about Safe Harbor and their crusade against domestic abuse, go to: http://www.safeharborshelter.com/

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