I’m Still Running
This I started writing in the days after the 2016 election as a means of working through the shock and the daze of what had just happened. What’s to say now other than 8 years of things moving generally (though never quickly enough) in the right direction made a lot of us complacent. Not everyone though; the woman I’m talking about in the first line is my friend Sally Rumble. Sally has been on the front lines of organizing and community activism for a long time, and really has done more than anyone I know personally to introduce me to ideas of social justice and open my eyes to what is going on in this country, even right here in New York City.
I was thinking about all the distractions that came with being here, with living life in general wherever you are, and all the things you take for granted — even when some of those things are basic human decency, of feeling responsibility to show gratitude for what you’ve been given in life by finding ways to help those who weren’t born into the right circumstance. And all the while I was wrestling with the privilege of that point of view — “it’s easy for me to say, the color of my skin, my face and my name”.
How do you embrace the privilege of being able to help?
How do you remain thankful for that?
That privilege is at the base of the divide, both on the left and the right. I fundamentally believe the problem is in the message delivered at the Democratic party level, but that’s another post entirely. I was trying to find a way through that grief and confusion to a place of compassion for the people who are so desperate for something different that they’d embrace someone like that. It still doesn’t make sense to me, but that is not to say it isn’t worth trying. There will come when he is seen for what he is, and we’ll need to offer what feels like a viable alternative.
Babe I know you’re tired, and I know it’s cold
And them bastards said they’re coming ‘bout an hour ago
But I’m in the streets pleading won’t you come out and fight
I’m reaching out to America, man
I know you’re hurting let me give you a hand
I’ll be waiting when you find out the magic man sold you lies
Of everything on the EP it’s the only song that would make me cry when I listened to it, and maybe the only thing I’ve ever written that does that. Even now in band rehearsals it’s a focused effort not to get a lump in my throat as that generally doesn’t help you sing. I wasn’t really interested in the lament though, and I think if anything it’s a song that ideally reminds you to be hopeful, that it’s worth fighting, that it’s important to stay on your feet.
I could keep going but I would just write that same thing a dozen different ways. If you share anything from this release, I hope you share this song. I hope you support the organizations and the people engaged on the front lines every day, and I hope you look after each other along the way.
Thanks for listening.