MW Rx. Sing Your Rage. Gillian Welch, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger

Your rage is power. Magic is alive.

By Risa Dickens, Amy Torok,

May 20, 2023
3 min read
Buffy Sainte-Marie, Gillian Welch, Ewan MacColl + Peggy Seeger.

This week we're sitting with our vast vulnerability. Leaning on a tree and mourning the time we've spent in spaces that didn't feel good. Riding the current of trusting and distrusting ourselves, on the wave of sweet protest songs. And we are, still, making our reparations. Still – stitch by stitch – believing (with hella witchy optimism) in the possibility of repair.

Risa's prescription starts with May (her 4-year-old kiddo's) new favourite song: Gillian Welch's cover of steamboat captain John's Hartford's sweet threnody: In Tall Buildings.

So it's goodbye to the sunshine
Goodbye to the dew
Goodbye to the flowers
And goodbye to you
I'm off to the subway
I must not be late
Going to work in tall buildings

The kid mourns the time we've spent in Tall Buildings, she doesn't want you to say goodbye to the dew. The prescription is to look at the world with kid eyes.

For Amy, the prescription is a two-step engagement with the great Buffy Saint Marie. Sit and feel the pain in My Country Tis of Thy People You're Dying. Hear the whole truth.

"Oh, what can I do?", say a powerless few
With a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye
Can't you see that their poverty's profiting you?
My country 'tis of thy people you're dying

Remember Nikki Sanchez from this TedX Talk saying: "Colonization is not your fault, but it is your responsibility." Take a deep breath, and make a reparation.

Join our annual fundraiser by donating to our local Native Women's Shelter, or to an indigenous support org close to you. For example, check out the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center and read the NIWRC Special Collection: Cultural Competency/Humility and Ally-Building in Indian Country! (AND stay tuned to the Missing Witches Podcast for our conversation with Nikki, coming out this Thursday!)

And for the second step in the raging and re-enchanting dance of Amy's prescription for life in these strange, toxic, flowering days: be near or in water. Watch it move and sparkle. Play God Is Alive Magic Is Afoot.

This I mean to whisper to my mind
This I mean to laugh with in my mind
This I mean my mind to serve 'til
Service is but Magic
Moving through the world
And mind itself is Magic
Coursing through the flesh
And flesh itself is Magic
Dancing on a clock
And time itself the magic length of God

Service is magic, mind is magic, flesh is magic. You are magic.

Risa ends her prescription with Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, in love, seeing beauty in their Dirty Old Town even though it's poisoned. Communists, labour organizers, archivists of old songs of resistance. Smiling while they promise to chop it all down.

I'm gonna make me a good sharp axe
Shining steel tempered in the fire
I'll chop you down like an old dead tree
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

The prescription is to not look away from the ugly places, from the destruction that the death cults of colonialism and late-stage capitalism have wrought. Push your body against the brick walls of the world and feel your fury. And KNOW that your fury is holy, and also that you can let it course through you safely. Your rage isn't choking you anymore. Your rage is power. Magic is alive. Joy is afoot.

Sing your rage. 

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