MW Rx. Laughing (And Crying) In The Purple Rain

Mourning is part of our gift. It's how we are moved by the water.

By Risa Dickens, Amy Torok,

Jun 10, 2023
4 min read
The cover of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. Nina Simone with purple irises. Prince and Wendy Melvoin in Purple Rain. 

This week we survive by leaning into a love for our water selves, our weeping and keening selves, and our power to listen to and call on the rain.

The prescription starts with writing letters and sending jolts of love and appreciation to help keep the world's joy alive.

Amy prescribes three videos: one comes from a letter from a Missing Witches listener, who made a haunting documentary called "A Witch in the Family." The second is Judy Blume Forever, which reminds us of the power in our memories, in our truth-telling, and in letters sent like desperate birds in the dark. Add to the queue: Matt Baum's Bewitched: It Was Gay All Along?

We read a letter from a listener who describes what so many of us experience: being too sensitive for some people, too sharp for others, feeling lost until someone (possibly a shitty ex) calls us Witch... and we crack and cackle a bit and recognize ourselves.

This evening I went for a walk in the rain in my neighbourhood, West Broadway full of action, and a lovely man of grey saw me frolicking along and said, “I’m glad to see someone else enjoying the rain, we’re not all made of sugar”. This reminded me, I’m all sorts of things, but mostly spice.

Risa's prescription is to dance in the rain, or for it. Start with the very first performance of Purple Rain. 19-year-old Wendy Melvoin joins her girlfriend Lisa Coleman on stage and they become Prince's band The Revolution. Remember that we have always been there, women, queers, adding our magic to the revolution. Slow dance this one. Interpretative dance it out. Feel silly, feel super, feel sad. Feel the water in your extremities.

Feel what the water wants you to know, now, while the North burns.

Follow with Nina Simone's Take Me To The Water. Listen for the moment when the gospel song becomes something even more.

And I don't mind if it's turbulent,
And I don't mind if it's calm
As long as it's water, then I feel I home.

Maybe write a letter to the water. A love story about a time the sky broke open. Don't lose the memory of clean rain falling from the sky. And if the memory makes you cry, we think that's a reasonable response to times like these.

Remember: mourning is part of our gift. It's how we are moved by the water. Maybe it helps us to listen, and to become their voice.

Let's be defibrillators.

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