The Problem with Same-Sex Marriage isn’t the Same-Sex Part

b160bfdf-5fb1-4ffb-beb1-58b685d09aa8-2060x1236

Now that the dust from the US Supreme court’s ruling about same-sex marriage begins to sink, it might be the time to start asking questions.  One in particular comes to mind and it’s not whether same-sex marriage is a good or a bad thing; I believe that the legal right to marry should be given to any consensual adults that do it out of free will. Whether it’s a good or a bad thing? I guess it depends on the marriage itself.

No, What I’m interested in, and what keeps bothering me is something else and that is, how come that from all the fights for equality this particular cause gained so much support in the past few years? I read some people were saying that as far as the US goes, it’s only a constitutional matter; having judges address the matter through the lenses of the law. But that could have been done years ago, right?  Why now? Has America suddenly become more tolerant and liberal? Has Ireland? Following the news sure gives me plenty of contradictive evidences to this assumption.

About Shira Gur 

And yet, the ruling was made now and the issue of marriage became almost a consensus even among large conservative groups and I strongly believe that in many others countries as well. Why?

Same-sex couple wedding decorations at fair in Paris

I believe that it’s a combination of many things. One of them is indeed more tolerance, thanks to the long hard battle of the LGTB community over the years. Even without the legalization of marriage seeing same-sex couples and families in our communities is not an uncommon thing these days and legalizing it is simply the cherry on top.

But it’s not just that or more accurately, it is that but not for the reasons we think.

There are two sides to every human encounter. The first is seeing what connects us and the second is seeing what differentiate us and possibly separates us.

The first part is what makes us feel safe and comfortable because we all need a connection and familiarity in our lives. We all need to feel we’re not alone.

The second is the challenging part because it pushes us out of our comfort zone and forces us to see the world through new eyes. It can be a place of conflict for us that make us discover our values and limitations but saying: That’s as far as I’m willing to go. But when it’s not a struggle (or at least not anymore) this is where the adventure lies and when our humanity expand. This is where, for better or worse, we change.

So when we want to create a change in people’s minds, what do we need to do – emphasize the differences or the similarities? I don’t know what the right answer for that theoretically and not sure there really is one; I do know however what usually works and that’s the latter – Give people new ideas in familiar wrapping and you’re bound to get much more support.

We’ve seen it happen thousands of times with conservative ideas and with the repetition of “going back” or “once again” in various contexts and with the use of words like “safe”, “home”, “Pride”. But with liberal ideas? No way!  Right?

Well, with liberal ideas you simply replace the “going back” with “Brighter and better tomorrow” and other than that it pretty much stay the same and they ALL talk about community, opportunities and togetherness.

New ideas are marketed as something desired we wish to have from the future that will give us the sense of safety and familiarity we’re all craving for. Forget for a moment big ideas and think about your favorite technological gadget that’s designed to carry you into tomorrow and simplify your life so you’ll feel more secure, safe and happy.   Think about your favorite celebrity or someone you admire that seems so different than you and so far away – the emotional connection is made because you sense there’s something familiar there and something you wish to have in your life; it’s never a struggle.

So what all of that has to do with same-sex marriage?

Rightfully so, a lot of the success in the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage, is attributed to the fact the idea of same-sex couples is not foreign anymore to many. But look at the way this “new normal” (yes, EXACTLY like the TV show) is presented to us? Is it like an alternative life style or the same lifestyle normative every-day heterosexuals’ conduct?

Yes, when it comes to same-sex couples no one emphasizes the differences but the similarity? They’re just like us!

At this point it’s fair to ask, what’s wrong with saying that because that’s exactly what the LGTB community is fighting for – equal civil and human rights since they deserve it just like everyone else.

The answer to that is there’s nothing wrong with that except for the fact that when it comes to marriage same-sex marriage are not the same as heterosexual marriage because sadly, the institution of marriage, that’s traditionally between a man and a woman is based on the possession of the woman. Even the terms husband and wife are not neutral and carry the weight of the long history of sex and gender inequality. So no matter what, the fact that two sexes are entering this type of union is not the same as same sex.

Therefore it’s no wonder some of the voices against legalizing same-sex marriage came from within the LGTB community that were concerned by subjecting them to this heterosexual flawed institution.

But “love is love” and “love wins” (or at least should win) so denying someone the opportunity to formalize a union of love and get recognized by the state with all that’s entitled is wrong, so the right decision was made this year, first in Ireland and now in the US and I’m positive even more countries will join soon the other eighteen countries that did it before.

So what am I saying here? The fact so many people embraced the idea of same sex marriage signifies most of all the changes within the LGTB community that becomes more mainstream and less the evolution of society towards a more open-minded attitude. After all, it’s one thing to support love when it looks like us but it’s a different thing to support relationships that challenges our perception of couplehood; it’s easier to support a transgender who is pretty and feminine (in the ways we’re used to think of femininity) rather than support someone that challenges the idea of sexual identity as a whole by remaining liminal for example; it’s easier to support strong women and call them feminists instead of actually dealing with the concept of free, equal complicated women…and so on.

So don’t be mistaken, same-sex marriage does challenge the institution of marriage by questioning the roles of the sexes within this institution. Since the institution of marriage is based on inequality that’s probably the best thing that could’ve have happened!

Yes, change is a strange thing. Call it whatever you like, it’s still creeping in when those in the sidelines keep challenging the mainstream. We can pretend everything is the same, only more inclusive, but there’s nothing more constant than change itself.

Living in Israel: A Beginners Guide

Flags in Israel

Israel is not an easy country to live in and I don’t even refer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s not an easy country because everything is complicated and even the simple things, like taking your dog for a walk of getting coffee somewhere that are supposed to be effortless, can’t be done without that little voice in your head that says: “I’m now doing something normal”.

Tel Aviv swears by this concept. It’s not a normal city but a city that puts normal on a pedestal and worships it. That’s probably why there are so many dog owners and great coffee shops here.

About Shira Gur

But the beauty of Israel is that it’s everything but normal. Sometimes it leads to bad, scary places but sometimes it’s funny, thought-evoking and even inspiring. I think that’s what always happens when so many contradictions meet: It’s either an exceptional beauty or a complete chaos.

So when you live in Israel, after a while, your mind and your eyes and even your body adjusts to it. You’re always alert and used to seeing things that supposedly don’t belong together, as related. The more you allow yourself to open your heart and mind – the more you see and notice. That’s by the way, the story of Jerusalem, where it’s easy to get lost within the complexity and richness of the place…but that’s another story.

Right now, allow me to share a small anecdote that demonstrates a little of what does it mean to look at something in Israel. Yesterday, as I was walking back from work and was thinking about the US supreme court historic decision about same-sex marriage (Kudos to them and I have lots to say about that but will save it for now) I suddenly noticed this:

Flags in Israel

Now, here is what I saw in my Israeli eyes:

1. Just Looking: Three flags next to each other on the terrace. Why three? Because you can’t have just one here, you must show ALL your affiliations. So the person living there is a Zionist, part of the LGTB community (or a supporter) and either Russian that misses communism, a communist who isn’t Russian or most likely, a radical leftist. It’s possible of course that there is more than one person that lives there and to that all I can say is – Good luck!

So far, so good. Just the usual “It’s complicated”.

2. Broadening the Scope: See the group of camels in the ornament next to the terrace? (by the way, lived here all my life and saw a camel probably twice that one of them was in a zoo) Good! What you don’t see is that just a little further to the left it says “House of Levi”. The name ‘Levi’ is a common Jewish last name and the reason it ‘s indicated on the wall is probably because that’s the name of the family that either built or originally owned this house, but ‘Levi is also the name of one of twelve tribes of ancient Israel that were the guards of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Yes, them and those flags? I don’t know, can be nasty.

But it can also be quite beautiful because this tribe is also famous for being the only tribe without a land. So there’s something pretty in the fact that someone who belongs to communities that struggle to find a proper “home” will live in a house of the tribe without a home. If we continue this logic then it’s also a little funny that a “Levi” actually built a house but I assume that’s why the group of camels; They are traditionally animals associated with wandering tribes in the desert.

Related: A Israeli outside of Israel: Just Don’t Ask Me Where I Come From 

3. Broadening the Scope Even More: Another thing you can’t see is the group of elderly men sitting in the coffeehouse downstairs arguing if the two people who just left were french and say that things are not what they used to be because, these days, everything is so open and liberal. They were not talking about the gays above them – they, according to them are fine, but about the french.

Me? as I said, I only passed by on my way home and should stop now before I’ll go to step 4,5, 6 and onwards. But hey, love wins, right?  

Nashville Music Matters: A Life that’s Good

Featured Image -- 683

Shira:

Music and songs can do many things and one of them is tell stories. When it comes to country music, for example, every song is like a little story. So when a TV show like ‘Nashville’ that focus on country music wants to tell a sotry it’s no wonder they’ll use a song that can also tell this story, only through music. Over the course of three season ‘Nashville’ explored many ways to do it and with several songs, including that one I wrote about here – “A Life that’s Good” it was brought into perfection. It was so good and unique that I wanted to write about it a long time ago but simply didn’t have the time. Few days ago, I finally found the time and here it is!

Originally posted on Nashville Forever:

It’s a well-known fact that ABC’s Nashville has great music. So far it produced six soundtracks, hundreds of singles, two musical specials (and LIVE albums to follow) and even one Christmas album. But is Nashville just a TV show with an exceptionally good soundtracks or that music, on Nashville, is more than music and if so, what does it mean? Following the journey of the song ‘A Life that’s good’ gives some interesting answers about the role music can play in storylines and characters development and also the unique fans community.  

About Nashville Forever

wpid-picsart_1435223494654.jpg

The music on Nashville is a storyteller. It opens a gate to the past, hints about the future and usually adds another dimension to the story. Every once in a while it even serves as a Meta commentary for the entire show.

‘A Life that’s good’ is song that fits this category. Written by (the…

View original 1,852 more words

There are More Problems With ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ Than Race

exodus-gods-kings

Here’s what I’m not going to focus on while write about the Exodus: Gods and Kings all white casting movie controversy:

  1. The question whether Hollywood is misogynist, racist and homophobic. Seriously? It’s even a question? Of course it is (!!) and we have the forces of the free market to thank for. In Hollywood money talk and it likes stability and status quo.
  2. The historic accuracy of Rupert Murdoch declaration that Egyptians and ancient Hebrews weren’t black. No, you didn’t say it. Oh, yes you did. Whatever. But we all know that even if it wasn’t Hollywood (creative freedom anyone?) and even that “deep” historical “research” was backed by actual facts (anyone got an Exodus yearbook in hand where it says: Most likely to lead his people out of Egypt – Moses son of Jochebed and Amram) there’s at least one black person that could have gotten a role in Exodus: Oprah Winfrey. As god.
  3. How the way Exodus movie controversy is dealt in the media is awfully similar to the way controversies are dealt in general with in the public sphere. No one is talking and no one is listening; everyone try to stay on message and repeat it as loudly as possible. The motives maybe different in each side but the result is the same. Dead end, more hate, more ignorance and few funny memes.

So I’m not going to focus on any of these subjects. Instead I want to ask another question:

Why now? Why this movie? Why the story of Exodus invited this kind of reaction? After all, Hollywood has done far worse over the years and it’s just a movie, right?

The way I see it happened thanks to several reasons. Some are related to the bluntness of this particular case, some to timing but some…well, at least one, but crucial to my opinion, is related to the power of myths in our lives as individuals and collectives.

We are narrative creatures. We need to find meaning in things or at least create a logical tread of events that makes sense to us. Why day turns into night? Why seasons change? Why do we get old and die? Where did we come from? Why are we here? And what is the meaning of it all?

For these questions and SO much more we have stories, myths and it’s really not important if we invented the stories or if the stories invented us; we still need them and live by them even if we’re not aware of it. That’s also the beauty of these stories – they are eternal because we, the entire human race, ultimately ask the same questions everywhere and all the time. That’s why they can gap over space and time.

We all can relate to these stories in endless ways. We just invent our own variations of them that fits us. Just look at any story someone tells you or you tell yourselves about the ways of the world, life and love and loss, overcoming adversity something news worthy and so much more – it’s all wrapped up in a narrative based on an ancient tale.

Where does Exodus come in? Exactly here. You see, Exodus is one of those eternal stories. It’s a story that about oppression and freedom, about identity and faith and so much more.

Every group of people, joint together by geography, ideology, race, gender, religious faith (or anything you can think of) can find itself in it and so does every individual. That’s because the story of releasing oneself from chains is also the story of every human being. It’s the story of growing up and becoming your own person.

These kind of stories are a constant inspiration because they force us to ask the big questions but also give us comfort when we look for answers.

So when people, this time Ridley Scott, decide to read this story again and ask themselves what THEY see in it, they do what every person does – They look for themselves.

This time the result of this quest brought answers we are used to hearing: It puts the man, the hero (and anti-hero) in the center and tell his story. I bet it will be a story about a broken man looking for a calling, for a voice in the wilderness, to find who he is and eventually become his own person. I bet Pharaoh in this story will not be a complete villain because we live in the age of anti-heroes so he probably had issues and I bet faith and destiny will play a part. Does it sound familiar? It’s the story we hear over and over on TV but it’s no accident because it’s rooted in the American mythology so much. You can find traces of that in Westerns, Mark Twain stories, Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau. You can also go back a little further and find it in the writings of Jean Jacques Rousseau that said that ‘Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains’ and in goes back further and further to Jesus time and to the Greek Mythology and…back to Moses.

That’s one narrative. White, Western, Male, Christian. It has its place in the world but it’s not all. Not even close.

 

Right now, the fight is between this narrative that dominant the storytelling world for so long and another narrative– the black narrative, that says, rightfully so, that  it’s not just a story of individuals but of a group of slaves and their journey to enslave themselves.

But you see, it’s not the only narrative that’s not heard in this particular interpretation and it’s no accident. That’s because this great story, like others alike “fulfill their destiny” when we listen to the way others tell it. That’s because sharing a mutual story gives us a language. Something we can talk about and through that understand better who we are, who the others are, where we see eye to eye even if we least expected that and where we differ.

Mine is one of the narratives not present in this movie (at least according to the trailer). I’m Jewish and this story is a cornerstone in our mythology and out theology. Every year in the Passover Seder we tell this story. And guess who’s not mentioned in the variations to the scripture we tell that’s called the Haggadah? Moses. Yes, in the story we tell god did all of it and not a man, because for us, this is not a story of a specific individual but of a nation and its god (and some other stuff that I won’t get into now).

When we go back to the Hebrew bible and read the full-length of this story we discover even more things, like the fact that this story isn’t told in the regular narrative way of beginning, middle and end. The “real” tale doesn’t end in a Hollywood happy end in a song of liberation, but in a completely different way. It ends with the death of the leader, the “hero”, and the people – those that have supposedly transformed to a free nation during those 40 years in the desert scared and unsure because they’re told that finishing their task and getting into the Promised Land, is only the beginning and it can be taken away from them in any time. This story ends with a warning and an understanding that the things that were lost in the desert will always remain with us and that things that were not solved there will haunt us forever as well.

That’s not a good Hollywood ending, but it’s a good life ending for a story, because it’s not an ending.

So the story of Exodus doesn’t end with ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’. It’s an ongoing story. Our obligation is not to try to fit into this particular narrative but tell our own. We need to acknowledge other interpretations but say out loud: This is not THE story of Exodus. This is a story of Exodus and we heard it too many times

So watch or don’t watch this movie. That’s your choice. Just don’t fight about being another face in the same interpretation. It’s not just the faces that needs to more diverse, it’s the way we tell the story and the way we listen to other people stories. There are so many others to tell this story, like there are so many other ways to live life and think about the big questions. That’s what’s really important. Fight for that.

The story deserve better than a hateful hashtag. We deserve more.

#ExoduseStory

 

 

Just Don’t Ask Me Where I Come From

IMG_0299.JPG

My name is Shira Gur. I’m Jewish and I come from Israel and I’m many more other things. Lately I have stayed in Nashville, Tennessee (long story). It really is a great city but when people try to be friendly and engage in a conversation by asking ‘where do you come from?’ I feel like someone punched me in the stomach. Why? Read and find out.

Let me share with you a little anecdote: Couple of nights ago I took a cab to the place I’m staying at in Nashville. It was late at night and I was freezing and tired and the only thing I was interested in doing was climb into bed and sleep. What I definitely had no interest in doing at that particular moment was engage in one of those small talks that begin with the question: So, where do you come from?

When I got into the cab I noticed that the name of my driver was an Arab name so that wish started blending with a slight fear. Thankfully the gods answered my prayer and the (very nice) driver didn’t ask me directly where I come from. Instead he was interested in the origin of my name and wondered if it was Persian (tricky gods).

I could have lied, easily.

But I didn’t.

Instead, I told him my name is a Hebrew name and waited for his reaction.

I anticipated different kinds of reactions based on my past experiences. The one I didn’t expect was the one I actually got which was a moving and quite emotional speech that defended Israel, its leaders and the people in it.

What can I tell you? I love my country and all but I sure am much more critical about it than he is because I couldn’t have produced such speech.

Nevertheless, that speech led to a fascinating conversation in which I learned a lot about the situation in Balal’s native land – Kurdistan and their fight for freedom.

When I finally went to bed that night lots of thoughts ran through my head. Some of them were related to the content of the conversation and others to my initial hesitation to answer such a simple and supposedly neutral question such as ‘Where do you come from?’

Why just the thought of it makes me so uncomfortable? It’s just a place, isn’t it? It’s not like someone asks me what do I do for a living? How old I am? Am I married? Do I have or want kids? What are my political and religious beliefs? Am I straight?

All they ask is where do I come from? C’mon Shira, relax!

Well…

For me this particular question is everything but simple and non intrusive. For me, whether I like it or not this is one of the most difficult and personal questions anyone can ask me. For me, my answer to this question and the possible reactions to my answer are the sum of some of the most intimate parts of my identity and my deepest fears.

The reason for it is because for me, the place where I come from is very much WHO I AM.

Why is that, you ask? How come that a small dot on Google Maps mean so much?

It starts with the meaning of the word ‘Place’ – ‘Ma’kom’ in Hebrew.

Hebrew is a very multilayered language but not a very rich in vocabulary. It doesn’t have too many words (defiantly not in comparison to English for example).
In fact, it’s not that uncommon to find yourself, while using Hebrew, in loss of words. It’s actually quite normal and even welcome at times because silences, those gaps between the letters, are also part of this language. In Hebrew the challenge is often not just to find the right and exact word that will give a full and accurate description of something but also find the word that will hint on its inner and deep meaning. That’s because that a basic Hebrew assumption is that for the most important things in life there are no words so all a language can do is just hint and guide us but not TELL us.

What am I trying to say with all of this and how does it have to do with small talks in Nashville and the meaning of the word ‘Place’?
I’ll explain.

‘A Place’, Ma’kom in Hebrew means a physical place but also a spiritual place and you don’t need to use it in a certain context to switch between the two meanings – it’s already in the word itself so when someone ask about my physical place that person, without even knowing it, also ask about my spiritual place and the way I perceive them both.
That duality exist already in the bible that bind together physical and spiritual with this word and with Israel.
When the sons of Israel were about to enter the Promised Land after 40 years in the desert, Moses gave them a prophet about ‘the place’ they were about to enter and said that the physical place and the spiritual place are connected and in fact the spiritual is a condition for the physical.

Without getting too much into theological discussions, the significance of it is that very much like Raymond Carver that talked about Love, when we talk about a place in Hebrew we also talk about lots of other things and we try not just to describe a certain place, but also ask- what is a place?

So when someone ask me innocently this question my mind wanders into many different directions.

First, as history thought me, I hear a warning sign and a possible danger in revealing the name of the physical place, since unlike a Jew from New York or London or Paris, my physical place hint on my spiritual identity and my political association of course. I’m an Israeli and therefore, probably a Jew and that leads to all kinds of assumptions. I can’t hide or save this information for later when we get to know each other better and ask each other questions about politics and religion. It’s already out there just by spelling it out.

The second thing I hear or to be more accurate, feel – is that I am different. One might call it ‘unique’ but I don’t feel that because I didn’t choose that. At that moment I feel like my entire Jewish heritage, which I hold dear, and whatever brought me to the place where I stand are a burden. That’s because at the moment all I feel is the decision of society to label me as such and I rebel. I share this ‘uniqueness’ with other minority religions, The LGTB community, people of color (that are labeled even before opening their mouth) or anyone that seem ‘different’ in anyway. I will not even get into the labeling of women here cause that’s a subject of a different discussion. All I can say is that in one second, I feel as if this part of my identity is taking over my entire being and that I am ‘outed’, so to speak, in a very intrusive way even if no one intend to do so. My place is so many things and one of is private. My place is mine and no one else’s!

The third thing that comes to my mind is that Hebrew silence I was referring to before. That silence within the language.
You see, when you ask me and probably most Israeli Jews (and possibly lots of Jews in general) where do we come from, even without the possible bad reactions and the feeling of invasion to our private sphere, it takes us a minute to answer because we live in Hebrew, so for us, the answer is really complicated. We have to think about it since it’s not enough for us to mention the physical place-we feel the need to give an accurate description as to what this place looks like and means for us.
When you ask me that for example I see a picture in my head. The picture on top.

It’s a picture of a certain spot in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where I spent many years studying and becoming who I am. That spot is borderline that divide the green forest and the yellow desert. On a clear day you can see from there to the dead sea. It’s a sentimental place for me for many personal reasons but it’s also my answer to that question.

I am from there.
I wasn’t born on that mountain and I don’t live or work there but I’m from there.

I am from a place of two polar ends that divide them and creates conflict but also bring them together is a special way. I’m from a place where the direction of the wind is more important than the temperature or the rain and that somehow your soul is shaped by it. I’m from a place that on a clear day you can see forever and still not be quite sure as to where you stand because something always feels fragile, temporary and eternal at the same time. I’m from a place where the shouting and music are as loud as the silence. I’m from a place I don’t always understand, that I love and hate, that I am a part of but also am forever also just a guest because it’s bigger than me. I’m from a beautiful, ugly, generous, vindictive place that will not allow anyone to define it. I am from a place that is also not really a place. I share this place with others that know exactly what I’m talking about and maybe even smile to themselves while reading these lines. There are parts of it I only share with my loved ones and parts I don’t share with anyone.

I would love to talk about it someday, because there is so much more to talk about when I talk about my ‘place’ , but for now, I came to you. I didn’t invite you in. So please, don’t ask me where I come from, just ask me how I am. I promise to answer.

Just a perfect day

#Nashville filter for a beautiful day in Tel Aviv

If inspiration doesn’t strike me after that-Don’t know what will

Fifty shades of blue

The more I live the less words I have to describe feelings and impression. It seems that the highest praise I can give, more often than not, is pure respectful silence, because when the world speaks-We listen

Nashville: The worth of a woman

Rayna and Liam rocking the stage

Photo Credit: (http://justthewayitwas.tumblr.com /)

If there’s one scene in Nashville that demonstrates just how attractive and appealing a grown woman is, it’s this one.

In this scene, Juliette Barnes is circling around the stage trying to get everyone to notice her. She is using every trick in the book but it’s just not enough and she is upstaged by Rayna Jaymes. Rayna owns the stage and in this specific moment, is just not in the mood of sharing so Juliette doesn’t stand a chance.

Read About Femalia
Nashville: Rayna Jaymes- Understatement as a necessity

Rayna’s presence on stage is charismatic and sexy as hell, and to do it, all she does is simply show up.

Rayna doesn’t try to impress anyone. Instead, she relax, lay back and enjoy herself. The more she does so the more charismatic she become and that alone is enough to get all eyes to focus on her. OK, yes, it also doesn’t hurt that she looks amazing, but so does Juliette (although Connie Britton is a godess).

The main difference between Rayna and Juliette (beside the hair and the height) that allows Rayna act so freely and for Juliette to try too hard, is that Rayna is a full realized women who is comfortable in her own skin and Juliette isn’t. Juliette is still a girl.

Women are not Girls.

Women are beautiful. Their beauty derive from a strong sense of self, inner peace and freedom that only time and experience can provide. They belong center staged. They’ve earned it (and most likely will be able to cope with it better).

Girls are also beautiful but in a very different way. Their beauty is the beauty of a fresh start and a promise. What they need most of all is the freedom to explore and decide what kind women they want to become.
One of the best ways to do so, is perhaps by having all sorts of women as role models to get inspired on the way. Juliette has Rayna, and by the second season we see that as she takes another step towards adulthood, she tries to mimic some of Rayna’s traits. Although she finds out Rayna’s `nice` just ain’t HER color it’s still a step in the right direction because she’s more aware of the possibilities and as a result become even more determine to find out what color DOES suit her and brings out “the best version of herself”.

Nashville love project: It’s complicated

Oh, how the world loves girls! Women? Not so much!

While Juliette, slowly and painfully grows into herself (whatever that means), Rayna simply keeps showing up, just as she is. Her challenges and conflicts in life and with herself have nothing to do with her identity as a woman. She already figured out the crucial parts and she’s leaving these things to Juliette and Scarlett.

When Rayna finds out, one time too many, how her label prefers Girls to Women, she decides to take matters into her own hands. She already made the long jouney and she lost patience for those who treats her as if she was a girl.

She’s already a woman, and a successful one who has a say, so she will not let anyone dismiss it and settle for her back catalogue from the times she was a girl or a woman in the making. No, she’s worth much more than this.

What Jeff Fordham doesn’t understand is that for Rayna what’s on the line is her authenticity, and as much as it’s hard to compromise it at any age (as Juliette recently discovered) it’s even harder to do so when you already know who you are. That’s because that feeling of a strong sense of self as a person, and clear voice as a woman is simply priceless. It’s true for every artist who doesn’t want to compromise himself, but for women it’s even harder, because there are even less open spots for them at the top.

Now it’s time for Rayna to take a risk. The risk is not simply leaving her label. It’s not JUST business as thick Luke Wheeler joked. The risk is exposing herself completely and dare asking, without anyone backing her up, the exact question that haunts so many women around the world: Do you acknowledge the journey and dare to love a woman just for what she is?

I’m looking at this scene and know my answer.

What’s yours?

Nashville: Understatement as a necessity

Photo Credit: http://mrs-coach.tumblr.com/

Someone wiser than me (AKA Buffy Summers) once said that “The hardest thing in this life is to live in it”

At the beginning of Nashville second season, the queen of country music, Rayna Jaymes, and her troubled ex/current/future love-of-her-life guitarist Deacon Clayborne found out just how hard it is to live.

Climbing out from a pit is not easy for anyone, but unlike Deacon, that dug himself an even bigger hole before climbing out, Rayna took a very different approach to the situation. She prefered to look ahead, move forward and leave as much as she can from the past behind her.

Read about Femalia

Both approaches come with a price. At first, Deacon’s “joyful and vital” approach led him, to depression, self-hatred, guilt and all the things that keeps a person from engaging life. That’s because no one can live fully exposed and vulnerable ALL the time. It’s like living in a body without skin – impossible.
That’s also why even Deacon slowly realized that being a martyr can get him that far and that if he wants to live he need to wear at least a small armour while stepping back into the world.
Sadly, his guitar was not and option but thankfully, so were the numb-the-pain alcohol and the yearning-for-Rayna drug. Instead, he created his own “armour” made of career ambition, father duties, and, hmm, yes, a relationship with the boring lawyer.

Rayna and Deacon: Is it too complicated?

Rayna is a completely different story. She didn’t just wear a small armour to protect herself. No, she went for the biggest and strongest one, added a shield and a mighty sword and with all of them joined together she charged through life.
When you take this approach to the extreme the price for it is the loss of a chance to fully heal, since by closing the door on pain and sadness you also close the door on happiness. That’s because both derive from the same place.
Sadly that’s what happens to Rayna, the “all or nothing” woman. It’s especially tragic in her case since we are talking here about the woman who prefers being “naked” in her relationships and appreciate authenticity above anything else.

Until she’ll be ready to open that place in her heart again, Rayna channels all of her inner needs for ‘truth’ and ‘authenticity’ to her career and by doing so takes even bigger risks than usual.
As for her romantic life, it’s the Teddy syndrome all over again, only this time it’s with a Country music mega star ( will not mention his name cause he’s a self-centered ass and I can’t stand him ). She gets involved with the “right” choice on paper, the one who will support her current needs as a business women and a mother, but her heart…it’s in a far away closed box.

For the viewers this behaviour makes Rayna less accessible than Deacon and it doesn’t give us too many “award-winning” over the top moments of meltdowns or “fighting-to-keep-the-tears-while-all-I-want-to-do-is-die.

But truth is that more often than not, this is life for most adults in similar situations – especially people with kids and most especially women. We just deal and let time take its course. It doesn’t mean we don’t think about it or don’t grieve but we rarely allow it to consume and swallow us whole. The reason? We already know better and even when we don’t, we simply don’t have the luxury to do so.

Rayna Jaymes is no different from the rest of us (beside the obvious), and like us she also doesn’t have the luxury to enter fetal position and dwell in self-pity every time something doesn’t go her way.

Rayna has two daughters who almost lost her that depend on her and need her (even more so now that she’s divorced); She has a career she wants to keep and take to the next level after working her entire life to build it; she also has a young artist who needs her as her mentor and a whole team that she support.

Moreover, Rayna came to a point in her life where she really knows what that means when people say that life’s too short.So getting completely invested in her heartbreak, like we tend to do in our teens and our 20s is not a valid option anymore.

When you dust yourself up the first time even though your heart is aching that you can’t breathe, it’s hell. It also feels like an act. But after a few times this behavior starts to feel normal and not completely foreign, especially if like Rayna you are going through the SAME familiar pain for the 100 time. Then you lose patience for anything that’s holding you back and try to get back on the saddle as fast as you can.

Practicing and mastering this approach towards life also ,usually, gives you an unexpected gift in the form of a healthy perspective on life and a sense of humor to get through it. That way, instead of crying to the sky WHYYYYYY???? you can look at yourself from the side, laugh at how miserable (and even pathetic) you are and sum it all up like Rayna as ‘a really crappy month’.

After all, The best songs Do come from broken hearts. It’s just that someone must be brave enough, and strong enough to step out into the world, live and write them.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 830 other followers