Bridging the Gap - An interactive Session With Dr. Deepak Chopra.
“Deepak Chopra interacts with the young minds of India.”
Bridging the Gap - An interactive Session With Dr. Deepak Chopra.
(an excerpt from The Myth of Tori - Chapter 13: Abnormally Attracted to Sin)
“Ophelia” is a group of young women that are tangible, that actually exist, who choose self-destruction over creation, whether it’s scarring or being in abusive relationships. There are so many young women who come to shows with scarring. To have young college girls cutting themselves, that’s tragic. A lot of those women have been coming to the shows on and off for years. This trend has seemed to gain momentum over the last few years. I think it’s so complicated because they are trying to find some control, and if they can control their own pain, then sometimes that is the only control they feel they have in their lives. I wanted to crawl inside self-destruction and rewire it in songs like “Ophelia.” I think the song is really looking into the fact that there have to be other ways instead of harming yourself to find that control.
As a woman it’s hugely important to know what you’re attracted to and just to be honest with yourself about it. The song “Ophelia” is about a woman who is drawn to situations – not just men but situations – where somebody needs to have control over her in some way, and she hasn’t been able to break the chain of these people. She keeps choosing the same sorts of abusive relationships. They seem to come in different forms in her life.
“Ophelia” is about choosing to be with someone who doesn’t respect you and doesn’t value you. That leads us right back to what sin really is. What is sinful? It’s not what the church says to me is sinful. It’s me degrading myself, or somebody else wanting to degrade me and me allowing it to happen. In the song, it talks about breaking a chain, a pattern, where for people to feel powerful, they have to have power over somebody else.
Sometimes it isn’t a lover, sometimes it’s a boss, or you may have a parent or some other family member like that. You just have to find ways, once you’re not under their roof anymore, to decide, “Am I drawn to this for some reason?” Is there a pattern in your life where you’re drawn to people which you had never realized? It’s this chain or pattern that you have to break.
So until you yourself begin to know, “Why am I attracted to people who are like this?” then you can’t break free. Sometimes you’re not willing to look at this characteristic in them; you’re not willing to see it for some reason. And that’s the story of “Ophelia.” The question it asks is whether she will reach forty-five and still be choosing the same kinds of people to enable her to live the eternal victim’s life until she dies.
I do think that there are moments when you think that you’re out of that stage. But you can fall back into that self-destructive place. It’s almost a chain of being drawn to rejection. Have you ever wondered why some women, some people, are drawn to that regressive, invalidating sort of a relationship?
And sometimes you don’t even know it. I think in “Ophelia,” she’s not even aware of it because the traits are never exactly the same. Sometimes it’s pretty well disguised at first, because it’s not necessarily overt. It’s more covert, that idea of power. Something really simple, like the withholding of compliments, that her work doesn’t get encouraged, nothing she does gets supported. There’s that little seed of doubt that gets put in the “coffee” everyday. Just a little, a little bit so that you don’t even notice.
Sometimes I think that we take examples, as songwriters, we always take the most obvious examples instead of the examples that a lot of people experience. It’s never these harrowing stories and tales. It’s the details in life that as an observer, as a songwriter, you watch. You watch people in a coffee shop or at dinner you watch how they relate to each other. Usually it’s the subtlest thing. It’s never like “Bang!” “Punch!” It’s complicated.
We, as women, could choose to walk away from so much of what’s going on, but it seems as if we’re not making that choice, and I’m asking myself all the time, “Why? What have we, the older generation of women, not done?” Who would have thought that we could regress to this point?
“Ophelia” is not the only song to portray women who have run out of options. This album is trying to pass on how to survive in very dark times. But you survive by looking at the options, looking at not fitting into his world in “Welcome to England.” And it could be Virginia to Boston. In this song, England is not a place. She’s stepping into his world, but she left who she was behind
[ pre-order The Myth of Tori, due September 1, 2013 ]
Max Brooks discusses his book World War Z, and the real idea it represents, at the U.S. Naval War College’s 2009 Lecture of Opportunity.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow. Your decisions (and how they align with life’s principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Create a mission statement. Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Prioritize, plan, and execute tasks based on importance rather than urgency.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, and positive problem solving.
Habit 6: Synergize
Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. Exercise for physical renewal; prayer/meditation and good reading for mental renewal; service to society for spiritual renewal.
[from Stephen R. Covey’s 1989 book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People]
Loreena McKennitt, Nights from the Alhambra, filmed in Spain in 2006. This is one of the best concerts ever.
setlist: The Mystic’s Dream / She Moved Through the Fair / Stolen Child / The Mummer’s Dance / Penelope’s Song / Marco Polo / The Bonny Swans / Dante’s Prayer / Caravanserai / Bonny Portmore / Santiago / Raglan Road / All Souls Night / The Lady of Shalott / The Old Ways / Never-Ending Road / Huron “Beltane” Fire Dance / Cymbeline
Piano notes made visible using the CymaScope instrument.
“I have always been fascinated with the translation of that which is invisible, into something visible that individuals can relate to, in particular, the representation of sound through color and geometric form. I saw the use of cymatic technology as one method of such representation and a unique and compelling way of educating individuals about the link between sound, colour, and geometric form.” - Shannon Novak
“Vibration underpins all matter in the universe. No matter can exist without sound and vibration.”
[Learn more at cymascope.com]
An excellent talk by Marianne Williamson, “Politics from the Inside Out: Women, Nonviolence & Birthing a New American Politics”
Dead Can Dance at Coachella on April 14, 2013.
setlist: 1. Children of the Sun / 2. Agape / 3. Amnesia / 4. Black Sun / 5. Nierika / 6. Kiko / 7. Sanvean / 8. The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove
The Pleiades (Seven Sisters); Maia, Electra, Taygete, Alcyone, Celaeno, Sterope (aka Asterope) and Merope.
Nymphs of the classical Greek religion; daughters of the titan Atlas and the sea-nymph Pleione; companions of Artemis; nursemaids and teachers to the infant Bacchus (aka Dionysus); pursued in the night sky by the constellation of Orion.
* Painting by Elihu Vedder, 1885.
(an excerpt from The Myth of Tori - Chapter 12: American Doll Posse)
Tash is ready for Tori
One reason the new album [American Doll Posse] sounds different is that it’s not the redhead being a straightforward singer-songwriter any more, but another turning point was when Tash said, “Mummy, Tori Amos can be a bit naughty, can’t she?” She’s right. So, after a year or so of peace and quiet, I decided to take out the tomahawk.
During the past few years, I had buried the tomahawk to give my daughter, Natashya, a different view of her mother, to separate me from the musician me. If she’s not feeling right with the songs she doesn’t have to listen. It could be scary for her to see the woman confronting the energy force because it’s not warm and fuzzy mum. I didn’t want her looking and hearing me and thinking, “Oh my God, that’s a scary lady!” There are enough scary rock ‘n’ roll mothers in the world. But now she understands, and I have been able to dig up the tomahawk and speak again.
In the early days of Tash’s life, I was in a really nurturing place. I was exploring certain energies that had previously eluded me, having had those miscarriages, which I wouldn’t wish on anybody. Then, to have this creature in your life, that affected my work. When I released albums like Strange Little Girls and Scarlet’s Walk, I was trying to get in touch with the nurturing mother aspect. My daughter was very young at the time, but she’s almost seven now.
My daughter has grown up now and – via the internet – has figured out who I am and what I do. She’d been surfing the net and seen some things – particularly a pig shot, I think. I had to explain that there are things I do as Tori Amos that I don’t do as Mummy. It was time for us as a family to address the truth of what Mum really does. She knows that when I am on stage, there are going to be grown-up conversations that are not for six-year-olds.
Tash came to me one day a little while ago and asked me something that made me understand that she was ready. She said to me, “You know, Mummy, Tori can be very naughty when she wants to, can’t she?” I asked her what she meant and she replied, “Well, some of the kids at school say so.” She then asked, “Can I talk to Tori?” I replied, “Hold on.” … So she musters up all her courage and flashes me the index finger. Then she asked, “Can I have my Mummy back now?” and I understood from this that she realizes that I transform into someone who she can’t take to school, and that this won’t tear her to pieces anymore.
I’m able to explain now that the woman who comes and reads bedtime stories and hangs out with her is different than the woman who walks behind that piano. I think this is the first time she’s able to differentiate that. Now that there’s that buffer, there are things in the world it’s time to confront. There is an energy that you carry when you’re nurturing another life where you’re protecting first – and once you know that cub is out of the way of the hunter’s gun, you can be a little more daring.
Once she understood the difference I began to pick up the ever-present tomahawk that I quietly lay down, especially when I pick up the little girl. I put it right on my hip to take a look at what was going on. My mother gave her blessing. My father, who’s a pastor, still sticks with his own ideas, but he told me something very important: “Use the weapon of the word if you want to change the world, because you have that gift.”
It’s a real challenge, allowing myself to not have any kind of subject limits because I was trying to protect my child. But that’s not the only reason I’ve written what I’ve written and done what I’ve done the last five years. Now that I’ve addressed things coming from the mother, the minister’s daughter and a sexual creature, it’s time to do something else energetically.