Orange is the New Black is a series that invites the audience to bring all their judgments into the cells of women prisoners…. written in such a way that the cells of our own lives are revealed, the secret battles to survive our own isolation and find meaning are touched. The writers help us see or imagine how many wrongs are committed in the blind rooms of psyche where soul was violated, the violence of judgment, the chaos of helplessness, the love of mother, the vulnerability of child, the power of unity, the beauty and potential of a repenting heart, the struggle to “make things right”, the horror of evil, the complexities of battling real evil that most of us deny and, in so doing, endanger the ones we love the most……..
Orange is the New Black is written in such a way that the audience falls in love with the women in these cells, celebrating with them, grieving with them, and falling off the cliff with them….and finding strength in the dignity they find as they face their oppression, release from pride, and …stand together…united…weaknesses and strengths unveiled and accepted….facing uncertainty within the certainty of life sentences….at least for a moment.
When they played this song…. the strained voice pregnant with sorrow and labored breath, the escalating rhythm pounding with poignant crescendo alternating with long pauses filled with the raspy stroke of the violin and heavy slow chords that gather speed in the void….until they roll….as they paint the picture of climbing to the top of a tree by the cracks of the skin to see the world….to be blown down by the gusts that come around…and the impulse to hold on ever so tightly to those we love….until all that is known disappears…the time when we know we must leave and turn to dust.
Within each of us is a writer, a narrator for the story we are living. This causes me to pause and ask, “What is my writer revealing, imagining, singing now? What instruments do I hear now?” I know that moment when all that I know disappears…and there are no witnesses….and a writer from a different realm appears….It is a moment that is unimaginably terrifying and deep as it fills all of time in an instant…it is a moment that is also eternity… It is both empty and pregnant with life….it is dark night and a dawning of a new day….it is pure paradox. This song resonates with such a moment….opening the heart to love in the raw space of suffering, to life from a place of hell, to leaving illusions and turning to dust….to roll with the piano chords out of the void again and again and again.