Editor’s Note: I Think We All Need A Break

by Dom Jones

“But sometimes your light attracts moths and your warmth attracts parasites. Protect your space and energy.” -Warsan Shire

Dear Berklee Community,

It has been a challenging semester. We have had a challenging semester together. The academic schedule of a Berklee student is already more rigorous than the average college student, and if we add gigs, student clubs, on-campus performances, rehearsals, and (if you dare) a social life, “overwhelming” hardly describes the feeling that one may feel. This semester was especially unique in that our school was constantly in the local news for heinous acts of violence committed against students, for the reactions of the students, faculty, staff, and administration, and because of the particular time that we live in. Patriarchy is on a respirator, and those oppressed by its every living breath will not be silenced in the shadows anymore. We still hear those who would have it live  making what seems like a vicious (yet final) war cry. Our country’s leadership (and I use that term lightly) is unabashed about sharing views that most would at least consider ridiculous and many would consider inhumane. It takes deep, uncomfortable, intentional emotional work to traverse the social changes that are afoot. And so, my friends, it has been a challenging semester.

Activism on Berklee’s campus has been robust since my first year when the Black Lives Matter movement met Berklee, and when we marched in solidarity with students at Mizzou. At that time, it felt intersectional, representative, and inclusive. As we’ve all worked make this most present wave of activism around sexual assault feel the same way, it has certainly affected everyone’s quality of life. Social justice work is not easy. It emerges from the knowledge that there was or is an inequity or an injustice somewhere that urgently needs rectification, and many times the opposition is a seemingly impenetrable institution with a level of power that can feel eclipsing to those trying to assert their own voices and their own power. This semester, the work has touched us all, even if we were not active participants. We were touched if a friend of a friend was a survivor. We were touched as the energy of our campus at times felt frantic, or at least frenetic. We were touched with the sadness of knowing that the inhumane acts that we know pervade our world could pervade our walls. How do we all grapple with that knowledge, and how do we move forward?

We step back, take a breath, drink our water, get some rest, call a friend, have tea and cookies with grandma… basically, we actually use this winter break that is upon us to take a break. While “self-care” is the buzz phrase of the day, it has to actually be our reality in order for us to continue to rise to the occasion of making our community not just palatable, but enjoyable – not just livable, but robust – not just musical, but resounding. It is our love of music that makes us a magical, reverberating community. It must be our self love that makes us a sustainable one. I leave you, for now, with one of my favorite quotes:

“…And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak…”

-Audre Lorde, A Litany For Survival


Dom Jones, Editor-in-Chief



About the Author

Dom Jones is a dual major in Music Business and Songwriting, and her work has been published in Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, Blavity and Ebony.com. She released her debut album, Wingspan, in 2014 and her follow up EP, Blackbird in 2016. Find out more about her at iamdomjones.com