“They tore it down/they burned it down/and everyone moved on/and all that’s left is their lies and the soil.”
Hearing those words sung so hauntingly on Joy Shannon and the Beauty Marks‘ song “Cloister,” I’m reflecting on the times we’re living through. Revelatory times. Reckoning times.
For generations, my ancestors buried uncomfortable truths, burned the ones who didn’t assimilate, and re-told a false and flattering history in their own likeness. They told themselves they were doing it for me, but what they passed on was pain and trauma and reckoning—because really, they were doing it for themselves. Stealing land and telling the story that it was freely given. Wiping out human existence and telling the story that they were creating safety. Enslaving and subjugating people and telling the story that they were honorable creators.
“Cloister” hurts my heart, the video tears at my soul, as I watch a face singing her story from the ground, her place of safety torn away. The ground we’re living on is sewn with bodies and blood, and the story we’ve been told is it was fertilized by civilization for growth and greatness. Every day, these stories are being shattered, and new bodies are being dug up. What are we doing to make sure our future generations aren’t carrying the weight of our greed and cruelty? Are we teaching our children to nurture life, or to bury their own bodies?
Today we’re honored to share the video for Joy Shannon And The Beauty Marks “Cloister.” It’s off their album The Cave made with producer Christopher Juul (Heilung) and is available here.