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Conversation with Melissa Etheridge

melissa etheridgeMelissa Etheridge is a two-time Grammy winner and a multi-platinum recording artist, as well as a human rights activist, cancer survivor and 2007 Academy Award winner for "I Need to Wake Up," featured in Al Gore's documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. On September 25th she will release her ninth studio album, titled The Awakening.


Marianne Schnall: Your new album is really powerful – and it feels very personal, but also very timely in that it’s dealing with a lot of big issues and concepts that I think not only have you been exploring, but a lot of people are exploring.

Melissa Etheridge: I think we are, yeah.

MS: What does this album represent for you in the scope of your career and your life?

ME: You know what? It represents complete freedom. I fell in love with rock n’ roll music when I was a kid, when I was teenager in the seventies. Good Lord – I head banged to Led Zeppelin and Bruce Springsteen and listened to Joni Mitchell and The Eagles and all these great artists, who seemed to be …it seemed like they were playing music and they had a mission. They were writing because they were artists that had something to say and to reflect back onto our society. You know, you’d hear The Who’s “We Don’t Get Fooled Again” - and you’d listen and go, “Yeah, they’re singing the truth – cool. I can’t wait until I get up there and sing the truth. I want to be an artist.” And then somewhere down the line, I got caught up in the eighties, and music ended up being about money. By the time I was releasing albums in the late eighties, 1988, it was “Yeah, yeah, be an artist – but we’ve got to make sure you have a hit song.” I was able – thank goodness I was in a record company, Island Records with Chris Blackwell, who signed like U2 and Bob Marley and he understood artists – but then he sold the record company to a corporation. And I have to talk to accountants about my project! And it was saddening in my heart as an artist.

And of course I just kept doing what I do and writing my own experience. And then my experience was one of my own personal break-ups and all this stuff. And then there’s cancer – and then in the middle of cancer and chemotherapy, there’s an awakening, there’s an enlightenment of what life really is. And this sort of whole dream of success and this dream of “I’ve got to have a hit song”, “I’ve got to do this” – it wasn’t mine – I don’t wish to dream that anymore. I wish to create - I believe that there’s a world out there, who wants to hear music like this, who wants to put music on to be fed, to be nourished, to be held up and enlightened and excitened. And I believe that artists do that for people, and that I can do that for people.

So I wrote this album completely from my experience, from my heart, from my artistry, from my inspirations, from my channeling of the energy – whatever level you want to talk about it on – and I did it purely. With no thought of, “Is this going to sell? Is it going to be on the radio? Did my record company blah, blah, blah, blah… in competition with the girls in belly shirts.” [laughs] None of that. And I feel so satisfied inside! Whatever happens now with it? Great – that’s gravy. The experience of creating it and knowing that – you listen to it and what do you think? Because I’m proud of it, I feel good about it. Hopefully I answered your question.

MS: In today’s times with all the news and information and everything else that comes at us we often don’t know how to process or cope with it all – right now it feels like there’s never been a more important time for artists to try to make some sense of it and express it creatively and invite discourse, rather than just talking at us from the news.

ME: Exactly – and the television and the radio have to realize that the reason they’re losing listeners, is because they’re marketing themselves right into one little narrow, where yes, these ten people will buy your product [laughs] – they’re not letting art flourish. It’s hard when art is commerce - it’s difficult.

MS: Why did you name your album “The Awakening”?

ME: Because when I wrote the song for “An Inconvenient Truth”, for Al Gore’s movie, and when I wrote that “I Need to Wake Up” – which was my feeling, I remember sitting down and that movie having such an impact on me when I saw it. I actually saw his slide show when he did it – the one that they filmed. And I was so just shocked – I don’t know whether I was shocked – I was awakened – it was like a big slap in the face. Because I had been sleeping. It was like, “Oh, wait, I thought I was an environmentalist – what happened?” And I remember thinking, “Gosh, if at the end of this movie, good people like myself are going to go “Uh! Oh, my God have I been sleeping?” And I wanted to make a song that said, “OK, but now I need to wake up, I need to move, I need to do something.”

So after writing that song, I felt I had to do what I said, and I needed to wake up. So the rest of the songs on this album is a process of that, it’s the analyzing – “OK, in my California dream, you know, the dream of being rich and famous and success and I want to go do that” and then the realization of what the life was and the karmic acquiring, the certain sexual karma, or whatever you want to call it [laughs], and then discovering what fame really is, and the façade and the illusion that it is. And then discovering what love is. And discovering, oh wait a minute, what spirituality is, and what we are doing on this Earth. And just one right after the other - when the doors open, it’s a huge awakening. And I think that a lot people are experiencing this. That’s why.

MS: I’m hoping that there’s actually a mass awakening taking place.

ME: Oh, I think that there is – I do. If you watch people… I think because we’re afraid to say anything – because we don’t want to be considered crazy - because I really like where I am, and I don’t want to be considered nuts! But I think if we allow our imaginations – that’s why in the one song “Open Your Mind” I wrote “Imagine the answers, the questions there you will find.” If we let our imaginations go a little bit, and are not afraid to talk about it to anybody else – then I think people will go, “Oh, yeah, I feel that – I know what you feel.” And you find that more often. I see little bits out there. I run into people - I talk to people all the time and I say this, and I hear, like from you – I think it’s a big thing, I do.

MS: How did the experience of having breast cancer figure into your awakening, because I am sure that had a big impact on your life.

ME: You remember in “Star Wars” the first time Han Solo took us into hyperspace? [laughs] Remember when the stars [makes whoosing sound] - everything went – that is what cancer did for me. It shot me, at warped speed, hyperspeed, into this awakening. It was starting to kind of roll around my head, I was like “OK, I’ve got this success but that certainly wasn’t what it was all about – what is it all about?” And once you start going, once you ask the question “What’s it all about?” then the answers start coming to you. And having a diagnosis of cancer right after that happened, all the answers just flew through me. And, the experience of going through chemotherapy – that’s what really - I mean chemotherapy - they take you as close to death as they can, and hopefully they get some cancer in the meantime. It’s really barbaric - I know in ten years it’s just going to be looked back on and we’ll go, “Oh, gosh, what were we thinking?” But what it forced me to do – I had to lay there, completely still. I couldn’t listen to anything, I couldn’t watch anything - because it hurt – it’s terribly painful.

But if I lay completely still and closed my eyes and just lay there for days on end? I didn’t experience any pain. You know what happens if you’re completely still? Your mind eventually – that little tape that’s running – bup, bup, bup - all the noise? It eventually runs off the reel. And you have nothing left to think. And all of a sudden, the answers are just there. It’s like someone just removed a big cloud. And I could see completely clearly. And there’s no going back – you can’t put that cloud back, you can’t. And people might say I’m a little crazy, and that’s fine. I can blame it on cancer and chemotherapy [laughs] – but I think we are way too busy, we are way too noisy, our heads are junkyards, and we need some stillness in our lives. And cancer gave that to me, so I am grateful for that.

MS: This past year you won an Academy Award for “I Need to Wake Up” from Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth and you gave one of the most rousing and passionate performances at Live Earth. It was so inspiring. Obviously the issue of the environment is important to you. How do you feel about the situation here on Planet Earth?

ME: I think we are at critical mass. There’s a reason that we all thought that changing to the year 2000 would be like super-spacy, because it is. And no, it didn’t happen at the year 2000, but it’s happening now. It’s happening very slowly. And environmentalism is the way into it. Once we wrap our heads and minds and intentions and thoughts around the concept that what I do, here today, affects someone all the way around the world. And that most importantly – the one important thing that environmentalism does, is it shows us and allows us to believe the Earth is a living organism. Once we comprehend that, there’s no way that we can continue with the destructive behavior that we have had, because not only is it destructive to us, but it’s destructive to the Earth. And maybe we’re not ready to care about ourselves yet – but getting the whole world to think about taking care of the Earth is the beginning to taking care of each of our individual selves. And once you know – OK, if I throw this big thing away, if I just throw it in a landfill it’s going to be there for a billion years – that that’s my responsibility – I did that. Well, you know what, if I put this potato chip with transfat in me – it’s going to be there for a bunch of years [laughs] – and you start seeing the relationship between yourself and the Earth. And that’s the way into this awakening – is environmentalism. And that’s why I am so glad and so happy to be a part of it.

MS: And to see ourselves as one planet, one family here…

ME: Completely understand that we are one consciousness. And not only our physical actions affect everyone else, but our conscious, our thoughtful actions. I mean, it’s being proven in science, and that’s freaking some people out. And once that knowledge really comes down, and once we kind of grasp, without fear, that that’s really all it takes – that we don’t have to go out and do with less – because that’s the fear of environmentalism – "Oh, I’m so comfortable in my car and I’m so comfortable like this." We can still be comfortable – we can still be happy – we don’t have to go backwards, we just need to go forward in thought. And that by waking up tomorrow and saying, "I live in a world that cares about the Earth as a living organism, and we care about ourselves" – if I just believe that everyday, and those around me believe that, then that expounds out. And that’s where the change comes from – right there – it’s just changing the way you think.

MS: Maybe things had to get so bad that it kind of kicked us in the butt.

ME: I remember telling people in 2000, when we went through that, I said, OK, then there must be a reason that he’s been elected President – whether he was elected or not – there must be a reason that we must have to – it must need to get so bad, so that we can never go back there again. And I said, “I think I know what’s coming – here we go.”

MS: On another issue that I know that is important to you, and on a personal note, my brother is gay, and a few months ago we joined him at a very beautiful commitment ceremony that he had with his partner. As a gay activist, how important do you think it is to have the legal rights and benefits to be married, and do you think it is inevitable that gay marriage will happen eventually?

ME: Oh, yes, it’s totally inevitable. And I do believe that it will be a non-issue once we can get our fear out of all this – once we can see behind all the fear. The fear of us and them, and the differences. The fear of terrorism. We are in such constant fear – the fear of not having enough money, not having enough – that once people wake up, again, to the realization, or to the truth, that fear is only there to keep us from getting eaten by bears, or whatever wild animals might have been roaming around, and to get out of the way of a bus if it’s barreling down to the street – but we are not to fear each other. And that what you deny someone else, you are denying yourself. And what you deny yourself you are denying someone else. And that sort of thinking, which a lot of people are doing really hard right now and we’re trying to bring it about, and me talking to you is part of it, and the work that you do is part of it – once that gets out, then it’s like, oh - I know that in ten years we’re all going to go ‘remember when gay marriage was…Ahh! – wasn’t that funny?’ And it’s going to seem just as funny as when I tell my children that there used to be bathrooms just for black people. That’s about the craziest thing you can believe – and it is! And I believe that’s what’s coming – I think it’s coming sooner than later.

MS: That was one of my questions – are you optimistic about the progress of gay rights today?

ME: I have to be, because I find if I start saying, “Oh, no” – then that’s how it will be! And every morning I wake up: ‘I live in a world that cares. I know there are people out there who want the same peace that I do.’ And I believe it.

MS: It’s just like the misconception that feminism only benefits women, when the reality is that feminism also benefits men, that all of these forms of human rights honor our dignity as human beings, and we all benefit from treating each other that way.

ME: Exactly - gay rights, feminism, ending racism – all those things - it’s the same thing.

MS: You were recently part of a panel questioning the leading contenders in the Democratic Presidential race about gay rights issues. What were your impressions after that event? How did you feel about it?

ME: You know what? In my own awakening and enlightenment, of realizing that we are all one, we are all the same, I am able to comprehend politicians now. And leadership. And those who are called to leadership, and what that is. And meeting Obama – shaking his hand, talking - he was actually the only one that before the forum came back and actually spoke to me in my room. And he was very - he gave me his book and I gave him my record, and he was very personable. And I start thinking about their thought processes, and their fears, and where they coming from, and their truth. And I just look for truth in people. And I opened myself up to that and before I went on, in my own meditation I said, “OK, I’m just a channel, make whatever needs to happen here, needs to happen. I’m just going to show up and be aware.” And when asked before, I’ve always said, “Give me an Obama/Clinton ticket, give me Clinton/Obama – I don’t care just wouldn’t that be awesome? Seriously any of them – I’ll take any Republican other than Bush – whatever! [laughs]

But my biggest thing that I came away with, was sitting there listening to Dennis Kucinich. I had heard him speak a bit, I think on Bill Maher’s show or something – where I was like, wow – I’m actually impressed with him. But oh, he’s completely unelectable. So there I am telling myself that. Well, I sat there and listened to him speak. I sat there on that couch – and I was not a Dennis Kucinich fan before that forum, and hearing what he had to say, I was like, "Oh, my God, they told me not to fawn all over you," but if you listen to what he says – what he says is where we want to be. He is speaking true leadership. And everyone’s like, well, he’s completely unelectable – he’s a nut case, what the wack-job – and I listen to him and I say, “No, this man is awake – he is completely awake.” And he knows that what has to be done is love, is an extremely important thing, and it is the way we need to move the world towards. And it’s revolutionary speak. And yes, right now, he sounds quite insane!

But – on the panel I just said, “Sir, I hope you run for President until you are elected.” And what I meant was, you’re where we need to be. And if it’s you or someone else who’s going to be speaking these truths as he does – I believe that that can be elected. And so I’ve actually, in the last couple days, I’m having my own thought process about – why I am telling myself he can’t be elected? Why am I selling it outright – why am I saying that the things that I truly believe in and believe that our world can be and where we need to get to – why am I saying that that can’t be? So now, I think I’m going to have to become a Dennis Kucinich fan. I think I am. But every bone in my body is like – what? Loser! You know? [laughs] But that’s what I’m wrestling with right now.

MS: My daughter asked me the other day who I was supporting, and I said something to the effect of, whichever Democratic candidate has the best chance of winning – and afterwards I thought, what a horrible answer that was!

ME: And I saw that somebody wrote a blog about why do we as Democrats keep thinking that we have to nominate the moderate because they’re the electable ones. If you listen to the album, I speak about, you know a woman can run for President, not necessarily endorsing Clinton, but in answer to people going, “Oh well, nobody will elect a woman now.” It’s like, oh, my god, if we can’t elect a super monkey, or a dog or something with what has happened, then when? We as Democrats – we as, well, whoever we are, I don’t want to label us – people who believe in a better world, in a better life - why can’t we get over our own fear of being on the outside of it, and say that there are more of us thinking like this, and really get brave. And that’s where I am.

MS: Many gay people struggle with coming to terms with their sexuality. What would you say to a kid or an adult who is afraid to come out of the closet?

ME: It’s funny because I actually get to say these things to people. Coming out is completely personal, and it all has to do with how you feel about yourself. And you have to start with that – you can’t tell somebody to come out who doesn’t believe in themselves, and doesn’t feel like that they are worthy of love. That’s where you have to start. If you have been on your journey and you have discovered that you deserve love and life and you are worth loving, and you know when you are in balance with yourself, and you know when you are in peace inside yourself, then just walk that truth – just be that. When you are that, you come out – you no longer hide in the closet of fear – it’s just a closet of fear. And when you come out of that, you don’t have to announce it nationally as I did [laughs] you just start walking, you just start being that. You just start speaking the truth. The universe gives you choices everyday of how to answer things, and when you just decide "today I am just going to tell the truth" – that’s all it is.

MS: I know you brought this up at the forum, and it caused a stir and got a lot of press coverage - what would you say to people who believe that gay people have a choice?

MS: Oh, I didn’t expect that [laughs] – I was stunned. You know, I would just tell them – I know my experience. And when I rephrased the question I said, "Really do you think that around seventh grade 10-20% of the population of kids say, ‘Oh! I want to be gay!'” [laughs] Because they’ve heard my record or saw Ellen on TV or something. [laughs] If that really is the thinking. I know that there is some choice involved. Believe me, I spent a few years with a woman who chose to be that for a while, and then wasn’t. I do know that there are sexual freedoms, and I’m all for that too. But the core homosexuality – those of us who are all the way over here on this side of the gauge – we’re born with that – that’s in our bones. That’s in our DNA. That’s our makeup. That’s our spiritual, soulful, physical makeup. And there’s a large number of us, two million of us at least, just there. So, you know, whether science proves it or whatever is done that way – I think thinking that it’s a choice, allows you your hatred, allows you your bigotry.

MS: You’ve always been very outspoken politically. What advice would you give to a budding activist?

ME: Once again, it’s about the truth. I never signed up – I never said, "Ooh, I want to be an activist.” I just found that the more I spoke the truth, the more activist I became. Which - I am constantly amazed, at how courageous and radical speaking the truth is. What does that say about our society? What does that say about what we’ve all agreed to live in? That there are certain lies that we’re all going to tell, and if one tells the truth – ooh, aren’t they courageous. It’s like [laughs] – what? I don’t want to live in that world. So if you don’t want to live in that world, the most activist thing you can do is just speak the truth, and search for the truth, and just follow that trail, and it will come to you. Believe me, the universe will hand it to you.

MS: As the founder of a website called Feminist.com, I know there are many misconceptions of what feminism is – what is your definition of feminism and how do you view the feminist movement today?

ME: Man -it constantly amazes me how they have vilified and demonized the word “feminist”. I can’t believe that I’m in my forties and it still has that effect. I was a teenager in the seventies during the women’s lib, and yes, I walked away with that in the eighties going "yes, women’s lib equals bra-burning" which - [laughs] "What? Women just don’t want to wear bras – what?" And I believed the spin that was put on the women’s movement. And yes, if you dug further you could find the truth in it. But I was too busy wanting to be rich and famous… anyway - much too much personal things going on. Until a book by Susan Faludi, "Backlash", landed in my lap – and it’s 1987 – and I read this book, and it’s just filled with truth – and truth that I never heard. And I thought, "Oh, my gosh, here I am, I’m a woman in my twenties and I’m doing exactly what she said" – I have completely bought hook, line and sinker the other thought about it.

And so right as I was starting my professional career, because my first album was released in ’88, I am reading this book on tour. And I’m getting questions – people are asking, “Well, do you consider yourself a feminist?” And had I not read the book I might have said, “Oh, nah, nah – that’s old stuff.” But I would answer, “Yes – I absolutely am.” And I would say a feminist is somebody who believes in personal, professional and political equality. Period. Done. Over. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman or pink or yellow – or whatever. Those three things. It’s just equality. And I held with that, and I see feminism kind of come in and out of favor, and now it’s folks like you who are trying to define it again in these terms. And it’s hanging in there.

MS: One of the things that can be so hard for women – as you talk about finding your truth, is discovering out who they really are and living their life in line with their truth. You have always had such a strong sense of self and this unwillingness to conform – where do you think that comes from, and what message would you most want to instill in young girls?

ME: Ah. The message I would most want to instill is: you are more powerful than you know. That you are beautiful – just as you are. You are perfect. And it’s a crazy world out there, but there are women who for years have been laying down on the barbed wire for us. Who for years have stood up to the ridicule, to the false accusations, and the way is so much clearer and easier now than it’s ever been. And the world is starting to see that the feminine balance is needed – has to be there, and has to be revered, for peace. Just for life! We have to have that balance. We have been in the patriarchy for so long, and it has destroyed everything [laughs], and we are in the last throes of it, and now young women – now it’s your turn, the world is here, we’ve opened it – go, be, take it. Do not fear. And just speak your truth.

MS: And nurture and celebrate our feminine qualities – in men and women – the feminine energy in the universe.

ME: The feminine - the ying, the yang, that whole thing.

MS: Many people, including myself, find your music very profound and uplifting. As an artist, do you see your music as serving a higher purpose? What are you most hoping to achieve and convey through your art?

ME: I’m discovering my music. [laughs] In this enlightenment, I have realized that my job is to just stay as clear and as open a channel, as clear and open as I can, and be willing to craft it. I’m a crafter. It comes through and I try to put it in the best form as can be digested right now. And so my music – so much of it, I say thank you, thank you, but so much of it I just say, well, isn’t creation lovely? You know? [laughs] Because it’s just there - I just pull it out of what’s already there. So I’m grateful for my music – I’m grateful that I can live this life that I do, and I’m excited that I can be a conduit and a messenger and a mirror. I’m very grateful.

MS: Do you have a favorite song on the album?

ME: [thoughtful pause] Wow.

MS: If you can’t answer that it’s OK because I hate to make you choose.

ME: I don’t – it’s so many pieces of me. I just want people to hear it, feel it and take it in and just do with it what they want. I just know the way that I feel when I hear “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye – I always feel the same way, and that helps me. I would like to be that.

MS: You deal with a lot of spiritual themes and notions of God in this album. What does God mean to you?

ME:[quotes from one of her songs on the album] “God is in the people.” Yeah! There’s a lot of awakenings for me. And the spiritual part of it, the part that I came to - well, I came to all of it being still on chemotherapy, but the answer – that God is in each of us. That each of us are God. That - dare I say it - that the Christ energy, that that is actually in each of us. I went back and read, I drowned in, I went back and read quantum physics, string theory, cosmology, and I went and read "The Gnostic Gospels" – and when I read that I go, oh, my God – all this Jesus Christ stuff? Well, he’s just saying the same thing that we’re saying now – and they crucified him for it. And I understand. And it makes a lot more sense.

And so this God – when I push aside all the religiousity and the religious idealogy – and bleh - all of that control of the last 2,000 years – much due to the patriarchy – pushing it aside – I think, OK, then what is God? And then I understand that all there is atoms in space, and that space, is love. And Dennis Kucinich will tell you this – I’m not even being wacky – it’s like science – and this love and this intention, is our ability to create. And we are creators, we are God. And we have – all three billion of us - have created what we have going on today. And if we only for a second believed that we are all God, and we could wake up and create whatever we want – then we could. So I do believe that there was a “creator” but I am endowed with those God-like qualities. It is in me, and it my responsibility. And once you kind of start to grasp that, then you realize that yeah, God is in the people. My God is me, my God is you, my God is love. And it just makes sense – not even from a whoo, whoo point, from a scientific point. That’s my belief.

MS: You sound so clear – what practices or life philosophies keep you centered and sane?

ME: None. All! It’s just because it’s truth! It’s so weird because I just know when I hear myself talk, I’m like, “Oh God, they’re going to think I’m in some cult or something”. [laughs] I mean, I’m looking at my desk right now and I’ve got all these books “The Quantum and the Lotus” , “The Nag Hammadi Library”, Barbara Hand Clow’s “The Pleiadian Agenda”, “The Bible Code” – all this philosophy – what makes me excited is because I read them and they are all the same. They are all saying the exact same thing. And so I started thinking – OK, what is the same thing that they’re saying? It’s just that I create my reality everyday. My intentions, my thoughts. And that only love is real. That’s it. All we can do is to love each other. And once you get that – then that’s your philosophy, that’s it! You don’t need any religiousity on top of that, I don’t need to think that every Wednesday I can’t eat potato chips or something – I just live that every moment, every second – talking to you, the choices I make – every second I live that. It becomes clear when you kind of start doing it everyday.

MS: There are a lot of well known artists and entertainers helping to create awareness for important causes – do you think that artists are going to have an increasingly more powerful role to play in supporting this shift - high profile people like yourself, both expressing through their art and finding opportunities to talk about these issues?

ME: Well, that depends on yourself. That depends on your own - you know, you can’t do it and not believe it because then you can hear the falseness in it. So, it might become fashionable for a while, but those that truly believe it, and are willing to speak truthfully about it, they move this shift forward. And I hope I – I try everyday to live up to that. I try everyday to do this honestly and truthfully and just answer the calling.

MS: I just turned 40 on Tuesday, and I was very lucky this past year to interview women like Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker, Eve Ensler, Jane Fonda – and all of them seem to feel and exemplify the notion that we actually come into our full power as we get older – that it’s not something to fear but to look forward to – do you agree?

ME: Absolutely, the reason that they make us all youth-oriented and vain and try to think that if we get old we are of no use anymore, is because we get wiser and they know that. And when I say “they” I mean those who are fearful of change. And we are getting older, and we are getting wiser, and we are getting freer. And when you get the wisdom and the truth then you get the freedom and you get power and then - look out. Look out.

MS: It’s often tempting, in our efforts to create a better world – to kind of find ourselves doing the “us and them” thing too – to not give in to anger or hatred ourselves.

ME: It’s part of walking the walk – not being a victim, and not being a judge. And it’s a really hard line to walk, because we are taught that we have to be one or the other – that’s the only options our society gives us - as women especially, but as people, it’s just as hard. And when you stop being the victim, to stand up and then be the judger – it’s like your first reaction – it’s hard, but it’s important.

MS: As a mother of four children, what would be your wish for the children of the future?

ME: Clarity, and the desire for the truth. And to be free from fear – to create and move this humanity to the great places that it can get to.

MS: So you’re optimistic we can get there.

ME: I am absolutely optimistic. Absolutely. Yes, yes! Because I live in a world that can do that. I do.

MS: What’s next for you?

ME: I’m going to finish my asparagus. [laughs] You know? At this very, very moment, that’s what’s it’s about. You know what’s next, is just me keeping on this path and seeing where it takes me, because this whole next album is an experiment in everything I believe in. And so I’m believing it, and walking it - and we’ll see. I look forward to talking to you in a few years and going, “Ha, Ha!”

MS: I am grateful to be able to talk to people like you because you feel like the shift is really happening.

ME: Keep asking to talk to people. And it will come to you. Put it out there. The more you talk to people about it – the more that other people will come and talk to you about it.

MS: You talked about feeling like some sort of channel – lately, I approach my interviewing the same way. When I am writing my questions, I think about: what does she most want to get out to the world, and what does the universe also want to get out? So thank you for playing that with me.

ME: Well, thank you – keep doing what you’re doing, and we shall meet again.


melissa etheridge
The Awakening

Related links:

Melissa Etheridge Official Site



* * *

©Marianne Schnall. No portion of this interview may be reprinted without permission of Marianne Schnall .

Marianne Schnall is a widely published writer and interviewer. She is also the founder and Executive Director of Feminist.com and cofounder of EcoMall.com, a website promoting environmentally-friendly living. Marianne has worked for many media outlets and publications. Her interviews with well-known individuals appear at Feminist.com as well as in publications such as O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, In Style, The Huffington Post, the Women's Media Center, and many others.

Marianne's new book based on her interviews, Daring to Be Ourselves: Influential Women Share Insights on Courage, Happiness and Finding Your Own Voice came out in November 2010. Through her writings, interviews, and websites, Marianne strives to raise awareness and inspire activism around important issues and causes. For more information, visit www.marianneschnall.com and www.daringtobeourselves.com.

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