Turn The Mirror

by Emily Zisman

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about

The story of Medusa has been told in several ways. But the main points that are consistent across all interpretations are these:
- She was one of three Gorgon sisters and considered to be one of the most beautiful and pious women in the land during her time as a human.

- She was a servant in the house of Athena, the goddess of war, and considered a role model to all of Athens. She managed to avoid or spurn many a lovers’ advance.

- At some point in her servanthood, the sea god Poseidon raped (or had an affair with, depending on the script you read) the beautiful woman in the temple of Athena.

- Athena discovers this and (either out of jealousy or anger) punishes Medusa for “breaking her vow of celibacy” [or for being raped ](either way, Medusa loses agency over her body) by “turning her into a hideous hag, making her hair into writhing snakes and her skin was turned a greenish hue. Anyone who locked gaze with Medusa was turned into stone.”

- Perseus was sent to destroy Medusa after many men failed to do so. He accomplished this by “lopping off her head, which he was able to do by fighting her reflection in his highly polished shield. He later used her head as a weapon to turn enemies to stone. An image of Medusa's head was placed on Athena's own armor or shown on her shield.”

This is the story of so many women. So many are either blamed and punished for what forcibly happens to their bodies, or shamed, ridiculed, and punished for what they choose to do with them.

Our bodies are simultaneously held as both sacred and sacrilegious. We are punished for being discovered as either desired or desirous, and turned into monsters in the public eye. These eyes stone us into submission so nobody, not even we, can look upon ourselves without somehow becoming monsters in our own eyes.
The song Turn The Mirror is a reclamation of Medusa’s own personal historical autonomy.

- Say all of the above is true. However, she is granted the ability to choose her own demise as the only action of power she has over her plight. She can use Perseus to put herself out of her own misery. So she ultimately has the power to choose her own liberation. She has the power that she never had, even in servitude.

This is ultimately a story about reclaiming one’s own power. To be the driver of one’s own narrative. No matter how many cards are stacked against us, no matter how buried we are under the situations that befall us, no matter how powerless we can be made to feel during life, we are ultimately in control of our own destiny. Even if it is only in how we choose our own death.

lyrics

I am
One Alone
I am
One of Many

Hot eyes
Carving stone
Just in case
You've come to take me

I've been busy
carrying weight
the weight of it all
the grief and the hate

Chorus:
I've called you here
to take defeat into my own hands
If my death be the only
refuge from the siege of man

It will be me
It will be me
I will take accountability
I will use you
to set me free

Turn the mirror on me
Turn the mirror on me

This tomb
a calcified womb
was not my choice
but my sovereign duty

They come
swinging shields
thinking they'll steal
what I'm freely giving

I've only
ever longed
to live in the world
you've buried me under

But your
immortal tales
still speak my name
and so I'll live forever....

Bridge:
Don't look at me
Don't look at me
See me
See me
See me

Chorus:
I've called you here
to take defeat into my own hands
If my death be the only
peace from the hand of man

It will be me
It will be me
I will take responsibility
I will use you
to set me free
I will use you
to set me free
I will use you
to set me free

Turn the mirror on me
Turn the mirror on me

Turn the mirror on me
Don't look at me
Turn the mirror on me
Don't look at me

credits

released November 25, 2020
Emily Zisman: acoustic guitar, vocals
Ryan Avery: Violin
Kenny Schick: All other instruments and production/mixing
Mastered by Piper Payne at Infrasonic Sound

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all rights reserved

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about

Emily Zisman San Francisco

Emily Zisman is a talented singer songwriter born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since picking up the guitar at the tender age of eight Emily’s musical journey has taken her all over the world. She has graced the stages up and down both sides of the United States and has performed internationally at festivals in Europe. ... more

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