Hymn to Get Your Life

Get up
Stand up
From your despair
System’s designed
To keep you there

Cannot be bought or sold
Despite what you all have
Been told

Ain’t nobody gonna give it to you
You’ve got to get your life
Ain’t nobody gonna do it for you
You’ve got to get your life

They thrive
When you and I divide
All their borders
Cut deep inside

Ceilings where there
Should be blue skies
Hunger, hatred
Fed by their lies

Wake up to the cruel machine
To cede your heart
Would be obscene

Ain’t nobody gonna give it to you
You’ve got to get your life
Ain’t nobody gonna do it for you
You’ve got to get your life

Ain’t nobody gonna give it to you
You’ve got to get your life
Ain’t nobody gonna do it for you
You’ve got to get your life

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Constellation Conversation

Dr. Deborah Paredez

“[Labelle’s song “What Can I Do For You?”] teaches us how to be in that space of the constant questioning… of how we can be for (and in relation to) one another while we’re dancing in this kind of heightened state of ecstasy, but also constantly being in an insistence of how to reach each other across this… this deeply broken state we live in, which is in every way because of neoliberalism, because hyper-capitalism has created this atomized, deep, devoid-of-empathy kind of space.”
—Deborah Paredez, in this edition of Constellation Conversations

Deborah Paredez is a poet, ethnic studies scholar, cultural critic, and longtime diva devotee. Deborah is the author of the award-winning critical study, Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory (Duke 2009) and of the poetry collections, This Side of Skin (Wings Press 2002) and Year of the Dog (BOA 2020). She has published widely on topics including Black and Latinx performance, poetry of war and witness, feminist elegy, and the role of divas in American culture. Born and raised in San Antonio, she has lived on both coasts, endured a handful of Chicago winters, and taught American poetry in Paris, while remaining rooted in her Tejana love of Selena and the Spurs. She received her PhD in Interdisciplinary Theatre and Performance at Northwestern University and her BA in English at Trinity University. She lives with her husband, historian Frank Guridy, and their daughter in New York City.

Who is Mars?

Mars Astronomy

  1. Mars’s atmosphere is less than 1 percent of Earth’s. The planet is not protected from the Sun’s radiation and can’t retain heat at its surface. 
  2. It’s atmosphere is made up of 95% Carbon Dioxide, 3% Nitrogen, 1.6% Argon, and small amounts of Oxygen, water vapor, other gases and particles of iron oxide which gives the planet it’s reddish color.
  3. Dust Devils on Mars form when the surface of the planet is hotter than the air above it. As less dense heated air rises into a layer of cooler air, the hot and cold air circulate vertically in self-contained convective cells. When horizontal wind blows through cells they are toppled onto their sides and start to spin horizontally. They can be more than 805 meters high and 644 meters wide.
  4. Mars is approximately ½ of Earth’s size in diameter. 
  5. Mars is home to the highest mountain in the solar system being Olympus Mons, reaching to  the height of 24 Kilometers high. Three times the height of Mount Everest

Mars Astrology

  1. Mars symbolizes action, aggression, desire, and energy. Mars rules our animal instincts and sexual desires. 
  2. Mars is the God of War, ruler of Aries and Scorpio 
  3. Mars is the planet of action rather than reaction, it is raw energy. It is the push that gets us out of bed in the morning, our drive and desire for nature, and our active energy. When we are “acting out” our Mars, we are assertive, directed, forthright, and adventurous. On the negative side, we can be impulsive, rash, impatient, aggressive, and forceful.
  4. In our chart the position of Mars shows our basic sexual nature, our temper, how we express anger, what makes us angry,  our first instinct to act, and competitive nature. 
  5. By house, the position of Mars shows the areas of life where we apply our drive and enthusiasms. Planets that Mars contacts are colored with action self assertion representing what we seek in experience. 
  6. The symbol of Mars is used as the symbol of the male. It shows the Circle(Spirit) directed outwards and thrust into the world, symbolizing direction and assertion. 

Questions for Contemplation and Discussion

  1. Who is your diva? If there are many, pick one. You’ll see that I’ve included a few poems I’ve written over the years about divas (Labelle, Diana Ross, and Lena Horne in this case). But remember it can be a diva you know in your everyday life, like Dr. Paredez’s Tía. 
  2. Ask a friend about their favorite diva and then share yours. Tell a story about what they meant/what they mean to you. How have they imprinted themselves on your life. What have they inspired in you?

Diva Poems

Choose Your Destination