Godmama Says…
a buncha stuff.

Oct
18

(Quickie writing exercise #2)

Mama’s baking again.

She does this when I keep her up at night.
She tried so many times to pass her baking skills on to me, but I was more interested in my brother’s building toys and instruments.  “Not natural,” she would say as she snatched the plastic power tools from my little hands and tied a flowery apron around my neck and waist like shackles. “Little girls shouldn’t get dirty,” she’d tell me and then proceed to make a mess of herself and everything around her with flour and oil and chocolate and dishes.
One stormy Christmas morning she gave me a toy oven.   I cried and cried because I thought I was getting a drumset that year.  She cried too and asked what was wrong with me.  She sent me to my room with the stupid toy oven and told me I could stand to learn a lot of things, including gratitude.

Alone in my room I opened my windows so I could hear the thunder and feel the mist of the rain spraying into the stale inside air.  Mama hated when i did that because it made the floors wet and messy,  and she hated messes.
I took the oven apart and rebuilt it a couple times, trying to make something more interesting out of it….maybe a time machine or a rocketship.  A time machine could make me older than seven and I could do whatever I wanted.   I figured out that the heating element needed more power if it was going to be of any use even as a stupid oven, so I worked on that for a while… even managed to take apart a lamp with some tools I had hidden under my bed.  The wires and tiny parts inside of other things were fascinating to me.   I took apart anything I could get my hands on that might have some kind of power source and put it all back together as an all new masterpiece.  I didn’t know what it would do.  It looked like a clumsy robot with an oven for a face.  He was cute, and if nothing else he’d make a great friend.

The floor was nice and wet now,  Mama was sure to be angry about that…  but maybe she’ll be proud of my new creation.

Lightning caused a power surge right when I plugged him in.  The water on my hands and feet seemed to become alive like fireworks.   I felt like fireworks inside and out.  Suddenly I wanted my mama more than I ever, ever had.  I opened my mouth to scream her name but all that came out was light.

That was the day everyone stopped seeing me or noticing when I was around.
That was the day that Mama started crying and crying and never ever stopped.  Sometimes she would put a smile on her face because people told her she needed to stop crying.   People kept telling her I was in a better place and she could stop hurting.  But she knew what I knew.  I was right there.  Right there watching her bake.  Trying to learn what she wanted to teach me.  This place I was in, it wasn’t better… it was lonely… and I wanted my Mama.

Baking was the thing she was good at, and she wanted to share it with me.  She wanted me to be impressed with her.  She wanted me to want to be like her,  even just a little bit.  She just wanted me to make cookies and like it.  I wanted to take the robot apart and fix the oven so Mama and I  could play with it together, but my hands couldn’t touch anything anymore.
Sometimes I’d lay with her in her bed when she cried herself to sleep and whisper into her heart that I was ready to learn.  I’m right here Mama, and I’m ready to learn.
Those were the nights she couldn’t sleep… when she could almost hear me whispering into her.   She would wake up screaming and then go right to the kitchen and start to bake.
One long night Mama had been tossing and turning listening to the storm that was raging outside.   I curled up as close to her as I could get and breathed into her hair.  After a hard cry she dragged herself heavily to the kitchen and tied her pretty dirty apron around her neck and waist like shackles.  She opened the windows and the sliding kitchen doors and let the rain and wind inside.  When the lightning flashed she could see me standing there in the open door way…
when the lightning flashed again she could see my robot oven creation standing next to me.

“Baby…” she whispered.

She stepped slowly toward me and my easy bake monster and took my hand.

Lightning flashed

and we were together again.

Oct
12

[Random writing exercise short story thing]
—————————————-

“So, what do you do for work?” he asked.
Shit.   This again.

It’s a simple enough question, made even simpler by the fact that this is an email exchange so he can’t see how uptight that question gets me. I’m new to the online dating thing but I get how it works.   It’s like a series of the world’s most invasive job interviews mixed with those forms you fill out at the doctors office.   Where are you from?  What do you eat?  Eye color?  Hair color?  Allergies?  STD’s?
People usually have the courtesy to wait a couple dates (or at least a couple conversations) before they get to the harder questions,  but I rarely get that far because for me the simple questions are the tricky ones that I can’t answer.
It turns out that refusal to answer the simple questions tends to scare people off… and goddammit I am sick of scaring people off, which is why I’m trying this crap in the first place.

That and the fact that I was advised by a co-worker that a good way to keep a low profile is actually to keep a lot of very public profiles.  “Normal” people,  I was told,   have identities that are almost entirely digital.   The harder you are to track down and “follow” digitally,  the more likely someone is to track you down and follow you in real life.   And certainly no one with anything to hide sets up an online dating profile,  right?
Also, the bulk of the messages I get from guys on this dating site keep me inspired for work.

What do I do for work?
Shit.  This again.
Well… I’m an assassin.

Ugh, I hate that word.  It’s so dramatic.  Sounds so…. villainous.
I certainly don’t think of myself as a villain of course.   I have my reasons for doing what I do.
Everyone has a skill,  and I am skilled enough to be the owner of two Olympic medals as a sharpshooter.   Not a lot of money to be found with that particular skill.    No ads or endorsement deals.   Turns out nobody wants to see a chick with a gun on a box of Wheaties.  Go figure.  I’ve taught a couple classes and even worked at a shooting range for as long as I could stand that particular cross-section of humanity, which was for about three weeks.

Then my step-mom got sick.   We were never close but we’ve been stuck with each other since Dad died 5 years ago, and then her health fell apart and we have no insurance since – as she loved to remind me- I “couldn’t keep a decent job to save either of our lives”.
Fortunately an opportunity presented itself and I discovered that my natural skill set was a valuable one after all.  Quite valuable,  it turns out.  Stepmom doesn’t need to know just how valuable.  All she knows is I got a job with a major corporation and I do a lot of traveling for work now… taking pictures, she thinks.   She has a nurse who comes to the house 3 times a week, plenty of good drugs, and a bigger TV.  She’s as happy as she needs to be, and this gig keeps her that way.

Simple work:  A couple times a month I get an envelope with some photos, plane tickets and a tiny bit of info and I do my bit.  I’m getting to see the world and exercise my craft.  And the hotel rooms I get are unbelievable.  The only shame is that I’ never get to share them with anyone.  After an intense day of hunting, tracking, and long distance homicide a gal sure could use someone to unwind with in those plush goose down comforters.   (Read:  killing makes me horny.)

I went with OKCupid because I liked the name.  Cupid is kind of an assassin as well.  Hiding out and shooting people in the heart from up on his distant perch.  I don’t think of him as the little naked baby like you see in the paintings.   I see him as a wise older hunter… calculating and patient.  And kinda hot.  Probably a long leather trench coat in place of those stubby little wings and a 9mm pistol with a silencer in place of the  bow & arrow set.  Okay so I chose OkCupid because I’m actually looking for Cupid.  He may be the only one who really gets me, ya know?

In the meantime I pick through the mere mortals who occasionally like my photo and start asking the  usual questions.
There was a guy who seemed promising once.  We actually met in real life and went on a couple dates.  He seemed cool with allowing me my personal space.  When he asked what I did for work I said something vague and redirected the topic quickly like I do, and he left it alone.
Well, it turned out that my co-worker was correct.   My lack of total openness made him curious,  so he started snooping around to learn more about me on his own.   Maybe it was innocent curiosity,  maybe he was onto something,   I’ll never know.
He… uh…. disappeared suddenly.
——-

“So, what do you do for work?”  he asked.
Shit.   This again.
I could lie, but I suck at that.  I tried saying I was a photographer once, but then people want to see your photos.  I’d ignore him,  but  I kinda like chatting with this guy.
“What do I do?”  I typed back.  “I’m an assassin.   You’d be shocked if I told you the companies I work for so I really shouldn’t say anymore.    I’d hate to have to kill you, too.  You’re cute.”

There was a long pause and then… a smiley face?
“You’re cute, too,”  he wrote.   “And I dig the dark humor.   When can we meet for drinks?”

cupid1

Oct
01

Last week I had the magically thrilling opportunity to meet interstellar trailblazer Nichelle Nichols (also known as the original Lieutenant  Uhura) in the flesh.   Considering all that has been going on with me of late, my first excited impulse was that I would of course meet her dressed in my costume from RAIN.   Then I remembered that there was also (naturally) a replica of Uhura’s red minidress uniform hanging in my closet.  With a gasp of greatness the once in a lifetime moment of geek perfection materialized in my brain:  I would dress as Storm dressed as Uhura!   I exploded with delight and laughter at the thought of it.  A friend who was listening to me have this revelation out loud scoffed a bit and said. “Why don’t you just go as yourself?”

Hhhhhh.

How do you even begin to explain…
I never really feel the need to explain myself or alter my ideas for people like that, so I didn’t at the time… I just scoffed in return and went about my business.    Good thing, because THIS happened:

uhura2

But thinking about it later on made me even prouder of the work I’m doing with RAIN and why it feels so damn good to bring that character to life…. and how “playing dress-up”, as others may see it, IS being myself.

Those two characters, Ororo and Uhura– those two women– are absolutely a part of how the world has been shaped and reshaped so that I CAN be who I am.   Being able to inhabit and pay tribute to both characters at once… as a performer — which is also who I am– is a priceless treasure AND pure artistic greatness AND a very personal tribute to the trailblazing icon space queen I was about to be able to shake hands with.   It was the thank you I  was completely unable to say properly with words when the time came and my tongue tied itself into a useless knot.

What my friend and most others must see as playing dress-up to me is absolutely being myself.   Channeling some other parts of myself, like a shaman wrapping up in furs and painting her face to call on some wild animal spirits, only a thousand percent nerdier.

It came up again today.    This weekend the big Comic Con comes to Austin.   I’ve been excited like a kid about going of course.  Production of the film has slowed and I’ve been aching like a  junkie for a chance to climb into character again.   I’m a performer,   RAIN is my song,  and for right now something like Comic Con is a perfect stage to play on for a couple days.    I’m also unemployed at the moment however,  and the question was raised as to whether or not there was any inherent value in my “spending all that money” to walk around playing dress-up.    Unemployment is a scary place and it’s pretty easy to feel guilty and doubtful about where your money is going and why.    I went for a walk and vented out some tears of frustration and by the time I got home a dear friend had hooked me up with free entry to the weekend’s geektivities.   The “spending all that money” bit of the problem was solved so I didn’t have to care about whatever the rest of it was anymore.

I know who I am,   and I typically don’t give a shit if it makes sense to anyone else or not.
The season is new,   my life is changing,   and right now I am unemployed and unsure of exactly where my next stable footing will be,   so it’s easier to be pushed into insecurity for a minute.     Just for a minute though.   And during those times  I can slip into some leather duds,  clip the big white mohawk onto my hair like a crown and leave the insecurity behind and escape into the Storm.

Sep
11

There’s a tension in the air just before a hard rain.   That tension always gives me a headache.  It’s like the whole world is holding it’s breath trying not to scream and cry… but it needs to.  It really, really needs to just let it out.

People love the sunshine of summertime,  but where does the relentless heat always drive us?    To the water.   To pools and beaches and lakes, and if we can’t get to those we just turn on the sprinklers and revel in the respite of artificial precipitation.    We seek out the relief of shade because we miss the shelter of the clouds,  and we seek the relief of water because we crave the rain.
Blue skies are beautiful and the light of sunshine brings out all the lovely colors of life;  but by the end of an unforgiving Texas summer,   sometimes I just want the sky to cry.

I’ve been having a pretty heavy relapse into grieving and depression this week.  Among other things,  the sudden (and likely violent) loss of my beloved Sheena-kitty reopened and irritated the permanent gash in my spirit that the loss of my son left.   When your heart has fallen apart enough times,  eventually it doesn’t take a whole lot to cause it to crumble again unexpectedly.    You can always put it back together,  but sometimes  it just needs to get dark and rain for a while.
Friends shine their light at you in whatever ways they know how,   telling you to focus on the positive and pray or smile it all away.   (“Pull yourself up by the bootstraps!”  People still really say that.  To me.)    That’s when sunlight just burns and leaves blisters.   When you have been in drought conditions and the sun has dried you out and there are wildfires rampant and causing more destruction,    more sunshine isn’t the answer.

Waves of grief come and they eventually pass,  but sometimes…just sometimes…. they linger and burn.

I want to burrow inside the comfort of a cloud, curl up like an embryo and feel it rumble to life around me.
I want all the colors and light and dark to wash away into a swirl of blank, cool grey.
I want to hear the hush and the rush of life giving skywater pouring from cracks in the heavens and cleansing the earth.
And then  I want the release of the rage.  
I want the awesome display of the sky itself throwing electric fire across itself and screaming “YES your pain is real and THIS is what it looks like when a heart breaks.”
I want to get sucked up into the vortex of the sky’s own fury and then refreshed in the cleansing deluge of a tempest.

Yeah the sun will come out tomorrow,   but right now let it rain.
Let it fucking storm.

Don’t hold back, sky.
Summer is ending– let the rain fall.
I dare you.

5-Grey Clouds

Sep
02

[Disclaimer:  I'm sick this week, so this may well be the result of NyQuil induced delirium, or it may be a stroke of genius... or both.]

I watched the Dark Crystal for like the 4 thousandth time yesterday and woke up this morning with a massive nerd epiphany.

At the end of the Dark Crystal,  (spoiler alert if you’re wasting your life and somehow haven’t seen the Henson masterpiece several hundred times yet) the Skeksis and the Mystics become one again.  Jen is cradling Kira who is kinda dead but not really, and the main dude says  “Hold her to you, she is part of you as we are all part of each other…”
That part always gets me all emo,   and this time I found myself thinking “We… are… GROOT” because the sentiment matched…
and THEN it occured to me that those dudes are TOTALLY Groot!  They have, like, tree hands and a tree face.

GO LOOK. THOSE ARE GROOT’S PEOPLE!!!! Groot is one of the Dark Crystal higher beings!!!!

 

 

Urskeks

I had to look it up, they’re called UrSkeks.
GROOT IS A DESCENDENT OF THE URSKEKS Y’ALL!

And… wasn’t that basically a shard of the Dark Crystal they were fighting over in Guardians??

You’re welcome.

Jul
29

spacecat

My name is Sheena and I am a transdimensional space kitty.
I thought this was obvious, but apparently I need to explain.

A couple weeks ago,  from the perspective of my peoplepets,  I “disappeared”.

Peoplepets are silly creatures… stubborn and hard to train.    Somecats don’t even believe that peoplepets have feelings or souls at all if you can believe that,  so they don’t even try to communicate with them.   My people were special, though.  I know everycat says that, but really– my people were unusually smart and I talked to them all the time.   I even tried very hard to show them the gateways to the OtherNow…

beans
…but they do have those big swollen heads way up in the air that make it hard for them to see.
They can’t see in the dark for one thing,   so they certainly can’t see into the OtherNow.   Tests have shown that they can really only see 2 or 3 dimensions, which is sad and makes it unbelievable that they can find their way around at all.

One day recently I came inside and let my She-person know that it would be time for me to go soon.   I may be projecting but I’m convinced she understood me most of the time…  this was just something she didn’t want to hear.    I sulked and pouted for two days because I knew I’d have to leave her alone,   and the poor dear is very dependent on me.    She is one of those pets who doesn’t socialize well with other pets,  but she loved to be with me.    We  really were the  best of friends.

spacecat3

When I originally found her she was terribly wounded on the inside and sick in the soul because she had recently lost a cub.   She would howl and shiver and I would try to clean her face of all that salty eyewater.   I kept a close eye on her to make sure she was alright and eventually she howled less and her face didn’t leak so much.   She treated me just like I was her very own cub and that made both of us feel nice.
So the day I found out that there was a badbeastie prowling around near our den,  I ran inside to let them know.    I vocalized with new words,  I pointed and hid, I did everything I could to spell out for them the universal signs for DANGER.   No one understood.  Not even She.   So the last time I went out to play,  yes– I did see the badbeastie… but it didn’t end like their sad little minds think it did.   I just slipped through one of my secret portals to the OtherNow where the badbeasties can’t go. Ever.
CAM00065-1

Lots of peoplepets tell each other stories about how their CatMasters got “lost” for a long time before finding their way home weeks or months later.  It’s a simplistic and  arrogant mythology they create so they don’t have to acknowledge our advanced dimension hopping capabilities.   They would rather imagine that we’re actually lost somewhere in the bushes than believe that we leave the planet itself from time to time.     This misunderstanding  leaves them so sad and confused… wandering around calling out our names in the entirely wrong universe when they could easily just wiggle through the obvious gash in time which exists in the back of all their sock drawers to find the far superior OtherNow.
Their big swollen brains might not be able to take it over here, though.  Not enough chatter or little light up hand screens.   Not enough speeding thunderboxes spewing skydirt.   Just lots of quiet, and playtime, and naps… and grasshoppers.

Maybe I will make my way back one day, but probably not.    My poor She-person is probably a mess feeling like she lost another cub.
spacecatbaby

She is no doubt howling and shivering herself to sleep like she did not long ago when she lost her tinyperson.   That’s hard for her little brainheart,  she’s only human.     I’d feel bad for her but we don’t really do that over here.  There is no bad.  Lots of grasshoppers though.

spacecat1

Peoplepets are oblivious barking monkeys for the most part,  but mine were truly special.   Please look out for them if you see them around.    Make sure they are getting plenty of water and playtime.   The silly creatures actually forget to do that on their own if you don’t remind them.  Remarkable that they continue to thrive without our constant supervision.

Jul
19

How can I express the explosions of gratitude in my soul right now?
Let me try by starting from the beginning. Bear with me, RainMakers.  I want to show you my heart.

This is the first page of the Uncanny Xmen “Lifedeath” series.  It’s also my very favorite piece of artwork.

lifedeath1

Here we see the most powerful of all the X-men in a state of defeat and vulnerability.  She is sporting the mohawk but she hardly seems fierce.  She is crumpled, weak, and feeling sorry for herself for losing her “super”powers.
The caption above it says, “Once upon a time, there was a woman who could fly.”

In so many ways, it’s an image of exactly where I was about 2 and a half years ago:  at the beginning of a difficult and dark journey from pain to power.  It’s the journey that led me here to you:

In December of 2011 I was 6 months pregnant with my first child.  He was stillborn… just in time for Christmas.  His name was Orion Xavier Jamil.   To say that I was devastated would be the greatest understatement of all time.  Refer back to the drawing:  that was me for at least 5 months solid.  It was a time when I wanted to be with my son, and he was dead.  I had to “chin up” publicly and go back to work and “move on”… but I didn’t want to move at all.  I had no idea how I would survive the pain I was in and secretly I wouldn’t have minded if one day I just didn’t wake up at all.
But I was also really angry.  People kept telling me to try therapy,  but I didn’t want to talk- I wanted to run and punch and kick shit. So at the end of June 2012 I signed myself up for seriously intense martial arts training.   Completely out of shape both physically and mentally and with no idea what I was doing, I still loved it there.  It was an escape,  it was release,  and over time through sweat and dedication it became my path to rebirth and strength.   I still hurt for my son,  but I was getting strong enough to deal with it and start rebuilding my massively damaged spirit.

I went through a transformation.  I still had my sadness and rage over what happened.   I guess I always will.  I carry it around inside me like… well, like a storm.   But I developed the strength to change that stormy energy from something that consumed me into something that powered me.   That is the story I have been dying to share in one way or another,   and I kept going back to the Lifedeath image for inspiration.

The image of a woman who seems to have lost hope may not seem very inspiring at first glance,  but at the moment of my life when I rediscovered that image I recognized myself.   Recognizing yourself in the image of a superhero when you’re at your lowest point- even if it’s a picture of HER lowest point- can be quite an empowering thing.
We have all fallen.  We have all been in the dark,  and I think the most difficult and most heroic battle of all is the one we have to fight against our own demons and darkness.
I came to love that first page of Lifedeath so dearly.  It was a beautifully drawn reminder that even the mightiest can fall, but more importantly even the most fallen can rise and fly again.

A little over a year ago I started to write a story of transformation and rebirth with that drawing as the inspiration.   That story eventually became RAIN.  I wanted to bring that fallen heroine to life.   And with your help, I have:

lifedeath3

**The story in the film is NOT the Lifedeath story, it is an original… but I wanted to recreate this image- the catalyst and muse for the project- and pay tribute to my favorite piece of art, my favorite superhero, and all of you.

My original vision of this project was much smaller,  but the waves of support and excitement  swelled up around it like thunder clouds and lifted RAIN up to a much higher place.

Because of you, a dream is coming true. Not just mine, but a shared dream that so many of you have chosen to invest and believe in along with me.
Because of you, we are going to be able to give new life to a force of nature who so many love and hunger to see repowered for so many different reasons.
Because of you,  a different voice will be heard.  Maybe only for a moment, but because of you that moment will shine so much brighter and the voice will ring with so much more power than I could ever have given it on my own.

It may seem like a simple gesture but when you choose to give your money and energy and excitement to something NEW, something independently made from the heart, something that NEEDS your support, you are planting seeds of life and light in a place where they are desperately needed.   Whether it’s eating at the locally owned diner instead of the chain restaurant,  buying handmade jewelry from an artist at a street fair instead of at the mall, or supporting an indie film on kickstarter- you absolutely rock for making that choice.   You give power to things with your attention and your cash.  And so many of you have decided to give that power to this humble little project.
Because of you the fallen warrior will rise and fly again.

Be proud to be part of this creation.  This film is going to be powerfully awesome,  that is a guarantee.

Everyone involved from the directors Zane and Jeff to our producer Matt to the stuntguys and actors and composers… EVERYONE involved is a skilled and dedicated pro, and more importantly everyone involved is doing this from the heart.   We are all so excited to get to work and deliver the magic to you.   We will NOT let you down,  we will blow you away.

Know that this film IS my baby,  and it is too important to me to let it be anything but perfect.   We are going to work our asses off in the next couple months to create a work of surprising beauty and power that we can all be proud of.

We are still going to be tight budgeted considering how wildly ambitious the story and production design have become,  so your continued support is appreciated in these last few days of the Kickstarter.  The more we raise the more resources we have access to, the more time we can spend to get things right, and the higher the production value will be.
Thank you from my entire heart for getting us this far.

I owe you my soul.
With the coming of RAIN, I will deliver it.

Love & Lightning and endless gratitude,
Maya G.

thanku

Jun
13

Last night there was a severe storm here in Austin.
The alert on my phone said “EXTREME THREAT. SEEK SHELTER NOW.”  
I didn’t see that warning til hours later though, because I was outside in it.

I sat on a log in my backyard staring up at the light show awestruck with tears running down my face.  
The dome of the  night sky above me was flashing wildly with different shapes and patterns and blasts of brightness in and around the clouds.  Dark greys and endless black would flash suddenly with patches of silver, blue,  purple, and stark white.   My eyes couldn’t get wide enough as they searched the dark sky wondering where the next series of flashes would appear.  The lightbursts played in patterns that seemed to be communicating something…. like watching loud music that had no sound,  as if some kind of massive alien spacecraft was powering up just behind the veil. 

Then suddenly streams of lightning would arc across the whole sky like a electric rainbows and then disappear faster than I could express my startled amazement.   Why the streets weren’t packed with other teary-eyed sky watchers was far beyond me.  Look UP, people.  Look UP!

It was like being inside a nebula, watching the creation of a star.   Like being able to float into deep space or sneak a peek back in time and witness the creation of our own world.
I always imagined that something like flashing nebulous stormclouds are what an infant can see when it is kicking to life about to be born.   Electric impulses at the inception of life,  rumbling power surges behind the sealed eyelids of the unborn or the dying.   (Thus another gift I get from a storm is that I can watch the flashing clouds and feel like I’m sharing a secret with my son.    Look UP, Mama… See what I saw.)

Blinding light, then blinding darkness, then blinding light again- flashing signals in erratic patterns.   Electric fire in the air while water falls to the earth.   Clouds, light, dark, light, power, nothing,  blast, nothing,  light, light, FLASH,  power… and cracks in the sky giving away the blinding simplicity of of the entire universe.  
Light and dark, All and Nothing clashing and dancing together like ones and zeroes,  breaking down the math and revealing everything.

Image

May
26


Today, people pause to remember fallen heroes.
I remember mine every single day of my life.

Summer is coming and Orion is hidden from the night skies for a while,   and yet I see  the hunter warrior of the heavens everywhere and feel his presence all the time.

No one other than me ever knew my kid, but he remains the unforgettable love of my life.   I knew through dreams what his beautiful face would look like,  I knew he was clever and silly,  I knew he’d have boundless energy like his father,  and I knew that his laugh was like a shock of birdsongs.    But  a hero?   Mythology teaches us that a hero needs a journey,  and how could a boy who died before he was born have passed any of life’s tests?

He was healthy when he died, but in the cruelest of ironies he was strangled by the very cord meant to sustain him and feed him life. “Just bad luck,” said the doctor as I wept inconsolably and  tried to scream the entire universe away.   Surely such a ridiculous injustice would drive a soul to become a fighter and seek the recompense of a chance at a  fiercely lived life?   If there is such a thing as a soul… perhaps.

I don’t know what I believe anymore as far as souls go.   I understand how the faithful find solace in their beliefs, knowing that their departed loved ones are “waiting”  for them somewhere.   I was told so many times that my precious boy was taken by divine hands to a better place,   but as a mother all I could  hear is that my child was taken,   which is more infuriating than comforting.   And as for a “better place” I know for an endlessly painful fact that there is no better place for an infant than in his mother’s arms.
Fuck working in mysterious ways–  if I believed that anyone or anything took my child away from me to any place, then I would tear the skies apart to find this thief and burn that place to the fucking ground.

So no,   I can’t believe in heaven the way that many want me to,   even though his name is written across the night sky… but I do know that a child exists forever  in their mother not just emotionally or metaphorically~ but literally;  biochemically;  cellularly.    Really.

You are a different being once you have created a new life, and your body itself remains the heaven where that echo of another life exists for as long as you do.

After my son died, for a long time I didn’t want to live at all.  I wanted to go with him to whatever this “place” was where people said he was alive and well.   My body-mind-soul-broken-heart screamed out “where is my baby?”  and the words kept coming: “he’s in a better place“.  I wanted to be in that place too.

But then there was a dramatic shift in who I am and just how brightly I wanted my fire to burn.
I am the better place.
It was as if some back up power source kicked in and pushed me onto the path of a warrior.
Was this force my own?  Probably.
I choose to give that force a name-  the name he would have carried with him throughout his own hero’s journey:
Orion Xavier Jamil Glick.

And I will love him with all the might of my burning stormy heart forever and ever.

Cheers, my dear.  This life’s for you.

nebula

Mar
05

While pre-production on RAIN brews in the background,  I’d like to start introducing the amazingly talented crew that’s coming together to make this production unforgettably awesome.

First up,  some of you know that my previous experience as a performer is as a musician.  Even though it’s been a shameful number of years since I’ve been in a band,  music remains massively important to me and I am insanely picky about what sounds I will associate myself with.  Sometimes I think of the film as a multidimensional painting, and one of the most important “colors” of that painting will be the soundtrack.

Having spent the bulk of my creative life in  the heart of New York City’s colorful rock scene, I am fortunate to be good friends with some wildly talented people.  One of those people is Luqman Brown.   As soon as I knew that RAIN would be a “real” film,  I knew in a heartbeat that I had to have him on board to create the score (along with some vocal magic from internationally adored indie rock genius Honeychild Coleman).  The words and images tell the story;  the music will give it a soul.    Better yet:   the images of a storm are the lightning;   the music of a storm is the thunder.    Luqman Brown is going to rock that thunder,  and I am honored and thrilled that my chosen brother – who also happens to be one of my all time  favorite musicians- agreed to be the music supervisor for RAIN.

Luqman Brown, music supervisor for RAIN

Luqman Brown, music supervisor for RAIN

So, Luqman,  tell us a little about yourself and your creative background:

I’m from Harlem NYC and I’ve been a professional musician for 25 years.

I grew up in the loving arms of some insane artists.   My father,  Carlyle Brown,  is a well known playwright and my mother is a teacher and poet. Their artistic influence fuels a lot of the work I do today.  The first concert my father took me to was Funkadelic at the Apollo Theater.    I was 7 years old.   Once I had seen what I thought were superheros funkin’ out,  I was instantly hooked.

How long have you known Maya?

Wow… a long time!   I think ten years.   [he's off by about a decade-- we've known each other since '94]   We’re brother and sister from another momma and mista.   But we graduated from University of Hard Rock Cafe where we all worked for too many years.

Have you ever worked together creatively before?

Yes,  I have supported Maya creatively for years.   My band  (Funkface)  has backed her many times during the late 90’s early 2000’s

You seem to keep yourself very busy.   Other than RAIN, what other projects are you working on currently?

Well I’ve just finished producing, engineering, mixing and mastering a band called REBELLUM:  a pop off-shoot splinter unit from the insane avant garde jazz band BURNT SUGAR [at the studio /label he owns and operates, Buddhabug Records].
About to celebrate the 25th anniversary of my long time punk-funk band FUNKFACE this year with two new albums and some special shows.
And lastly I’ve just gotten the lead in Stew Stewart’s new play Family Album. Stew Stewart is the guy who wrote and starred in a the Broadway play called “Passing Strange”. Spike Lee made a movie about it.

Where are you drawing your inspiration from for the tone of the music for RAIN?

I’m an insane comic book fan.   I am quite intimate with all the exploits of Ororo Munroe.   I’ve been just re-reading X-men comics from right when she joined.  But most of my inspiration is coming from Maya.   I’ve seen this powerful person become even more powerful over the years.   I think about Maya’s struggles and triumphs and overcoming things we all need to overcome.   And I trust I know what that sounds like.

Are you excited about this film?  What kind of impact  do you think it will have?

I’m very excited to see it once the parts all come together.   As far as what kind of impact it has,  you never know.  That’s why we do art:   to see what happens next.     And I hope it hits folks like a right cross by Tyson himself and it breaks your imagination’s jaw!

luq2

Luqman Brown, music supervisor for RAIN

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