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.
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:
**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,