Godmama Says…
a buncha stuff.

Dec
21

The evening of Sunday, December 15th, 2019,  an explosion of powerful music and powerful love blasted forth from the lower level of the Bowery Electric like a volcano.
It all began with a humble request for a lion of a man.  Luqman Brown,  frontman of NYC band Funkface,  recently had major heart surgery.   Within a couple weeks of his release from the hospital,  a community of family and fans had already started fundraising and planning a benefit show/birthday party which would raise not just dollars but also the kind of joyful lifeforce which could be seen from space.

To start things off with a nuclear blast,  South Bronx-metal legends 24-7 Spyz hit the stage like they were mad at it. Guitar god Jimi Hazel along with bandmates Rick Skatore, Ronny Drayton and Tony Lewis blew that place up so hard the stage was just a pile of dust for the rest of the night. I mean that poor stage was relentlessly assaulted like it was resisting arrest.   This is one of those iconic bands who should be selling out stadiums right now, but they packed the hell out of the house at 6pm on a Sunday for the cause and showed the kids exactly how the hell it is done.
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Then came the main course.  An all-star lineup of rock, reggae, and hiphop vocalists took turns fronting the force of nature known as Funkface,  standing in to deliver the lyrics of Luqman Brown in powerful tribute to the ultimate frontman.

First up was Lisa McQuade of Midtown Staxx, who claimed to be nervous kicking off the show but then she casually turned into a motherfucking tsunami and belted out renditions of “What It Is” and “Banner” that left us all breathless & weak.

Doc Burnz took the mic next and made sure the funk was stankin’ like the devil’s dirty drawhs with the filthy swamp-rock of “Down in the Bayou”.

Shelley Nicole of BlakBushe followed with a kickass version of “Ragtimes”.   Shelley took us to church, then she took us to the cookout after church, then she took us out gambling and stole all our shit and we were like “YES MA’AM THANK YOU”!

Soul-Metal icon Corey Glover stepped up next, with a dazzling 3 song set and jokes about how many words he had to memorize to keep up with Luq’s lyrics.  In an unexpected showstopper, Luqman himself jumped in with some jazz riff vocals during the breakdown in “Sweetback”, and both Corey and the crowd were reminded who the King is, was, and will always be.

Mista Rhee of The Boilers & Heavensbee was next on the mic, serving up the closest thing to a ballad. The song was “Time”, and under the circumstances this could have been an emotional moment in the show, perhaps making all of us ponder our own mortality and consider our love for family and whatnot.  Nah, just playin.  He righteously rocked this sweet song like it was a Beastie Boys party anthem that he got high and forgot the words to.

Tesfa from the band Major Taylor came next bringing life and skanktastic truth to the reggae-punk jam “All or Nothing”.  This is someone who was so joyful both on and off stage, embodying how all of us – performers included – were just thrilled to be at such a great show.

What followed was one of  Funkface’s best known moshpit makers, “Zoo York City”.  Okay… now Ima need to talk to Siddiq from Rebelmatic about his performance of this one because I’m over here with legit motherfuckin’ whiplash right now from how hard my old ass was nonstop headbanging.  Siddiq?  Son I’m sending you my damn doctor bill because ain’t nobody my age sposta be in a moshpit, okay?  On a SUNDAY, Siddiq. The LORD’S DAY and shit, and you rock the actual roof off? Cold as it was we sposta just not even have a roof?  I mean, I know that’s how Luq would do it but gotdayum!

I remind you at this point that we were all gathered to raise money for heart surgery bills. HEART SURGERY, y’all.  You’d think folks would be respectful… calm… on the hush….
But did we get a break after ZYC? Maybe someone quietly reading poetry about love, gratitude and recovery?

Welp:  Morgan Liebman from the metal band Snake Canyon was up next with “Doggy Style”,  a raunchy rock song about… screwing.  Doggy style screwing.  So… love & gratitude, sure.  And amen.

To truly recap the brilliance of the next performer I would have to write a whole separate review, and maybe I will, you don’t know me.   Honeychild Coleman took the Funkface tracks “Broken Toys” and “Something’s Goin On” and brought them to life as indie, burlesque, ska-punk rockers.  She had us skanked, spanked, and ready to get shanked with her platinum angel voice that summoned all the Orishas and had them skanking along.

Up next was… me.   I can’t review my own self as I was out of body during the performance,  but I can tell you that this was my first time on stage with a band since July of 2005. My NYC band was called Mother Goddess back in the day, but I’ve been underground living the hermit life in Texas since 2007.   I wasn’t sure if the rust and dust would clear up enough, but I was not about to miss this opportunity to help lift up my brother with music and praises.  Funkface is one of my favorite bands of all time and Luqman is not only the ultimate writer and frontman, but one of my dearest friends.  I just hope that in my own humble* way I made him proud.  (*And by “humble” I mean that I busted out giant gold goddess wings the size of the whole stage and demanded that the crowd yell my name before the song started.)
At the end of my song I had the honor of passing the mic, the stage, and the congregation back to the star of the show.

Luqman beamed with love as he said his thank yous to the crowd, and he glowed with pride when he gave props to the rulers of the night: his trusty band of brothers in arms.
Funkface has been around setting standards and kicking down walls in the NYC music scene since way back in the 1900’s (’86 to be exact).  Brothers Frank & Jeff Usamanont on bass and guitar, thundergod Ramsey Jones on drums & harmony, brother from another planet Jerome Jordan keepin it unreal on space guitar and extra-terrestrial rock opera church vocals, and  long lost axe-master Tim Grove flew out from California to  reunite with the band for the special occasion.
All of these musicians are masters at their crafts and shit-hot performers live.  It is their collective genius as an ensemble, the staying power of their music, and Luq’s colossal stage presence that have made us all stay in love with Funkface for so long.  Adoration for the band, and particularly for Luqman,  made for a party that was a triumphant once-in-a-lifetime celebration of life and love.

As Luq closed out a magical event by performing two hard rockers with his band TWO MONTHS AFTER HE HAD OPEN HEART MOTHERFUCKING SURGERY,  it was apparent that this band and this literally bionic man are truly timeless and unstoppable.   Some thing are inevitable, but Luq is IRONMAN.

Happy birthday, Luqman!  And many, many more.
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  • Funkface 12/15/2019 photo by Kristen Murphy
Jul
13

Undervalued, overburdened from the moment you were born,
They feel entitled to your life force even as you break and mourn.
They feel entitled to your body, to your culture, to your voice;
When you’ve been pulled apart by vultures weakness comes- you have no choice.
And when you must be strong for everyone you lose your right to cry,
Even as your heart is breaking, even as your children die.
How exhausted is your spirit when you must be everything?
Mother. Teacher. Lover. Nursemaid. Sister. Soldier. Daughter. Queen.
There is a universal truth they hope you never do believe:
You are the source of all that’s living.  You are Alpha.  You are Eve.
So they bury you like treasure, try to block you from your worth;
but you’re more than just the treasure-  you’re the motherfucking earth.
If they must take you for granted then there’s something they might miss
When the earth begins to tremble and volcanoes start to hiss;
because even mountains crumble, even lions can be caged
Even the tallest tree can fall, and even quiet rivers rage;
but you’re amazing, you’re astounding; You’re acknowledged. You are known.
You’re the savior needing saving.  You are real. You’re not alone.
Never let them redefine you as a servant and a whore
If you’ve heard it nowhere else: You are a goddess to the core.

queen

Dec
13

 

I’m not a big fan of Christmas anymore for reasons that are obvious by now to people who know me,  and each year the pain of the humbug in my heart seems to grow just as I think it should be fading.
This whole year was spectacularly shitty in various ways beginning perhaps symbolically with the concussion that knocked me onto my ass and out of my groove for long enough that I’m still struggling to find my place among my own patterns and plans again.
That incident,  the endless barrage of heartbreaking news stories lately,  and my inability to see the finish line of a creative project I sank my entire soul into are three of the strikes that have kicked my ass deeper into depression than I have been since the time I started hating christmas in the first place four years ago-  December 15, 2011- when my son Orion Xavier Jamil Glick was born still.

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Sometimes I feel my strength, and I’m on fire like a phoenix with big things to look forward to — and other times I feel no distance at all between the present moment and the pain of the day I spent in hell:   a cheerfully holiday bedazzled maternity ward filled with the cries of healthy newborns and birthday songs mixing with Christmas carols.   The day I decided I wanted to die… not because I hated life  (although I did during those moments)  but to be with my treasured beloved child who everyone was telling me was in “a better place”.   I wanted to be in that place too, sleeping in heavenly peace like in that damn song I kept hearing that week.

That’s where the humbug in my heart comes from this time of year,  only this year the depression has been heavy and thick and worse than ever.   I did manage to get myself to the doctor recently to actually get treated for the toxic feelings that have been pulling me down dangerously low like quicksand.     My heart is still broken,   emptiness is still there,  but for now the avalanche seems to have stopped so that I might be able to find my footing again.

But still… it’s fucking Christmas.
Lots of things died for me that day, and Christmas was one of them.   I’m okay with that.  I’m not Christian so I don’t feel obligated to celebrate the birth of anyone else’s son when mine didn’t make it.  And I don’t think Christmas carols will ever again be anything but a trigger to my hospital PTSD.

And yet,  I do love winter…. and twinkling lights…. and candles… and stars… and special days worth looking forward to.
Everyone else seems pretty jazzed and positive about this time of year in one way or another,  so how do I keep from turning into a full time Grinch?  How can I have a day to look forward to rather than a season to dread while still honoring the love and loss of my starchild?

Create a new holiday.

orion

December is also when the constellation Orion returns to light up the night sky, just in time for his birthday.

December 15th, for me anyway, is now Najmasabbi.

Two Arabic words I mushed together in a way that I’m sure they don’t rightly belong,  but it is its own word now.

Najma means star.
Sabbi means boy.

Najmasabbi.

Decor should include three stars or three candles in a row representing the three bright stars of Orion’s belt:   Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka.
Najmasabbi should be celebrated with (at least)  three acts of kindness which the three stars or candles will also represent.  Light your candles as your acts are completed.
Also,   as my son was a great creation I never had the chance to “complete”,  Najmasabbi is a good day to focus on reaching goals.  Finish something.   A book,  a poem,   your first 10k run…. Cross a finish line.

Will writing about a made-up day with a funny sounding name fix everything?  Nope.   My battle is ongoing,  but for today I’m willing to keep fighting.    For today I’ve got my 3 acts of kindness to look forward to and my trinity of candles to honor life and hope and growing strength.
Not an attack on Christmas of course,  but a silly way for me to try to fit back into something that doesn’t fit me anymore.

Joyful NajmaSabbi.

and Happy Holidays to you.

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May
10

I love words.
I love to play with words and pull them apart and put them back together as new words.
As much as I love to make up words,  there are already such amazing words for everything you can possibly think of.
Well… not everything

Petrichor is the word for the smell of the earth after it rains.
There is a word for the first cry of a new born baby:  vagitus.
The dot that goes over a lower case j or i is called a tittle.
When you hesitate while introducing someone because you have forgotten their name, that is a tartle.
When you press on your closed eyes til you see lights, those lights are called “phosphenes”.
The coating at the tip of your shoelace is an aglet.
There are words for fears of things you didn’t even realize people could be afraid of, like hair (chaetophobia).
Toxophilia is the love of archery.
A person who collects teddy bears has a name:  arctophile.
If you have an affair you are an adulterer.
If you have a spouse you are a wife or husband.
If you have a child you are a mother or father.
If you have a sibling with a child you get a name too: uncle or aunt.
A person who has lost their spouse is a widow or widower.
A child who has lost their parents is an orphan.
There are words for all the things and all the nonthings.

But there is no word for someone who has lost a child.
Maybe because no one wants to speak about it?  Maybe… and maybe that’s a small part of why being this nameless thing is so fucking lonely.

I was grocery shopping today and the nice man at the seafood counter counter (fishmonger– he gets a name, too) was saying Happy Mother’s Day to all the ladies with kids.  Then he got to me and asked, “Are you a mother?”
I choked up and stammered like he just spit out an algebra problem at me.  “Uhhh… uh… yeah…” I answered strangely and then cried for a while in the car (…and later on Adam’s shoulder… and on the front porch… and in the shower….)

I am.  I am a mother.   I know that.
I just wish sometimes that there was a succinct way to express the whole truth without having to explain.
A word.
I want a word.

nest

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Mar
05

When I started this journey about a year and a half ago, I had very little idea what a long, complicated and deeply emotional trip  it would be.

Yesterday was our final day of filming.   Production of RAIN is officially wrapped and post-production can begin in earnest.   I cried and laughed and cried some more and then slept harder last night than I have in a very long time.   I’ve been so anxious and excited to get to this point, and now that I’m here I keep thinking: Is it really over?

Sitting here staring at the screen.
My brain is full of thoughts and my heart is absolutely exploding with feelings– but I am at a loss as to how to get them onto this page in a way that might convey just what those feelings are.  I gotta try to blog it out though, because I’m having too many emotions all at once and it’s making me loco.

About a 18 months ago I set out on a quest to find the right people to help me bring something very special to life.  In finding Zane Rutledge, who brought with him his crew mates Jeff Stolhand and Matt Joyce, I got so much more than what I even knew I was looking for.

The journey that we have been on together, this process of visualization and creation and production has been an exhilarating,  scary,  stormy, fantastic, awesome ride.
In so many ways, the process for me has been exactly like a pregnancy:   creating and waiting… and waiting and waiting.   For me that metaphor carries some dark clouds and anxiety with it of course and so this particular journey has been an active struggle with my own PTSD issues.

For one thing this is a creation that has meant more to me than anything else I have ever done, other than That One Thing.   All the time that it has taken us to get to this point has given me time to fall deeper and deeper in love with the project and the character.    When you put your whole heart into any one thing, it becomes dangerously easy for your heart be broken.   All my energy has been wrapped up in this project for the past 17 or 18 months, and as such it has made it hard for me to focus on much else in the meantime.
The very definition of ‘obsession’.

Sometimes I get lost in the character and her story.  Deliriously swept away and lost in the Storm.

You see RAIN is, in every way,  my baby.   The production team I am so lucky to have connected with has taken such loving care of this precious project, and elevated it into something mighty.   Post production means there is a lot more work to be done, but at this stage of the creation’s growth, at least I know for sure that ‘my baby’ will be born.  Soon.
That deceptively simple truth means more to my soul than anyone can possibly know.

I was going to try to give some lovely note of thanks to my Main Three RainMakers individually here,   but I’m still stumped for words and every time I think of how grateful I am to each of them I just melt into tears again.   I’ll get there… but for now I’ll just say that I love these guys like family and the gratitude I have for them comes from the deepest brightest places in my crazy stormy heart.

The RAINmakers: Director Jeff Stolhand, Producer Matt Joyce, (me), Director Zane Rutledge

The RAINmakers: Director Jeff Stolhand, Producer Matt Joyce, (me), Director Zane Rutledge

Zane, Jeff, Matt and all the rest of our massively talented cast and crew:  I am beyond blessed to have had the honor to work with all of you.  I hope that in some small way I have been able to make you as proud as you have made me.  I hope that the work I did helps your work to shine,  the way that your effort and dedication is making my little passion play into an actual blast of lightning.

And to all of our new friends and supporters who are following along and waiting for the RAIN to drop:  I am endlessly grateful to all of you and hope to make you proud, too.

Just wait til you see what we have in store for you.
Brace Yourselves.

87y6u

Dec
14

mamamaya

I have a vivid memory of what the weather was like exactly three years ago.  It was just like it is today.
On December 14th, 2011, it was grey and drizzly all day long.  As the day went on it started to rain in earnest, and it didn’t stop for days and days.

The 14th was the day I was checked into the maternity ward at Seton Hospital to deliver my son.
It wasn’t how the day was supposed to go.  I was supposed to go see a movie with a co-worker…  something light hearted about a boy who lived inside a clock, which I thought was appropriate since I had a boy living inside my clock.   I never saw the movie.   What was meant to be a quick trip to the doctor’s office beforehand turned into the beginning of a descent into hell.

Mid-December and the maternity ward was a cheery, happy place.  Sparkling lights and colorful trees and people singing happy birthday and holiday carols all at once to their new little miracles.  So many Christmas songs are about a mother and child and a magic star.  Funny how quickly I grew to despise them all.

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footprints and stardust in a heart shaped box

Orion Xavier Jamil Glick was born still on the morning of Thursday December 15.

By the time I left the hospital a couple days later- empty arms, empty belly, and with a dark cold storm beginning to rage in the hole where my heart had been torn out- it was raining.

It rained and rained and rained.
I remember thinking how fitting it was that the sky wept so pitifully right along with me as we drove home from the hospital.  I felt a kinship with that sorry skywater.   Granted:  it’s winter in Texas, so it rains a lot.  But that rain was mine.  That rain was for me and Orion.  That rain was for my boy.

I have always loved the rain,  and I love that it’s so rainy today.  This, too, is my rain.
It’s like the sky paying tribute to the powerful grief I still quietly carry.  When the anniversary of a birth is not at all a “happy birthday” but you still want to honor the day somehow… nothing better than quiet and rain.
Sometimes I feel the new strength I have developed for myself with the unending support of my beautiful husband Adam, the hard work I have put into rebuilding myself at Elite Martial Arts, and the love of so many understanding friends;  and other times… like the sky,  I just go dark and let the water fall as hard as it can.
Sometimes the clouds that patch up the massive wounds inside me crack open and the storm comes.   Later, the heavens will clear up and pay a more fitting tribute as the brightest constellation in the heavens spells his name across the night sky,  and the part of me that still needs to believe in something like heaven will reach out to touch him somehow.

Later still,  I will give birth to another great creation:  and it is no accident that it happens to be called RAIN.  Written for, inspired by and even secretly named in tribute to my greatest love and my deepest heartache.
Rain always passes.  Skies always clear.  I will grow stronger and live whatever life I have left as powerfully as I can in his name and my own….
But a mother never forgets.

Sleep in heavenly peace, my beloved starchild.

*A drawing I did the week after he was born  (top),  and a painting I did a year later (bottom).  A little less than another year later, I wrote a script…

born   bornagain

Nov
18

darkness blows in swirling fast
a backdrop for the lightning blast
cloaked in robes of rolling wind
the sky Herself starts to descend
perfect horrifying wonder
blast of light and crash of thunder
wind explodes from everywhere
as from volcanoes made of air
others fled when she unfurled
but I’ve grown weary of this world
so while they hide and sound alarms
I greet the storm with open arms
I’ll stand firm like a lightning rod
and stare into the eye of God
and with another lightning blast
I’ve vanished when the storm has passed

PW-2014-01-09-Wogan-ball

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.