Saturday, March 21, 2009

Serenissima Project Video Teaser

FLOOD TEASER from flood movie on Vimeo.

Old (like 2 weeks ago) writings:

Because I want to document this process, I want to keep some of the writings that erupted out my fingers these past few weeks. It's been all of what I have been doing, and here's a taste.

march 7th 2009
Fund raising efforts:
Hollis' story has been circulated far and wide through emails and blogs, as well as two cover stories in the Times of India and The Hindu. Local coverage of the incident has been minimal, and we are looking to expand the scope of information. The website has been a successful tool for information and donations through the paypal button. This week there are four benefit shows planned in three cities. New York City, Portland, and San Francisco are throwing shows and art auctions to raise funds toward our goal of $200k. This money will go towards air transport and medical costs accrued in the past and future.
As her goal in India was to seek a yoga teacher, many Yoga establishments in the bay area and beyond have also set up yoga fundraisers, an alternative to the nightlife option of support. As we stand today, close to 1500 people have donated on paypal, as well as 50 people who have sent checks to the bank account set up for her. We are nearing $70,000 raised through these efforts, but we still have further to go.
As the website administrator and paypal account holder, I have been receiving thousands of emails from around the world expressing well wishes to Hollis. One of every 15 emails expresses the fact that the donator does not even know Hollis, but they have been moved by the story or received multiple emails from trusted community members urging their support. Her story is truly unique in the fact that her base community in the Bay Area consists of artists and activists with limited funds, but big hearts. Her dedicated work in the community has inspired many people to reach out a helping hand, no matter their personal finance situations. The most amazing thing about this terrible situation is the sheer amount of quick actions and the volunteers that have stood forward to be counted in her recovery. It has been a testimonial to the power of the internet and the dedication of her community to provide her with the monetary insurance she is not able to afford in our current economy.
Her story is a study about the viral quickness of the internet community as well as a study of an alternative economic abilities of the world wide web. Her story highlights the catalyst of caring that has caused so many people to organize and throw parties in her honor. No matter the outcome of her situation, the community around her is feeling a sense of responsibility and outward giving that makes our entire world a better place.

We are looking to close the gap on our financial goal, as well as secure airplane help to lower the cost of transportation in order to put more of the money donated to her long term recovery plan. We are working against the clock to get her to Stanford where state-of-the-art neuroscience is waiting. Her community is also anxious to lend a helping hand at her bedside, pledging delicate stimuli, songs, flowers, and kisses on the cheek to encourage her to wake.

Friday, March 20, 2009

How it all happenend: My side of the story

Three weeks ago I was at the Independent dancing to Extra Action Marching band. I love their music. I can't stop wiggling about when they are playing. I have almost memorized their set. Well, this time I stopped halfway through and sort of stood there, staring. I wanted to watch their non-verbal communication, watch them posture. I don't know, but I was all of a sudden very heavy. As soon as they stopped playing, my phone lit up and vibrated my leg. It was 11:11 and I was getting a phonecall. It was "Harrison Golden Boy" so I ran outside. He was not supposed to be calling me. He was in India with Holllis. I answered and his voice was shaky. He told me that Hollis had been in a very bad motorcycle accident and was loosing a lot of blood. He asked me if I knew her blood type so she could get a transfusion when the ambulance arrived. Luckily I was only a few blocks from my house, so I ran like that Jamaican sprinter that killed in at the Olympics. I got home and tore through my room. Hollis and I were sharing a room. She took my room while I went to Thailand and Portland, and we were going to share it for a few months because I didn't have a job (she took my place at Last Gasp) and she didn't have a place to stay. We were used to this sort of lifestyle because since I moved here we have had the most tremendous sleepover posse. Most days the week we slept over together, ususally at Jamie Bond's house, or mine, or Frannies. Sleepover crew. To get through the economic crisis we were going to be roomates with special text warnings if we wanted to get any action.
She had a few letters in the mail. I ripped them open to see if her parents names were on her insurance statement. I felt so bad, I didn't even know their names or where to start. There are a lot of Hawthornes in the world. I found a fanny pack with cards a paper, frantically searched for a sign, a name, anyone in Nashville's contact. Then I found her planner and looked in the back and it had her father's address. I called 411 and got their number with the information. I was racing the clock, and it had already been ten minutes since the Golden Boy's call.
It must be 2 or3 am in Nashville when it connected through. The person on the other line picked up with a heavy southern drawl. Oh yeah, Hollis tried so hard to not speak in that drawl, but it came out when drinking. Her father didn't know, so he gave me Heather, her sister's number.
I called her and she had one of those fancy phone services where it plays you a song while it's ringing. She didn't pick up so I called three more times in a row. I figured she would understand that it was an emergency. I forgot my bedside manners and went straight to the point.
"Hello Heather, sorry to disturb you so late, but my name is Eliza, and I am best friends with Hollis. She has been in a bad motorcycle accident in India and we need to know her blood type."
Luckily she is a nurse and knew to spring into action.
She called her mother, Diane, then called me back. That three minutes between phone calls was the longes three minutes ever. I am too full of adrenaline at this point to cry or do much of anything. She calls me back and I relay it to Harrison. In the background of the phonecall I can hear the ambulance siren. That's when it hit me as to how far away she was. The siren sounded different, but nonetheless tragic. I was glad to know she was in the hands of professionals. Oh gosh Hollis, why? She had even said something like, " If I die in a motorcycle crash in India." Don't be a prophet, Hollis!
I wanted to do more. I am a den mother of sorts, always being a medic or making herbal remedies for my sick or fallen friends. She was too far away for me to help Harrison. AHHHHH! This sucks!
I get on the computer, the one Hollis left for me to use, and I look up the consulate. I remember Harrison said they were in Pundicherry Tamil Namu state, so I tried to find the closest one. I sent out emails to them telling them the situation and that they would need a translator at the Hospital. I got an instant reply that said the office was closed at the moment. They had an "if this is a medical emergency" section that showed a couple of Hospitals in the area. I emailed each one and let them know that an American Tourist was on the way with a head wound from a motorcycle and that they needed a translator and possible money assistance.
Then I found a number on the consulate's website and called it. This was my forst international phone call I had ever made, and it turned out to cost like $150 bucks. Doesn't matter. I called them and let them know the situation, and told them they might need financial and language assistance at the Hospital. They took down Harrison's number, and Heather's as a representative of the family.
They called 20 minutes later and let me know they reached Harrison and would take it from here. Now it's about 1:00am and I have done all I can. Now what?
Cry. I cried so hard and loud and unregrettfully. I let out my grief and bewilderment.
Jamie Bond had come home and she was having a hard time too. She called her mom and her mother who is a Reiki Master and she said she would start to work on Hollis right away from her place in Northern California.
After I composed myself and chugged a bunch of brandy, I grabbed these golden mardi gras beads and used them as a rosary. I sat and meditated on Hollis, imagining her skull setting back to where it should be, reconnecting her meninges that houses her cerebral spinal fluid. I also imagined her being surrounded by small balls of golden light, like she was in a ball pit at Chuch E. Cheese. These balls of golden light were the positive healing thoughts I was sending. They began to merge together to form a full protective shield where she could float weightless while she was stabilizing and repairing herself. Then I was aware of Cindy Bond, I felt her presence and I felt the presence of her community. She was pulling energy from them whether they knew it or not. It was a neat moment or realization that someone else was there. That is when I realized that I could use Harrison as a connecting rod to her as well. I knew he was tight by her side, giving her his precious golden light, and I could use him to funnel more love to her, while giving him support in this most terrible moment.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Surfing the tidal the shore

It seems like the last 10 days have been a lifetime.
I did my best to stay on my surf board, toes on the nose, sprinting through the swell.
Don't look down. Feel the electricity. The ionization electrifies.
This is what it feels to be alive and on top of it, accelerating forward beyond your control.
The emotions in my head are bouncing around like water molecules.
First and foremost, I am very proud. I am now confident that I can rise to any occasion. And what an a occasion this week has been! Never could I have thought that a week after returning to SF, after my rockstar stint in Portland, would I be dealing with blood types, websites, holy gatherings, paypal, broken ribs, consulates, animated gif's, non-profits, air ambulances, and burners. Lots of burners. (I love you all btw, but I have still never gone.) I never would have thought that I would have to deal with the consequences of a quick$65k in my bank account while I personally just have enough for rent. At least it makes it easy to calculate.
I am so absolutely astonished at how quick everyone sprung to action.
It makes me think of the dew that catches on a web that makes you realize it's there.
This network of doers, performers, thinkers, creators.
It's usually invisible, but the golden threads are found, attached to our crowns, giving us a ground. We are always at the forefront of the storm, shining our glow into the dark, pushing back the clouds with our lightningbolts.
In this tempest I think of you, Hollis. All the little things like drinking tea, watching movies on the victorian fainting couch with the kwanza bench afoot. The way you try to pronounce fancy words with your southern ignorance conciously tucked deep down, trying to get out. I think of every single moment we have had together, like a slideshow in my periphereal vision. Us tap dancing in the livingroom to that video of the lady with uncomfortable stretchpant suspenders. You teaching me how to do the booty quake. Your love of dumpster diving. That stupid car you had that you kidnapped me in. With the huge heart hanging from the rear view mirror that blocked a large portion of the windshield. The silver window shade you always put up because half of the time you were living in your car.
You wanted a place to settle so bad. You were sick of sharing rooms. House sitting. Baby sitting. Ever since we moved out of the willow street house, you had been searching for a home. You thanked me before you left to India, because you realized that you had a pattern of running away, and the reason you were in the bay still was that your family here wouldn't let you go.
Oh god is that ever true now. We've got you whether you like it or not.
Here is where my thoughts bounce again, like water in the sun.
I am chasing something too. I am not sure what I am supposed to do here. I thought it might be The Derailleurs, but now Im not sure. There is something that has been calling me louder and louder, and is now screaming in my ear. I need to go to massage school in Floyd, VA for a year. I can come back, I just need this opportunity. I need to learn chinese massage and I need to cultivate my internal workings. I need to study gongfu intensely. But I have to huslte it. And I just spent a week helping you get hooked up with $65k. I used to be so afraid of money until that moment. That is how much I have made in 5 or 6 years! In a week! I need $8k to go to school without loans. I need $3k to go to school period because my angel of a godfather will give me a competitive loan, but I need to come up with 1/4. In one month. Why does it seem so impossible? Is it too early to move out of this city? How can I make that money whenI don't have a job or any skills? With broken ribs?
Which, by the way, SUCK! This is the worst pain I have ever felt, constantly. Oh how walking the line of yin and yang is such a parabolic adventure. Two weeks ago I am on top of the world. My old job in Portland worked out while I was there. The FUN Movement I helped with is growing new wings. The Sprockettes are all so loveable and they let me perform for them. I saw new mutant bike games. My life highlights were satyrized in musical theater. Of course I needed to come down from that high. But I enjoyed typing away at the computer for Hollis. I didn't have time to get upset or sad or slow and thick with inability to help the situation. And with my organ protector shield down, I have had to stay inside and push out the walls of the blogoshphere.
I hope I can make it on this board to shore. I want to cruise on this wave to shore, away from the curl, and out into the surf, where I can float to sand, calm and at peace. But it seems like the way I have set it up, that I am already tumbling in the gray chaos between sand and water, unaware of which way is up, unable to breath, fully aware of the next wave ready to pounce.

Is this what they call a "Saturn's Return"?