Messages

Okay, okay. It’s been really busy lately, but the week-end has given me a re-charge:

A new project that the outreach team and I are working on developing right now is a film based social marketing campaign that will, hopefully, harness the creativity and insights that young folks can conjure to deliver anti-violence messages [read: rape, harassment, bullying, self-mutilation, suicide, etc…] to their peers. Our goal is to provide the infrastructure for a summer pilot-project that will allow us opportunities to explore appropriate language delivered peer-to-peer. I think we’ve become energized by the initial prospects, and expect to skin a few knees along the way but have thus far received moderate enthusiasm from the youth we’ve approached. Keep and eye out for further developments…

So it was with happy coincidence that I ran across this piece on the wire about a young man, Tyler Bourns of Carson City who has created his own DVD entitled Ashland that releases June 5, 2007. It is a fictional story of a youth named Ash and chronicles his “…final day, final hour, final moment” of his mental illness and suicide. It is quite an undertaking, and quite an accomplishment judging by his media trailer:

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According to his site, the film premiered at the Brewery Arts Center to a house of between 100-150 people, and has been awarded honors at the Lumiere Film Festival and Houston Worldfest.

It’s an important message, and one that has perhaps more impact given that it is spoken from Tyler’s own voice.

lovelettersMarking loss by suicide in a different fashion is a mother from Connecticut who has traveled to Burning Man in Nevada’s desert to mark a very special tribute to her son who took his own life and never made it to the playa festival. The memorial, [2003] was dedicated to Kerry by his mother Shannon at the Temple of Honor who made the trek in his stead as a way of finding solace which she journals beautifully here.

The Temple structure is created anew each year, and given a new honorific to mark its focus. It has been a beautiful and serene place to reflect and salve, and when it is finally lit with the eyes of some 30,000 upon it, the energy is electric.

Shannon plans to bring LOVE LETTERS back again this year and will gladly include any letters, stories or images you’d like to contribute to her memory book that will burn the evening the Temple burns. The link provides contact information for inclusion.

In the last six years that I’ve attended, the Temple burn is decidedly the most spiritually beautiful and uplifting experience that I look forward to each year for a host of community and personal reasons.

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