A day at the computer

I made this photo while taking a walk and a break from creating an EventBrite page and a Facebook page for a showing of Silent Voices. I expect all of you who wanted to see it have seen it already, but if you haven't, it will be showing every hour on the hour from noon till midnight (Pacific Time) on February 9. If you've been following my journal for the past five years, you can stop reading now and go on to something else.

February 9 is the day, five years ago, when 17-year-old  Moose Hayes was shot in the head by a Portland policeman as Moose was on his knees with his hands up. The cop's story is that Moose was ordered to kneel with his hands up, and then he was ordered to stand up. When he reached down to hold onto his sweatpants as he stood up, the 13 armed policemen surrounding him "feared for their lives" and shot him in the head. I met his grandmother, Donna Hayes, at the first press conference with the family after Moose was shot, and now it seems we've been friends forever.

The movie isn't about Moose's death, though, or anyone's death. The movie is about nine people vibrantly alive, being who they were before the day they were shot. Their pleasures, their humor, their worries, their imperfections.  Donna started writing a play in 2019 because she missed Moose, her favorite grandson, and she wanted to remember him alive. She knows other grieving mothers, fathers, and grandfathers and she wanted to bring their loved ones back to life also. I volunteered to direct a public reading of her monologs, and we had auditions in March, 2020, about a week before the first and most drastic lockdown. By July we were converting Donna's play into a movie. It worked because it was a series of monologs: only one performer was filmed at a time, unmasked, while the rest of us kept our masks on--directing, holding cameras and boom mikes, praying we wouldn't give each other Covid, not yet vaccinated. Donna and her mother were present for the filming.

A month ago, Donna's mother died after a fall, and Donna is still in shock from that. So instead of having a vigil or a march, a demonstration or a memorial, we're having the movie instead. Every hour on the hour. The young woman who directed the video calls it "guerrilla streaming."

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