We interrupt this blog feed…

transfer print of table of contents for astronomy textbook overlaid with flecks of paint

This is going to be a little different than my usual art and/or poetry posts (although I did include some mail art above that I worked on this weekend!):

At the beginning of September a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Tiran and I have been friends for over 25 years. We grew up together, went to college together and although our lives and careers took us different places all over the country, somehow we have ended up in the San Diego area together in the last couple years and it has been wonderful to reconnect.

Befitting the word “acute” in the name, the timeline of his illness went like this: I spoke with him one Sunday by phone and everything was fine – he was healthy, going to work the next day, and we had a good conversation – by the following Sunday, he called me to tell me he was in the ICU. He could barely breathe and his prognosis was dire. He was calling to say goodbye in case he was unable to have that conversation later. I was floored by how fast this leveled him and left him near death. It was another shock in a year of shocks. And we have 88 days left in 2020 for more to go wrong happen!

Luckily, he was able to start treatment and he moved out of the ICU after a few days. His prognosis is improved as of now. But he is still battling AML in the shadow of COVID-19. He is unable to have any visitors at all and the hospital is a very lonely place in the best of times. He has no immune system to speak of in a time and place all we can think of is our immune systems.

Despite this – despite having their lives blown apart by AML and on top of the disruptions and job losses caused by COVID – my friend and his partner have responded in a really positive way. They have organized a benefit livestream to raise money for the San Diego Blood Bank and the Leukemia and Lymphoma society in Tiran’s honor. Tiran’s partner is a local DJ who spins gothic and industrial music under the name DJ Wyntre Mysteria and he has organized DJs from around the world to play for this benefit that will livestream on Twitch for 29 continuous hours, on October 8th and 9th.

Now, maybe gothic and industrial music is not your jam and maybe you aren’t sure about this whole Twitch thing (isn’t it just for people playing videogames? you ask. I thought the same thing – but no! I just recently learned there is a whole live music/DJ culture on there), but I hope you will check it out. You don’t need an account to tune in and you can join at any time during the 29 hours from the comfort of your home and time zone. You never know, you may discover something new – a new DJ or song or even genre of music.  Even if you aren’t able to donate (and lord knows times are tough for people), having folks tune in is encouragement too.

In a time when everyone seems to be circling the wagons, I’ve been heartened that my friends’ response to their own tragedy has been to reach out and help others. It is a breath of fresh air in these stifling times.

Information on the event provided by DJ Wyntre Mysteria is below. The link to the livestream on Twitch is: twitch.tv/djwyntremysteria

He can also be found on Instagram: @wyntremysteria

Please stay safe and well (I don’t need any more surprises in 2020)!

poster for benefit livestream of gothic and industrial music called Barakah
  • list of DJs participating in the livestream


  1. I second the comment about not knowing the music, but I’ve had friends and friends’ children in situations like this. I will do what I can, even if it’s not world-changing. It can be strengthening to discover that people who don’t know you can still care about you as a human being. Best wishes to your friend, Marcy!

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    1. Thank you so much, Jilanne! The livestream is live now until tonight and they’ve already raised over $1000.00! Like you said, it is wonderful to see people who don’t know each other (in person at any rate) turning out to support Tiran.

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  2. I am also thinking some mail art might help. I would love to send a postcard. In the meantime–blessings and hope for a hospital discharge soon, so he can heal among family and friends. (K)

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    1. Thank you, Kerfe – I really appreciate all the well-wishes and prayers. It has been such a difficult time and this means a lot to them. I think some mail art would be amazing – I will email you!

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  3. I don’t know a darn thing about this kind of music but I feel for your friend, hope for better health, and soon. And for you I feel also, to have a dear friend in such dire straits. I will keep everyone in my thoughts. I could send some mail art? Would that help?

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    1. Thank you, Claudia! I’m in the same boat – I don’t know much about the music, but it is such a creative response to a dark time, I found that inspiring and worthy of a bit of promotion. Mail art would be lovely! I will email you! Thank you!

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