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The Hollyhock Song

By Nick Demeris. Posted on December 20, 2020 in Creativity

Last June, on Summer Solstice we hosted a 10-hour online benefit Shine the Light. This virtual event featured music, movement, and learning from many of our brilliant presenters and friends. With your help we were able to transform some of the shadow of financial hardship and celebrate the longest day of the year together in community. Now, on Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, we’re reflecting back on the last season.

Here is one of our favourite Shine the Light acts, by Nick Deremis (although we loved them all!) Nick is a two time TEDx speaker/host, actor, singer, and facilitator of community building through music, turning audiences into orchestras all around the globe. Learn more at nickdemeris.com and instagram.com/humaninstruments

We like to think of this as our new Hollyhock theme song. Tune in, sing along, laugh, and shine your inner light with us through these dark days. We’ll come out on the other side even brighter.

Lyrics

Hey everybody! Hey everybody! Hey everybody! Hey everybody!

I am Nick Demeris, I am a human instrument, songwriter, facilitator. I wrote a piece about this place and am going to share it with you now.

What makes it so special?
The people or the land?
The teachers in each season?
Or the leaders with the plan?
The seas and the sand?
Or the seeds that we plant?
Is it a dream to see everything that breathes our fam?

The first time to Hollyhock was 2016.
I came to sing and facilitate a climate change retreat.
We took a plane and three ferries across the Salish Sea.
And I swear that I stepped into a dream. 

<Inhale, Exhale>

I went down to the beach.
My friend said: “Take off your clothes!”
Everyone swims naked here so I was told.
I never put my feet in water so cold
Or had baby crabs eat the dead skin off my toes.

North of the medicine line I’d never been.
Purple shells and cedar trees I’ve never seen.
I thought Canada so magical and perfect it seems.
But one of my discoveries was
that I was naive.

The opening in Olatunji,
Was like going back to college.
First time in my life,
that I heard a land acknowledged.

Welcome, and here we are seated
on the traditional territory
that is still unceded.
Of the Klahoose, Tla’amin, Homalco Nations.
To heal we must recognize
All of our relations.
Oysters, Otters, Starfish, and Seals,
Orca, Eagle, Raven, and Deer,
the bioluminescence in the seas among us,
the yeast salad dressing is a species of fungus,
Hemlock, Spruce, Arbutus, and Fir
and all the trees surrounded by a sea of ferns.
Y’all I can see the Earth after a week of work.
I went down to the water to sing a verse.

Om mani padme hum. Om mani padme hum.

I made a couple wishes
whilst singing to the fishes.
Then a Magic Moment happened,
that was so auspicious.
I was singing my heart out,
and to my surprise,
a seal emerged from the sea,
and stared me in the eyes.
And he stayed a minute,
until I was finished,
then disappeared
into the abyss infinite. 

It’s not just the place,
but the dreams that came with it.
It’s the seas, it’s the trees,
and you and me within it.
It’s a commitment to each other,
and this sacred land.
Listen to our mother,
and lend a helping hand. 

To know where we’re going,
we got to know where we’ve been.
This next verse is mostly
from the words of our friends.
Can an organization have ancestors?
We can climb a Cold Mountain
in search of some answers.
A time when Rex Wyler received a divination,
from a fortune teller with life-changing information:
“Look for the red hollyhocks
They know your philosophy.”
He didn’t know those words
would change his geography.
A group of young idealists
set up to work.
To live simply in community,
digging the dirt.
Grow food,
Play music,
Live by your word,
and in perpetuity
to protect the Earth. 

Hoolahoops,
and island rhythms,
Poured cement hottubs
with naked hippies
swimming,
Cortes Island Potlucks.

Siobhan is in the kitchen,
brewing journey tea,
Everyone can sing
a Robinsong
for eternity. 

<whistle>

What makes this place so special?
Is that the people or the land?
The teachers in each season?
Or the leaders with a plan?
Is it the sea or the sand?
Is that the seeds that we plant?
Is that a dream to see everything that breathes as our fam?

What makes it so special?
The people or the land?
The teachers in each season?
Or the leaders with the plan?
The seas or the sand?
Or the seeds that we plant?
A dream to see everything that breathes our fam?

You come to expand
your sense of self,
to lend a helping hand,
to regain your health,
to find something you lost
in life along the way,
To reimagine, change course,
let go, reclaim your name.

Theodore Nicholas Demeris.
Theodore Nicholas Demeris.

With Chiefs, civil rights, and climate justice activists,
we got people on scholarships talking politics with philanthropists.
Mycologist and wisdom, key for speaking to neurologists
on the World Wide Web and other ancient knowledges.

How can we work together at the speed of trust?
Uncover biases with liberation and love?
How can we work together at the speed of trust?
Uncover biases, build equity with liberation and love?
How can we work together at the speed of trust?
Uncover biases with liberation and love?
Liberation and love.

We got to make a safe creative container that digs deep.
To be more local and expand our global reach.
To serve individuals and a community.
especially Indigeneous Peoples, Youth and POC.

Where Inner meets the Outer.
The teacher is the student.
The people meet the wild.
A campaign becomes a movement. 

Inner meets the Outer.
The teacher is the student.
The people meet the wild.
A campaign becomes a movement.

There’re so many more stories that I didn’t get to say,
but those tales will have to wait another day.
There’s a giant list of people that I need to thank,
but here are the influencers to whom I read and spank.
(I said spank, I meant spake. I said spank, I meant spake.
For the record I didn’t spank anyone for this recording, I just interviewed them.)

Joel and Dana Solomon,
Melina Laboucan-Massimo,
Rex Wyler,
Tzeporah Berman,
Karen Carrington,
Ling Lo,
Peter Wrinch,
Christopher Fleck who brought me here,
to the faculty and staff that makes this feel

Something so special
in the teachers and the land,
It’s the trees that bloom each season,
and the leaders with the plan.
It’s the seas and the sand,
and the seeds that we plant,
it’s a dream to see everything that breathes as our fam.

There’s something so special
in the trees and the land.
The teachers in each season,
and the leaders with the plan.
It’s the seas and the sand,
it’s the seeds that we plant,
And a dream to see everything that breathes as our fam.

Can you lend a helping hand?
To protect the land?
Can you lend a helping hand? 

<do-do-do / la-la-la>

Something so special
in the trees and the land.
The teachers in each season,
and the leaders with the plan.
It’s the seas and the sand,
it’s the seeds that we plant,
and a dream to see everything that breathes as our fam.

<Inhale, Exhale, Whistle>

Support Hollyhock

As we pass Winter Solstice, we know it will take a great collaborative effort to harvest the seeds of this dark time and put 2020 behind us. At Hollyhock, due to the cancelation of our programs this year, we need to raise another $17,697.00 to keep shining our light.

Your support of any amount helps us to continue providing you meaningful content that inspires personal growth and social transformation. Thank you so much for your generosity. Sending our best wishes to you and your loved ones, from our heart to yours.

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