The first time I heard this music, I was arrested by the opening chords as I stood still in the middle of my living room on the third/top storey of 878 Gilford Street in Vancouver’s West End. At the end of Lena Horne’s passionate singing, I screamed and laughed uncontrollably with tears running down my face.
I had been standing half naked before getting ready for work and decided that the experience was too great to do something so ridiculously banal as go in to work that day. Naturally, I had been standing with tape recorder in hand – after having just recorded the dreams dreamt. Quickly, I grabbed a new cassette and recorded the newly released song from the CBC FM radio station as Ross Porter had waxed on long enough about the new Lena Horne Jazz recording for me to have pounced into action.
I spent the rest of my stay in Vancouver listening to this recording at least four times weekly.
This is the music that let’s you leap off into truly sublime dream experiences.
Sadly, I couldn’t find the dimensions of this exquisite gem anywhere on all that is Google… I oftentimes reflect on how bedazzled Merlin would be, had he lived, to be in the age of eBooks, Google et al… scholar soul to the core as he was/is. Naturally, as he read multiple books daily, I am sure he would have owned a Nook, Kindle, KOBO, of course, and others.
Then again, I do believe that he would also want to have the tactile bond that actual books represent: the smell, the weight – the way he would slightly squint when getting ready to lick index finger to turn the page. There is a certain ritual to having a book in hand. Too, I remember, even now, how he would peer over the rim of his gold-rimmed spectacles to leer at my seductively writhing body…
I love the artist’s use of light and colour; too, the muse’s cool gaze as it pierces straight through to the soul of the observer… masterful.
What I especially love about this van Dyck engraving – one of my favourites – is that the subject, Cornelius, is so august-souled. His look is so kaleidoscopic thereby betraying his reincarnational history. To look at the subject, he could be Tatar, Nepalese, even Inuit… all the lives that he’s lived to date are magically alluded to. Masterful. Stunning. I love it.
Though this drawing of me was completed before I left Toronto for Vancouver in 1994, I never did see it until returning to living in Toronto, from Montréal, in 2004. I loved it and still do. The work is my favourite George Hawken and, of course, as it is a one-of-a-kind and not in my possession; this, of course, makes it that much more covetous!
What I especially love about it is that whilst living in New York City in 1983, I dreamt of the drawing and didn’t, at the time, realise that it was me; the eye-colour in the drawing is the same as a very exotic-looking female past-life of mine about whom I often dreamt back then – especially when studying classical dance in Winnipeg prior to that (1980-82).
At the time of that dream of this drawing which was yet to be – I had not even yet met George Hawken, Merlin and I were staying in the Chelsea loft of Natch and Zammy, the Artistic Director and his dancer lover, who since passed of AIDS, of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.
Of course, prior to leaving for Vancouver, I was happily ensconced in relationships with Daryll Newcombe, Gustavo Vadim – the masochistic art thief in Washington D.C. and Manhattan cabaret singer, Frans Bloem… plus a few others.
Love Wim’s masterful sensual use of light and colour.
Twenty years ago, when flying in to Manhattan from Vancouver to be with then lover, Mahattan cabaret singer, Frans Bloem, I would meet Wim. As all I ever do is sense energy and think of anyone encountered as a Michael Overleaves puzzle – is this a warrior or just a cynic? – I knew without a doubt that he was an old soul. Like every other old soul encountered whose overleaves I have done, I felt a sense of home, acceptance and harmony for being in his presence.
At the time, Wim was sick in bed with the flu and so I went out shopping and got him some Campbell’s soup – what do I know about making homemade soup? – and spent part of an evening hanging with him. The interlude was truly memorable; it was like being in a dream which, incidentally, is also another hallmark for me of being in the presence of an old soul.