Recently, I made a quick visit to Montréal to catch the March Chagall exhibition at Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal. The exhibition closes on June 11, 2017 when I will be away. For that reason, I simply had to go. Besides, in advance of my trip, i needed to indulge my soul at Spa Ovarium.
The show was more stunning than the Marc Chagall show at Toronto’s AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) a few years back. For one, the décor of the show was spot-on. What’s more it is a tribute to Montréal more august Jewish community — comparable to Toronto’s — that this show was so extensive and rich in works of art. There were pieces in this exhibtion that not even I previously knew of. Hampstead, TMR (Town of Mount Royal) Westmount, Outremont, Côte-Saint-Luc, Côte-des-Neiges, all Montréal neighbourhoods with strong distinctive Jewish burghers. He had a strong sense of Montréal’s Jewishness for taking in this exhibition as compared to Toronto’s. I returned the next day to soak it all in before returning to Toronto. After the initial visit, I Ubered along rue Sherbrooke Ouest to Est in search of Spa Ovarium.
There, I had what was possibly the greatest massage ever — thank you Valerie — This woman is truly magical, shamanic even. First I indulged a neuro-spa, then massage then capped it off with the limitlessness of a bain flotant which was exceptional.
Twenty-five years earlier, I had been to Montréal to celebrate the city’s 350th anniversary. At the time, my companion was the very exciting and truly eccentric, Milan Newcombe — his Michael Overleaves appear in Volume I of A Six Volume Michael Overleaves Appendix which débuts June 21, 2017. Two weeks after the 375th anniversary on May 17, 2017, there was still excitement in the air. I met up with an old Writer friend from high school has lived in Montréal for the last twenty-plus years. We dined on exquisite Thai fare in Old Montréal at his beautiful loft. We then walked along rue Saint-Catherine Ouest through the Gay Village and shared a toast to Montréal — both of us sipped on calming teas.
Oil on Canvas
1912. Marc Chagall
Provenance: Museum of Modern Art, New York City
En route back to Toronto, though there had been forecast for more rains this very wet and soggy late Spring, there was nothing but sunshine. Driving along Highway 401, I captured beautiful photos of prismed light in a streak of clouds… it was truly magical. Then, I got in to the most glorious piece of mail, a hardcover copy of both Merlin and Arvin: A Shamanic Dream Odyssey and A Six Volume Michael Overleaves Appendix. In the photo, the mug bears a copy of the Camel Mandala which Merlin created in 1977 for one of his choice friends. A detail of the Lion Mandala (1986) — which he created for me and it proved the last mandala that he would create — serves as the cover art for what proves Human Civilisation’s First Dream Memoirs, Merlin and Arvin: A Shamanic Dream Odyssey. The detail of the Phoenix Mandala for Slava Gagarian — his Armenian Jewish theatre mentor who lost his entire family during the Shoah — serves as the cover art for A Six Volume Michael Overleaves Appendix.
Here’s to life, here’s to lovers everywhere and here’s to you for your support these past several years. I am ever grateful. Happy reading!
The Rabbi of Vitebsk
Oil on Canvas
1914-1922 Marc Chagall
Provenance: Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Galleria Internazionale d’ Arte Moderna di Ca’ Pesaro.
©2013-2017 Arvin da Braga. All Rights Reserved.