See You Soon… 30 Years On, Merlin’s Magical Departure.

 

Almost instantaneously, as the Moon transited Leo in my third house, my lungs besottedly drank the warm and dank, dark air.  Thus I effortlessly drowned into sleep.  Whilst wintry winds howled outside the window, this cold early Saturday morning – November 18, 1989 – my lucid focus seamlessly shifted into the dreamtime. 

I readily knew that I was dreaming. 

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Here, just as moments earlier whilst awake and meditating, Merlin was uppermost in my thoughts.  I could sense his presence.  The shift from one dimension to the other was seamless.  Lucidly self-aware, I was immediately come to in a dream that was set in the bedroom where I slept.

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I was in bed with the artist Olaf Nordstrom – a source of loving support at present in the waking state.  I was lying in bed, leaning on his bony chest, as he sat up in bed.  It was obvious from his body language that he did not want to be in bed with me.  I felt a still and quiet vibration to this dream.  The moment was truly serene and peaceful.  This was not a sexual or post-sexual interlude.  We were both reflective.  It was obvious that we were on the cusp of something momentous.  It was the sort of vibration that signalled that something extraordinary was about to unfold.

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Olaf behaved as if he was uncomfortable being there – it was a grave moment.  He wanted to be there, however, to merely lend his support.  It was obvious that he was wary of my clinging.  Clinging, however, was not my intention.  The moment together was brief – just a preparation for things to come.  With that we parted.  It was time to get up and participate in the events of whatever was to unfold.

This dream was possessed of inordinate lucidity; its every detail and nuance my faculties absorbed with acuity beyond the norm.

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In the second dream, this cold Saturday morning, I found myself in the familiar territory of the Cabbagetown streets where we lived.  I went into a store which does not exist in the waking state.  It sat just south of the Pet Menagerie store, on the east side of Parliament Street, between Amelia and Winchester Streets.

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It was a tailor’s shop that carried rather high-end fabrics.  I was there to pick out some fabric because I had a definite idea of what I wanted to wear to Merlin’s funeral.  I knew that the only way, to get the look that I wanted, was to make the outfit myself.  The kindly, gracious salesman was trying to get me interested in a rather conservative plaid fabric but it simply was not to my liking.  My aversion was not because it was plaid; rather, the tone was too sombre.

He was not insistent but let me know that it was appropriate.  However, I would have none of it; I simply did not like the fabric or the colours.  I simply was not going to have it.  Unable to make up my mind and not wanting to make a decision about fabric, as there were so many ramifications to what it all meant, I left the store stepping into the light of day.  It had been a very dimly lit, nicely wood-panelled, stately shop.

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Once outside, I became acutely aware of Merlin.  I was now returned to the yard of Cabbagetown’s 20 Amelia Street, where we lived, and Merlin was present with me.  Thoughts of Merlin, on leaving the store, had me immediately posited in the front yard of 20 Amelia Street where I happily joined him.  We were watering the lawn even though it was wintertime.  Next door at 18 Amelia Street, where at this point Club Monaco designer Alfred Sung no longer lived, there were lots of potted plants hanging from the lone, purple-leaved, sugar maple tree.

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Merlin was telling me to water the plants.  He then began telling me, rather matter-of-factly, that I had to start taking care of the apartment – I had to make it a home again.  Merlin asked me to start preparing things.  He meant that this was not the time for procrastination.  Of course, moments earlier in the prior dream, I had been procrastinating when down on Parliament Street to pick out fabrics to wear to his funeral.  By avoiding the matter altogether, I had chosen instead to forego the purchase.  As Merlin spoke to me, I became so aware of him that I completely became self-aware – both in the dream and in my sleep whilst in bed at 20 Amelia Street.

I was standing there very intently looking at Merlin.  He, too, was very intently looking at me.  Whilst we were unflinchingly looking into each other, I thought aloud with quiet resignation, ‘Merlin has died.’

I knew, too, that Merlin had heard my thoughts in the dream.

At that moment my sister Pandora da Braga, with whom Merlin enjoyed the best relations of anyone else in my life, suddenly became a presence in the dream.  She never fully became physically manifested but her energies became overwhelmingly strong.  Her energies were just to my rear as she played a loving and supportive role.

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Suddenly, introspectively, I recalled a dream which I had had earlier in the week.  With everything moving so quickly, in the waking state – with little time to collect my thoughts, let alone overlong time to record any dreams- it had slipped by unrecalled on awakening.  However, now it was not merely being recalled, it was being relived in its entirety.  I stood there and as I recalled the dream, rather seamlessly, I actually entered the dream which was being reanimated as it was being holographically recalled.

Within the reanimated dream being recalled and relived, I was again on the lawn at 20 Amelia Street in the warmth of the Sun’s rays.  Just as in today’s dream, I was on the front lawn facing due north and the house with 18 Amelia Street on the left to the west.  As Merlin and I were visiting in the outer dream of today, I had turned my body.  Being in the same physical position had triggered the recall and reanimation of the dream from the past week.

To my left, I saw an incredibly ancient-looking, wise being who progressed across the lawn.  The slowness of his progression was so measured that one’s experience of time, in the reanimated and recalled dream, progressed outside of time itself.  It was simply magical to experience the progression of the very ancient and mystical being.  The millennia-ancient figure progressed across the lawn, of 18 Amelia Street, heading towards our home at 20 Amelia Street.  The being was male and small in stature; he was hobbit-like.  His head was large, disproportionately large, compared to his tiny, frail-bodied frame.

He could not have been more than four feet tall.  His head was absolutely massive.  His forehead arched up and was high like an African’s.  Too, his head was elongated in the back, reminiscent of Pharaoh Akhenaten’s skull.  More striking than the majesty with which the august being progressed outdoors, towards our home at 20 Amelia Street, was the look of his face.

It was simply magical.  From beneath the translucent skin, soft yellow-white light escaped revealing his very visible aura.  Nothing but pure love, along with the same nonjudgmental look that ever peered back from Merlin’s eyes to mine, radiated from this being.  The love radiating from the being towards me was awesome, immense – intense.  The great being’s progress was purposeful.  He was on a mission; he was unstoppable.  The process had begun.

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I was struck by the uncanny resemblance, which the face of this being bore, to the planet-being in the skies of Sandy Point, St. Kitts in a momentous dream during September 1983.  It was a dream whose potency and beauty would lay unfathomable for years to come.  The being progressed as though levitating mere millimetres above the rather zingy, extra-green grass of the lawns at both 18 and 20 Amelia Street.  Though he did not pause as he progressed, the radiant being did turn and look at me.  As though he was familiar with me, he acknowledged me by slightly nodding.  However, he continued on towards our home.

He moved past me as I stood there, still and silent, drinking in the majesty of the experience.  At soul-centre we were familiar to each other.  I knew him.  He knew me.  I stood, alone and awestruck, in the front yard being refamiliarised by the vibration of his beauty as the effect of his potent powers spatially affected the dream.  As he moved past, I was reminded of the film The Dark Crystal, by Jim Henson – with whom Merlin had worked, directing two episodes of the Fraggle Rock television series in its inaugural season.  This movie would for several months, after we saw it together in New York City, be our favourite film.

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Thereafter for several weeks, whenever we looked at each other – even when not being intimate, we had hummed at each other as the rival beings in the film did when communicating.  The being here was much like the good beings in the Jim Henson film The Dark Crystal.  The being progressed up the few stone steps, to the wooden veranda at 20 Amelia Street, and began making his way inside the house.  As I watched him ascend, from the lawn to the veranda, it was clear to me that he was levitating.  Though it was a dream and I too could have levitated and flown, he though had a power which surpassed mine.

This august-souled, mystical being clearly originated from a dimension which vibrationally and spiritually was of a higher plane than the astral, where the dream occurred, and the physical in which I am incarnate.  Indeed, the same physical plane from which Merlin was rapidly taking his leave – it was that discernible.  The moment the mystical being entered our home, being lost to view, I came to from the inner holographic dream which was a recall and reanimation of a dream that I had experienced within the last week.  As I came to, I was about to go indoors to see what had become of the being that had clearly entered our home.

It was then, having returned to being fully focussed in the outer ‘shell’ dream of today November 18, 1989, that I saw Merlin anew.  He was standing at the front door looking out at me.  I stood there, in the front yard, transfixed whilst the bright daylight bathed my body throughout.  The look on Merlin’s face was purely transcendent.  He was perfectly still and perfectly radiant.  Merlin stood in the midst of a nimbus of dazzling, blue-white light.  As he lovingly glowed out at me, this splendid light only intensified.

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Merlin was transformed and as his face lovingly lit up, at me, the light grew to more completely envelop his body.  Whilst lovingly glowing at me with the warmest, most familiar knowing smile, Merlin slowly brought his right hand up with the palm facing me and more completely smiled.  The radiance of his smile soon became lost in the glow of his aura’s light.  The nimbus, enveloping his transformed body, radiated even more intensely at that point.

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I was blown away.  Arrested, I readily knew what I was experiencing; I could feel it.  I knew that across dimensions, in the waking state, Merlin had just died.

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However, as is my wont, I protested.  I dropped the hose which was still bleeding its nurturing water onto the frozen, wintry lawn at my feet.  I stood – paralysed.  Determinedly, I then bolted for Merlin.  I headed up to the veranda as my lover, as my mentor, as my friend stood transcendent in the doorway to what had been the most beautiful sense of home ever experienced.  “Merlin!” shrieking in protest, I yelled out his name.

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(Detail of oil on canvas by my sister Pandora of Toronto’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery where Merlin is buried.)

Suddenly, the thunder of my protesting breath abruptly drew me from sleep.  I sat upright in bed, my arms outstretched and beyond, after having crashed back into my body and no longer astral-projected.  From the foot of the bed both cats – Zora and Whoopi – knowingly, silently looked up.  I was arrested by the frozen horror-struck face staring at me from the mirrored closet doors across the room. 

In the near-darkness of the bedroom, a few rays of early morning light made it past the blood-red, velvet drapes heavily hung at the windows.  Those rays starkly cast light on how horribly desolate my life now was.  Merlin was gone.  His spirit had taken leave from this world.  It was that discernible as my world, my very universe, had experienced a massive vibrational shift. 

I had been abruptly displaced from the astral plane.  I had been lucidly dreaming a dream within a dream.  I was being told so long as Merlin, transitioned from incarnate to astral plane habitué, bade farewell to our magically glorious union on the physical plane.  I was heartened by the peace and knowingness in his transcendent face because I knew that it was a, “See you soon…” parting, for now. 

I knew that there would be dreams aplenty up ahead.  Just as he had pledged, he would magically weave in his indelible promise to me, before departing from the physical plane.  There was such a cold silence, a stinging finality to the moment, as I sat there in bed.  After having looked back at myself, silently waiting, I placed a call to the eighth storey nursing station at Wellesley Hospital. 

I was immediately aware that the tone of the nurses, with whom I was by now long-familiar, had changed.  In very little time, it was official… Merlin had indeed passed.  Truth be told, it was not a surprise; I could sense it on awaking.  He simply was not there.  As always, I had reached out to sense him on awaking – his energies – just blocks away at Wellesley Hospital.  Now, there was nothing. 

Then, as if needing further proof, I thought about Merlin calling each morning.  He would do so, to lovingly say hello and thereby, to lovingly wake me up.  Merlin would then lovingly ask for a call-back, after I had audio-recorded the dreams.  Merlin had, thus far, not called.  Once again, I saw the stillness of my reflection across the room.  I knew then, really knew…  Merlin was gone.  

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As ever thanks for your ongoing support but if you really want to make me levitate then do buy my books!

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© 2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

The Fawn… It Definitely Was A Miracle.

Merlin Christmas 88

On this the eve of what would have proven Merlin’s 72nd birthday, I share these rather totemic dreams.  This November 18, 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of Merlin’s passing of full-blown AIDS, on a cold November Saturday morning when icy snowflakes aimlessly drifted across the city streets.  Whilst at dinner recently, a dear friend asked if I am never saddened at the loss of Merlin and if I ever do miss him. Of course, as I write this blog, I am warmed by the fact that on December 2, 2006 – almost 13 years ago, Merlin was reincarnated in a canalled northern European city.  Merlin is now female and the third of three children – two older brothers. 

What’s more, Merlin reborn has eyes that would now be even more phenomenal than when last I gazed besotted and rhapsodic into those large, soulful hazel eyes.  Whereas Merlin was on his sixth life as a seventh level mature scholar soul, now reincarnated and female that soul is now living its first incarnation as a first level old scholar. These next dreams were dreamt in May, 1989 when Merlin was then still incarnate and at that point, he daily listened to the audiocassette recording of my dreams.  This he did because they fascinated him; more than that, he did so because ever the director, he was keen to give insight and direction. 

“Come on, Arvin, you have to be more descriptive.  I have no idea if the car was blue, green, for that matter a convertible and was it a tan or white leather interior?” 

Certainly, it can never be underestimated the pivotal role that Merlin played in the depth and thoroughness of the audiocassette recorded dreams.  He was ever a loving but tough taskmaster and happy am I to have had his loving input and direction. After having listened to the recorded dream being now shared herein, Merlin came to dinner at our 20 Amelia Street home and declared, “Well, let’s not get too caught up in trying to interpret and figure out the symbolism of those dreams.”  After, he winked, we softly kissed; his lips as ever warm and full as internally an unrelenting disease determinedly consumed his body… but never alas his spirit. 

These were potent, lucid astral plane dreams.  To say that they were totemic would be understating fact.  The dreams were a glimpse beyond the veil as Merlin shamanically wound down another incarnation and got ready to put to rest another life. Ever focussed on my spiritual maturation, I am immensely proud to have survived so long after Merlin’s passing.  Had anyone wagered that I would be still in the game 30 years later, I would have said, “You are reading the wrong tea leaves.”  

Well, here I am still shaking arse and the Rathore to the core.  These totemic dreams were dreamt on Monday, May 22, 1989, audiocassette recorded on tape IX of the 250 audiocassette recording of my dreams and yet to be found in Volume one the 25 Volume dream opus. Too, at the time, the Moon then transited both Sagittarius and my seventh house – wherein my natal Moon is posited.  Truly few are they who are brave enough to drink from the chalice that is life. 

Your support and choice to be focussed herein are both humbling and a source of inordinate pride.  I am immensely grateful. Sweet dreams and as ever do remember, death is just a shift in focus; one is merely focussed at a different frequency.  Besides, as one rather beguiling astral plane habituée put it, “Trust me, death is not wasted on the living.”  

Dreams serve as the most expedient conduit for sustaining the bonds and communion of souls between persons who are no longer focussed in the physical plane but refocussed on the astral plane between lives as astral plane habitués whilst resting, reviewing and weaving the tapestry of future incarnations.  So, drink and live in the moment.  Take a deep breath, open your eyes within – don’t be afraid – and there within the silken folds of self is the massive beauty which is spirit.. go on explore and discover the true you.  I love you more. 

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Montpelier Plantation Nevis

The first dream found me posited on a hilltop looking down into a valley which then rose up into a lower hill.  From the vantage of the mountains in Sandy Point, St. Kitts or Nevis, the view was of being down towards the ocean.  Topographically, it seemed more like St. Kitts – however, this was definitely set in Nevis.  I looked out and what did I see but a house on this hill; it was a very huge and lovely house.

Down from the sky, before the house on the rolling plains, fell a column of white light that shimmered.  The manifesting light had the power of a tornado and it was a force that moved… it undulated.  Truth be told, this was a liquefied white light – not unlike a waterspout.  As compared to the left and right sides of the shaft, it was as though the centre of the light was faded.  The centre of the column of light seemed invisible but it wasn’t.  As a matter of fact, it was sort of greyish-coloured.  

*A very fleeting dream this was but it was one that was potent.  The sky overhead was ominously dark as though the cloud cover was simply to mask something else.  There was no getting around the fact that the light was used as some sort of transport or conveyance.  The light was being used for the relay of energies between the house’s occupants, if there were any, and whatever was beyond the clouds.

The dream seemed to have abruptly collapsed because I had happened on the scene.  There was no one else about.  Too, it was the only house on the landscape.  I felt as though I had been ejected, from the dream, for having been there and witnessed what I wasn’t supposed to have been privy to.  The dream collapsed around me; I was deprived any further knowledge of what was going on.  In light of the dream that would follow, it became fairly obvious that the light column was channelling.

Eventually, the astra-human soul quality of Merlin’s would quite potently manifest.  Of course, just as in the dream of Thursday, July 7, 1988VI, again, there was a lone house on the landscape.  As will become evident, in later moments of the dreams, Merlin’s soul quality would manifest.  END.

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Satiro de Aaron Sims

The next dream immediately found me in bed with Merlin.  He got up and he looked very old.  Looking very tired and old, he turned around to me then went out into the hallway.  He turned around and asked me, “When are you going to start moving on because I’d like to die by the end of this year?  When are you going to go back to school?  I’m really tired of this; I’m tired of this illness… I just want to move on.”

He was terribly impatient.  Indeed, Merlin here was very forceful.  That was when he began shapeshifting; Merlin underwent a metamorphosis before my eyes.  He became, as he spoke, more impatient.  I watched spellbound as his physiology morphed into the very astral-looking faun – though elfin-looking, he was taller than his known humanoid self; Merlin became the archetypal Chiron.  I started crying sounding real childlike and said, “No… no!  Please, please don’t!”

His face then became part of the pink walls, thus his transformed face was flesh-toned.  Here his face looked faunlike; his eyes were on the sides.  He had the face of a faun and I only ever saw the right eye.  The eye was black-within-black.  The eye looked down at me because the head – which was the only thing visible when mounted – was up on the wall.  Shapeshifted, Merlin’s was a very hard-looking eye.

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Merlin’s eye rapaciously looked right into the soul.  An ancient eye it was.  I caressed the softness of the fur-like skin and pleaded with him and said, “Please, I can’t live without you.  I couldn’t go on.  Please don’t lose your strength and get ill,” I pleaded with the shapeshifted Merlin and cried.  I was aware of being here in bed asleep whilst dreaming and that my body was going through the motions of crying and being pained.  Merlin did not hear me, although, I thought that as I slept that I was talking aloud in my sleep.

*This was an intensely upsetting dream because it dramatised how Merlin wished to be allowed to move on.  He no longer cared to be focussed in the life.  Though it was obvious that he could have soldiered on for months more, he simply lost the desire to go on being focussed.  Clearly, this was owing to the bilious discord created by Tytanikka and Oleg’s betrayal.

Though he never physiologically resembled the classic centaur, Merlin’s face not only further morphed becoming like a fawn’s, more accurately, his head and face did have the eventual shape of a young bison’s – very Taurean, strong and potent.

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On preparing for the video to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Merlin’s birth back in 2017, I decided then to head off to the costumer, Malabar on McCaul Street where artist and lover George Hawken lived in the late 80s to early 90s.  Inspired by the first dream of Merlin had 41 years ago in July 1978, I decided to get a cowl as a tribute to the cowl Merlin wore in the inaugural dream encounter with him, four years before having met on Friday, October 1, 1982 in New York City.  So, there was I at Mount Pleasant Cemetery on Saturday, July 15, 2017 in my cowl and the panama hat purchased at Versailles to escape the heat.  I thought it fitting as Merlin always loved wearing panama hats.

My trusty friend, J.J. who happens to be an artisan entity mate whom I have known in 20 past lives –- which is a high incidence of contact -– was the director.  Initially, I had hoped to throw a white party on the lawn to the southwest of the chapel at Mount Pleasant Cemetery and have a drone film the event where a gathering of friends would raise a glass to Merlin on the anniversary of his ennobled birth.  Merlin always threw a white party each year for his birthday at his parents’ stunning backyard in north Toronto’s Servington Crescent.

The plan was not approved by the cemetery and thus, one had to improvise.  I got my panama hat and my cowl and together, we proceeded with a dozen long-stem white roses to visit Merlin’s resting place.  I had a pretty good idea what I was after.  With the matching white cowl, I wanted to evoke the magic of meeting Merlin in that initial dream which is shared in volume one of the dream memoirs, which is already published: Merlin and Arvin: A Shamanic Dream Odyssey.  

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Get your copy!  Thanks as ever for your support!

In the hardcover edition of human civilisation’s first dream memoirs, the initial dream encounter with Merlin is shared.  The dream begins on page 110 in the hardcover edition.  I wanted the same sense of wonderment and magic that I felt for having met Merlin in that first dream four years prior to having met reflected in the video.  In that dream, Merlin’s appearance was preceded by a white totemic creature which seemed, in its astral plane outréness, to be part Russian wolfhound, part alpaca, part dog.  

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So, moving to the lawn, having descended the steps of the chapel, I began walking across the open lawn towards the statuesque lion-festooned mausoleum with the five remaining white long-stem white roses.  Seven roses, of course, were left at Merlin’s grave -– one rose for each of our seven glorious years together.  As I stepped onto the lawn, it seemed magical… timeless even.  Slowly, confidently as I approached the filmmaker at the other end of the lawn, I thought of Merlin and that initial dream.  

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Just then, I very distinctly thought of Merlin greeting me by purring, “Hello Lambs.”  As if right on cue, from off stage left, an adult deer came from behind the bushes and tombstones that line the far edges of the open lawn.  Never before had I seen a deer at Mount Pleasant Cemetery.  Indeed, the good burghers of Forest Hill who clearly regularly jogged in the park-like setting stopped and were overheard remarking that they had never seen a deer in the cemetery before.  All that I could do was tear up and continue walking as the deer then bolted and ran from stage left to right as I continued my stride uninterrupted –- unfazed by the appearance of an adult deer on the grounds of the cemetery.  What is more astounding, is that J.J. at the time was filming my walk; at the last minute, I decided against a run-through as I was concerned about the natural light possibly changing if we were to rehearse the shot.  

Unbeknownst to me, the deer after having made it to stage right, then returned to the centre of the lawn and stood there perfectly still whilst observing my progression across the lawn.  J.J. who was astounded by the occurrence remarked that he had just witnessed a miracle.   There is no doubt in my mind as I tried to recapture the magic of that initial dream encounter that there was a subtle validation of that dream from the magical shaman himself on the other side by having had Merlin’s spirit step in as director emeritus and had the deer enter the shot as validation and a token of his appreciation of the love that we shared and my steadfast loyalty to him.  After crossing the lawn and turning to watch the deer stand there, looking down the lawn at me, I felt such utter peacefulness and abandonment of spirit — just as when alone and intimate in the dark with Merlin.  

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Yes, I believe in magic as did Merlin and as though an appreciation of having stridently done everything to fulfil his mandate to me, Merlin’s astral body conjure up the same magic here and now as he had in July 1978 –- four years before slipping inside a Hell’s Kitchen walk-up and readily winning me over with his sexy elfin charm, magic and sex that proved the most grounding shamanic passion… every time.  Standing there, I was reminded, too, of that dream in 1989 before Merlin passed wherein he shape-shifted and became a fawn-like creature who morphed and became one with the wall in our Cabbagetown home.  

All the music chosen for this 13-minute video is music that Merlin loved whilst incarnate and to which he returned time and again -– whether at Joe Morton’s tiny Upper West Side apartment in autumn of 1983, Toronto’s 20 Amelia Street in tony Cabbagetown.  From Glenn Gould’s mastery of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations, to Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick singing That’s What Friends Are For –- in that segment of the video, I included friends whom Merlin valued: Kareem Benezra, myself, Wayne Robson and his oldest and most loyal friend, the ever-gracious, Maxime Gascoigne-de Montigny.

Of course, for Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely, I exclusively included photos of Merlin and his very handsome and gracious father, David Ben-Daniel.  Whereas I favoured Sir Paul McCartney’s Hey Jude, Merlin ever loved George Harrison and especially My Sweet Lord.  Of course, one Saturday, whilst staying at actor, Joe Morton’s Manhattan apartment, when Merlin and I secretly committed to being together, we slow-danced to Supertramp and Roger Hodgson’s unmatched magical vocals on Supertramp’s Breakfast In America.

Additionally, Jeffrey Osborne’s On the Wings of Love which was one of Merlin’s favourite ballads is also included.  Merlin loved Black male soul singers: Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Jeffrey Osborne –- most especially –- George Benson, Al Green, Teddy Pendergrass, Donny Hathaway, Barry White.  Most of all, I am especially proud of the video that J.J. and I have created; I think that it masterfully captures the depth of my love and fealty to the most fabulously magical shaman encountered on this incarnation’s spiritual odyssey.

Naturally, before having left for Mount Pleasant Cemetery, I had flooded my apartment with the music that appears in the video.  Perhaps, unwittingly by so doing, I was invoking Merlin’s spirit, which later joined us when he played ultimate director and pulled off the most magical bit of stage direction –- an adult deer in the middle of a cemetery in the heart of mid-town Toronto.  Lastly, I played the sublimely soulful Shirley Horn’s interpretation of, Here’s to Life!  Whilst raising a glass of coconut water, I had forgotten to pick up some champagne the evening prior and it was too early in the morning to find champagne anywhere –- the lighting was way too good.  Besides who knows if that magical deer would have been anywhere about.

Here’s to life… most of all, here’s to Merlin… here’s to dream shamans everywhere!

Merlin & Arvin 1987

Merlin’s mandate to me ever remains:

“Please my darling, I want you to write about our lives together.  I promise you, however possible, I am going to send you dreams to include in the story of our love… our lives together.”

Of course, there is my Instagram account:  Instagram Arvin da Brgha

The YouTube channel is:  Arvin da Brgha YouTube

For now, here’s to life, here’s to you and thanks so much for your ongoing support all these years!

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Givenchy & Valentino

Givenchy (Clare Waight Keller) Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2019/2020.  

Monochromatic, feathers, and all that silver… to say nothing for the headpieces.  

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Valentino (Pierpaolo Piccioli) Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2019/2020.  

Everything about this show was simply masterful…  from the music, Ennio Morricone’s score to The Mission with the show being closed to Aretha Franklin singing Natural Woman.  So much colour, so much verve and attack; the structure and that ruffled purple gown at the end.  Bravissimo!  

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Go on cool kats, you know what to do, push down, plié, push off and start flying your merry little hearts out… cause life is a dream and you damn well can…. I love you more.  Thanks for the ongoing support… 

 

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

The Shaman Holds Court.

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This past week, I made the most glorious discovery whilst enjoying the BBC’s coverage of the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey.  As if the gospel choir were not enough or the Indian drummers rapturous, there in the middle of both performances was William Barton  This extraordinary shaman with his didgeridoo weaved the most sublime magic; it was the music of cetaceans as experienced in the most elevated dreams.  Truth be told, it was the music of a culture of the highest order.  

Despite the horror which unfolded on the Ides of March elsewhere in the Commonwealth, this service served to remind and inspire us of what it is about our humanity that binds rather that separates us.  Music is the language which moves, inspires, reflects and spiritually binds us as humankind.  Shaman Barton’s music proved the most healing balm after the horrific events of the Ides of March.  

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Dream dear shamanic dreamers as never before you’ve dreamt, for I am you and you are me in this shared ocean called humanity.  May William Barton’s magical whalesong inspire you to push off whilst lucidly awakened in the dream realms and start flying.  I love you more… well, why not!  No seriously, though, I sincerely do. 

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

#BestDespinaEver!

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Opening nights are always such fun… Tuesday night past, I was reminded of all the opening nights that I would attend with a slightly neurotic Merlin as some show or other that he had directed was being presented to the world… As ever, it was great to see my plus one, Lucian Mann-Chomedy as the ideal partner for these occasions. Always reserved, pleasant and just the right amount of chatter and wit.

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Whilst Lucian enjoyed the pre-show lecture in the Four Seasons Centre Amphitheatre, I slipped next door into the warmth of the Sheraton Centre Hotel and warmed myself on a glass of sherry whilst finishing off 2018’s Scotiabank Giller Prize winner on my KOBO.

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What an utterly stunning tour de force. It was a moment to reflect, this Black History Month on just where we blacks are in the scheme of things. God only knows, it has been bruising to watch Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex become the print media’s most reviled and hunted fugitive from justice of that most vile creature, the racial predator.

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I was still smarting at the events of a week earlier during the winter season’s first major snowstorm. I had been recalling to friends how strange it now was, compared to my first winter in Canada. December 1, 1974 and it snowed that day more than 8 inches. Back then it generally was guaranteed to snow once if not twice weekly. Now at end of January, 2019 and we were finally having our first major snow. This was not like snow from years past… Now it was a dirty, sooty-looking hard mess that lingered, largely in part because the city has contracted out its snow removal services.

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As there are no windows in my apartment – Sol’s too damn bright by far and besides, boarded up windows afford me more art-hanging space – I got down in the early afternoon that Monday with my bike, only to be met by falling snow and several accumulated inches. Back up I went, retired the trusty chrome steed and returned and hopped into a snazzy Audi A6 Uber ride with a Macedonian whose spirit was as smooth and elegant as matchingly was his car. The mood set the tone for my day. As I am known to work 16-hr days, I called another Uber at the end of gig one whilst hoping to get to gig 2 in good time. The snow was still coming down; it was also bitterly cold and windy.

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When finally, Uber #2 arrived, cold and dark with icy pellets mixed in with the snow, the driver rolled down his passenger side window and declared, “Sorry Buddy but I am going to have to cancel this ride…” Already running late, with my wheeled suitcase at the ready, he edged along as I tried to open the door and raised his voice, his eyes almost feral-looking beneath his turbanned, narrow skull. “I said I am cancelling you. One: I never take people like you in my car. Two: you have a shitty rating… Sorry, not sorry. Fuck you Buddy.” With that, he stepped on the gas and I had to swiftly haul me and suitcase out of the way as the rear of his red older model car whose interior did have that blasted malodorous melange of curry, dirty armpit, dirty arse, smegma and whatever the fuck else that passes for immigrants of choice these days. Finally, after having struggled out onto a still-not-ploughed Bay Street, I managed to hail the fourth cab whose West African driver insisted that I call Uber and report him… Days later, I was afforded assurances that the racist Dravidian was no longer part of Uber’s fleet. Similarly, when calling a Beck Taxi with a fairly generic name as Arvin, on coming downstairs the Indo-Canadian drivers on several occasions as though staying on script would feign obsequiousness and state that they were deeply sorry but owing to a family emergency, they were having to take the cab out of service. No sooner than having refused me a ride, they would then be observed heading out to Wellesley, turning on their unoccupied light and picking up a fare off the road. As if the blasted motherfuck, the likes of your overbred arse invented Jazz.

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Each and every time that one experiences racial animus, is preyed on racially, it always harks back to that first winter in Toronto. My best mate from two summers earlier, when I would come to Canada to visit with my dad during school break, had been sick. After Sunday church service at Knox Presbyterian at Harbord and Spadina before returning to our beautiful home at 122 Mortimer Avenue, I would visit – my dad and I – with Tommy who was holding up at Toronto Sick Kids Hospital on University Avenue. My father explained that Tommy was sick with the winter flu, which sometimes could last for months and well beyond winter. I was a scrawny little fourteen-year-old who looked like most ten-year-old Canadian kids as I crawled the halls at Harbord Collegiate where among my mostly Italian-Canadian chums was future lawyer, Rocco Galati. As Tommy, who was a couple of years older than me, had gladly shared books with me the two summers prior that I would take to Knox summer camp and read then have a good stroke off, lusting after my inamorato, Tommy, I readily agreed to do his newspaper route for him until he came home. My first Saturday, the cart was overflowing with the thick Toronto Star newspaper and there was a good foot of snow everywhere. It was hellish but for Tommy, I was game to go the distance – who knows what hot frottage, docking and more was in the offing for having done his route for him! When I got to the northeast corner of Floyd and Bater Avenues that first Saturday to collect the funds, the door opened to a woman whose response to me was the most hideous display of the displaced madness that is white bigotry. Screaming at the top of her lungs, the woman in her upper seventies, vituperatively cursed my black bugger arse off and laid down the law. Never again, “you dirty little nigger” was I to set foot on her verandah.., I was to put the paper between her screen and front doors, knock then return to the top of her steps and wait for her to pay the bill. That first Saturday, she ripped the paper from my hand, flung the money at me. She was terrifying, in her faded blue A-line dress, black spectacles that had those upturned pointed edges at the sides; she wore faux pearls. Most of all, she wore the most hideously terrifying eyes. I remember how much they looked like eyes of a rooster, especially so for being such puffy eyes. Like the evolved, winged and feathered reptilians that roosters are, her eyes truly did look not the least bit human. She was so consumed with racial animus that it was truly frightening. By the time I made it home, I found myself regurgitating. Thereafter, every Saturday, I would take my spot at the top of the steps and consistently she would hurl out pennies mostly at me rather than the verandah where that first winter I had to suffer the indignity of picking through inches of snow on the verandah, steps and lawn to collect my money. Naturally, without fail she called most Saturdays to the Toronto Star, complaining of either not having received her paper on time or that it was missing altogether. This would mean having to buy her a replacement at the corner store, take it and only to be fed on by the hideous-of-spirit racial predator. Like a true cockhound many an indignity I suffered in hopes of my spectacled, full-lipped and scholarly inamorato, Tommy hooking up with me for having been so loyal to him. The summer prior, I had ventured to the public pool on Broadview at Riverdale Park with him and a couple of others and thrilled beyond belief was I to spy his large pendulous balls and that hammer-headed girthsome salami that pummelled his bikinis. Indeed, for Tommy I would suffer much indignity. There was a low-rise apartment building at 1111 Broadview where on the ground floor, there was another predator, this one equally septuagenarian who lived alone, smoked incessantly and always answered the door in various stages of undress, mostly ever only wearing a soiled merino. He was always a generous tipper; a whole 2$ bill in 1974/75 was serious cash. Naturally, in the pre-Ciaslis epoch old anorexic, drunken paunched predator would sometimes tug on the old bulbous semi-flaccid/semi-tumescent, though, pendulous but perfectly useless appendage, trying to lure me in. Sitting there in all that squalor and acting as though he was sugar daddy material… indeed. He was always keen on trying to grab me when giving me the “tip” and I was ever sly and crafty enough to get away from him each time. He, too, lead me to regurgitate, which I had not done since age nine and suffering my first racial attack. Of course, to this day, neither academia nor medicine will concede that there is any such a thing as the racial predator and the effects it has on those preyed on – mostly blacks – and the psyche/mental illness of those who prey on others chiefly non-blacks in varying degrees of severity based on otherness.

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Finally, the house lights went down and I was met by the whimsical vista of the COC’s production of W. A. Mozart’s glorious opera, Cosi Fan Tutte. Previously, I had caught productions of this Mozart gem in Chicago, Montréal and New York City. I was not expecting much at this rate. The Frida Kahlo connection was a bit of a stretch but the butterflies fast won me over.

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From the moment that she stepped onto stage, my spirit soared aloft higher than Mozart’s glorious music to that point had spirited me. Never before had there been so captivating a Despina. My eyes teared up and I was ever on the cusp of explosive giggles. Then what made me truly come undone was the moment Tracy Dahl took to the stage as the notary… by now, I was losing tears and beginning to emit choked snorted chuckles. Each Saturday back in 1974/75 when doing Tommy’s newspaper route, I would end off taking the Saturday Star to Giovanna an octogenarian Italian, who was plump, charming and more adorable than any mere mortal ought to be. Soon, we were fast lovers and she loved fussing over me, baking me each Saturday nice, warm, oven-fresh biscotti washed down with a glass of ice-cold “gingah raleh”… her thick Italian accent was part of her charm. Hers was a large black and white cat, simply known as pussy gatto, who always sat nesting on the armchair. Each week, Giovanna sat transfixed as I read her the newspaper; her vision was to that point fairly deteriorated. As a way of better forging our bond and because most of my mates at Harbord were Italian, for three years, I studied Italian and that really impressed Giovanna, who was simply known as “Mama Mia.”

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As the opera progressed, Ms. Dahl as the notary, dashed and took cover beneath the table at which point, I buried my face in the program with explosive laughter. Straight away, I was reminded of each Saturday when the ever silent pussy gatto would bolt from the armchair and take cover beneath the sofa where I sat as Giovanna began an explosion of long-winded farts. Even the singer’s voice sounded much like Giovanna’s as she sang the role of notary. Remarkably, it was as though she was channelling Giovanna. In that moment, I was healed of the bile, which the recent Uber incident had caused to surface, bile that dated as far back as 1974.

In the end, Tommy’s parents sold their house and it was not until a couple years later that I discovered from the neighbour next-door that Tommy, who had never returned to their Mortimer and Logan home, had died of Leukaemia. Indeed, the winter flu was my dad’s way of protecting me from the callousness of having to lose a friend so early in life.

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Apart from the catharsis that Tracy Dahl’s performance personally effected, I don’t think that it would be biased of me to state that hers was the runaway performance in the COC’s fantastic, and fast-paced I might add, production of Cosi Fan Tutte.

As ever, mischievously push down and melt with laughter in celebration of the joy that is life and start having yourselves a most glorious of flying dreams. Thanks for your ongoing support of this happening astral joint on this side of the astral plane. I love you more.

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha. All Rights Reserved.

Nancy Wilson… and more.

Wilson, Nancy 20/2/1937<O>13/12/2018

Michael: This fragment was a third-level mature artisan – second life thereat.  Nancy was in the passion mode with a goal of growth.  An idealist, she was in the emotional part of intellectual centre. 

Body type was Solar/Saturn. 

Nancy’s primary chief feature was self-deprecation and the secondary stubbornness. 

The fragment Nancy is fifth-cast in sixth cadence; he is a member of greater cadence five.  Nancy’s entity is seven, cadre four, greater cadre 1, pod 129. 

Nancy’s essence twin is an artisan and the task companion a warrior. 

Nancy’s primary needs were: expression, expansion and power. 

There are 10 past-life associations with Arvin and 6 with Merlin. 

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What a truly great voice.  Though over the years, I had attended many Nancy Wilson concerts, one in particular remains the most memorable.  It was the late set at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City’s West Village.  A Saturday night performance, it was at the end of the run and Ms. Wilson was in fine form.  With me that evening was Milan Newcombe, the rather eccentric lover of mine who had the most magical residence in Toronto’s Kensington Market.  

Milan and I met about a month before the 350th anniversary celebrations of Montréal in May 1992.  The day of the anniversary, there was a parade through the city’s main artery at night time; quite a unique and spectacular sight.  We stayed that weekend in a loft at the corner of Ontario and St. Laurent Streets and that night, I wore a pair of six-inch, black patent leather Bally talons hauts, a pair of extra short blue jeans that nicely sported the goods, a large, white pirate’s shirt, a confident smile whilst holding hands with the coolest motherfucker I had met since having met Merlin – Milan made a most pleasurable adventure of living. 

Jazz singer Nancy Wilson celebrated her 80th birthday on February 20th, 2017

Having just returned from a weekend in New York City with Manhattan cabaret singer, Frans Bloem, I was crawling the halls of the St. Mark’s bathhouse at Wellesley on Yonge, in a bid to get over decidedly banal sexual relations with Frans.  A great human being to be sure but sex should not be as ennuiyant and tedious as needlepoint.  Well into the late hours, after a few hookups, a long lean body caught my eye as it lay there, waiting to either prey or be preyed on.  

An hour later we emerged into the gritty, callously unforgiving light of daybreak and hopped on our bikes.  Together we rode west along Wellesley, cut through University of Toronto campus and onto Spadina, rode south on said avenue to the most magical lair imaginable.  There above a series of Chinese shops, Milan owned the two storey apartment that was filled with an assortment of Bohemians – or at least trust fund types, bored out of their skulls whilst waiting to collect their inheritance.  

Milan possessed the largest music library, I had yet or since seen.  Moreover, within that library were the most extensive recordings of harpsichord music.  If that were not specialised enough, Milan owned a harpsichord which, after we had riotously slapped, nipple-bitten, punched and me gourmandise his pygmy fin whale schlong: girth and length that makes your upper lip sweat and eyes roll back like Whitney Houston in full song, he would spend the next hour playing what proved the most captivating instrument.  Always at such times, I would become sponge-like and expansive, feeling as though in between wakefulness and sleep with a plethora of the most lucid past-life dreams flooding and surfacing my conscious mind.  Not surprisingly, that harpsichord proved a touchstone to our past-life connections and specifically to the life as court musicians in London, England during the reign of King George III and the Regency when Milan, Merlin and I plus a whole host of others whom I have known in this lifetime were greatly, creatively fulfilled.  

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Newcombe, Milan 08/02/56 Toronto <O> Toronto

This fragment was a third level mature sage – first incarnation at this level, likely to repeat the level – in the passion mode with a goal of acceptance.  An idealist, he was in the intellectual centre, emotional part. 

Milan’s body type was Saturn/Venus. 

Milan’s primary chief feature was impatience and the secondary arrogance. 

The essence twin is a sage, also discarnate.  An artisan task companion he’s got, who is incarnate. 

This fragment is second-cast, cadence sixth in the greater cadence, entity six, cadre one, greater cadre 7, node 414.  Milan is in the same entity as Arvin and Merlin, sharing a strong connection through the arts. 

The three primary needs for Milan were: freedom, power and communion. 

Q: Past lives of note for Milan:

Michael:       This fragment has had many lives in the theatre and in performing, as would be expected, due to his soul age, mature and role, sage. 

He has been a well-known courtesan in nineteenth century France, to a second-in-command lieutenant to Napoleon Bonaparte and was involved in many secretive meetings to which she was privy, due to her ability to keep silent. 

She, however, was found guilty of espionage, at a later date, and hanged, at the age of 24. 

This sage has also performed with students of Hippocrates in the fifth century Common Era in Crete and also became interested in herbal medicine at that time. 

Lives in the performing arts total 24 altogether and have been both notable, such as in China in the eighth century as a puppeteer or in the caves of Borneo when he was a painter of walls with what would be called ancient hieroglyphs. 

This fragment was also present in the sixteenth century in Venice and was a student of a lesser artist, not sure about the name. 

Q: Past lives with Arvin:

Michael:      First of all, let us comment that these two fragments did have an agreement which had to do with the validation of personal expression. 

Number of past incarnations total twenty and include:

  1. These two fragments were present in the “George” life; King George III of England, when the sage was a fellow musician and trumpeter. The sage was competitive with the artisan and envious of the artisan’s natural talents.
  2. They have been married once before officially in an area of the Middle East, eleventh century BCE, when they were in an arranged marriage having to do with land and money exchange. They did get along reasonably well due to the entity connection but did argue.
  3. Makers of small ornamental objects in the first century Common Era, Crete. Both were female and cousins.
  4. These two fragments completed a sequence having to do with abandonment/abandoner in the São Paulo incarnation. The female artisan seduced the sage and then subsequently refused to continue in the relationship which led to emotional turmoil for the sage.

This first part of this sequence took place in the 1300’s in Spain when the reverse occurred but the sexes were the same, artisan still female, seduced by the sage then abandoned. 

Had this not been an agreement, there would have been mindfuck karma incurred. 

(KB: this was an important set of incarnations) 

 Q: Past lives with Merlin and the ET:

This fragment was present in the life aforementioned in the fourth century in an area of Tibet and was the mother of the task companion, former-Merlin but separated when the scholar, former-Merlin, was quite young due to religious training. 

There have been an additional four of note including one in the ninth century in China when these two fragments were enemies and came quite close to incurring karma; through combat, not agreed upon in advance, as well as one in the first century Common Era when they were married to the same male fragment; Common Law, Palestine area. 

This sage has also shared three past associations with Arvin’s essence twin which have included living in a small village in western Canada in the 1400’s both male.  They were childhood friends. 

Additionally they have fought side-by-side “on stage” when members of a travelling theatrical group in northern Italy in the sixteenth century.  The essence twin died of a fall which the sage tried to prevent but was unable to, happened when both were teens.  

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Milan was magical; his home lit throughout by candelabras and the salon an exacting reproduction of an 18th century English salon.  One of the most beautiful things about sleeping over with Milan at his magical lair, was that many were the nights when I would – whilst lying next to him in bed, pleasured and satiated – spontaneously astral project.  During these marvellous OBEs (out-of-body experiences), I would get up out of my body, turn around to look at our smiling pleasured faces harmoniously lying in bed fast asleep, see the cord of silvery white light that attached my astral body to my physical body.  This cord more so resembles a caravan of tiny balls of light that are unbreakable and which attach at the solar plexus of both bodies – astral and physical.  Milan was the most sensual lover and the greatest kisser.  

This song was Milan’s favourite tune and Nancy Wilson his favourite Jazz singer – just as Natalie Cole and Betty Carter mine and John Hirsch was Ella Fitzgerald’s undisputed biggest enthusiast.  Until having met me, Milan had never listened to Jazz or explored the genre.  However, like all persons in the positive pole of their goal of acceptance, he embraced, appreciated and explored the newfound treasure that for him Jazz would prove.  With an intensity never before experienced, Milan insisted on venturing to every Jazz concert imaginable.  To that end, we took several trips to Chicago, New Orleans and, of course, New York City to nurture our souls and forge to greater depths the bond we shared.  Whenever the loving was good and god do I love a cock… especially his – hey, three billion women can’t be wrong, Milan would then play some Nancy Wilson.  Our love faded on my relocation to Vancouver – he hated grey, dreary and rainy weather, I was come undone one early morning whilst meditating in the pyramid in Vancouver, Milan appeared to me and said so long.  I knew that he had died that day – another lover passed of AIDS.  I will ever experience the sweetest memories when listening to Nancy Wilson.  

Sweet and very blissful dreams indeed be yours Nancy: griot, linguist, shaman and truly great performer.  

As ever, thanks for your ongoing support, dream without giving a damn… cause you can and all the more reason to push off and start flying.  

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

Sing it George!

Benson, George 22/3/1943 Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Michael: This fragment is a fifth level mature artisan – second life thereat.  George is in the power mode with a goal of growth.  An idealist, he is in the moving part of intellectual centre.

Body type is Venus/Mars.

George’s primary chief feature is subdued arrogance and the secondary impatience.

The fragment George is fifth-cast in third cadence; he is a member of greater cadence four.  George’s entity is five, cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414 – this is a cadre mate of Arvin’s and Merlin’s.

George’s essence twin is also an artisan and he has a sage task companion.

George’s primary needs are: expression, communion and power.

There are 10 past-life associations with Arvin and 14 with Merlin.

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Music is a language and Jazz is the language of a people; it speaks to no one else like it does us.  No other music readily restores one’s humanity and sense of self like Jazz does.  Interestingly, when a student at ballet school, I lived the most famous quote uttered by Diana, Princess of Wales in that Panorama interview that she gave to Martin Bashir: “There is no better way to dismantle a personality than to isolate it.” 

That is why during my two hellish years in Winnipeg, the music of Jazz is what saved me.  Interestingly enough, three musicians I looked to during that time more than any others; years later, I would discover that they are all cadre mates: Natalie Cole, John Coltrane and George Benson.  

With the passing of cadre mates Natalie Cole and Roy Hargrove, it is high time to celebrate and pay homage to George Benson while he remains focussed here and now.  

Keep on flying right whether in the most blissful of dreams or the waking state’s unforgiving grittiness… then again, it is also maddeningly beautiful!  

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

Roy Hargrove 16/10/1969/\/\2/11/2018

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Hargrove, Roy 16/10/1969<O>2/11/2018

Michael: This fragment was a fifth-level mature scholar – 2nd life thereat.  Roy was in the perseveration mode with a goal of growth.  Roy was a realist who was in the intellectual part of moving centre.

Roy’s primary chief feature was arrogance and his secondary was impatience.

Roy’s body type was Mercury/Lunar.

The fragment Roy is second-cast in the fifth cadence; the fragment is in the first greater cadence.  Roy is a member of entity six, cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414 – here we have another entity mate of both Arvin’s and Merlin’s.

Roy’s essence twin is a scholar and the task companion is a sage.

Roy’s three primary needs were: expression, adventure and security.

There are 9 past-life associations between Roy and Arvin and 14 between him and Merlin.

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I have always exquisitely found centre for listening to this recording.  Time seems to drift away and ideas flow with greater ease… indeed, how sweet it is to be richly inspired by an entity mate.  

“I’m in service.  I am here to touch people and make them feel better through music.” – Roy Hargrove.  

Well if that is not validation of being a member of an entity six of a cadre one, I don’t know what it.  

I always good for long days after a concert of his.  A beautiful human being.  

Sweet and blissful dreams be yours dear ennobled entity mate.  

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

An Awakened Dream Like No Other!

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On the final full day of this trip to London, it was also the 29th anniversary of Merlin’s passing.  I had planned on visiting Spencer House, the Monday evening prior; however, the event which was a ticketed lecture had been cancelled –  this was my only chance at getting to Spencer House.  

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Climbing from the Underground at Green Park, the park was relatively empty and there was a crisp bite to the early morning air as I walked along the periphery of the park’s western edge.  I opted to take that route and be close to the park’s trees than use the suggested route – St. James Street and St. James Place.  The only persons in the park were intermittent joggers, looking fit; strange in November it was to see persons running in shorts.  

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Walking along, I passed a narrow break in the shrubbery; the narrow path that ran beneath on the houses stated that it was a private road and to keep out.  A few more steps revealed the signage; yes, indeed, this was the place that I was looking for.  Turning back, I made for the private narrow pathway and awaited as a tanned, moneyed man approached with a wonderful, happy dog before him.  The fat little thing tried its best to act on his vibes and grumbled; staying my ground, I waited for him to get closer, said hello and asked if this was the way to Spencer House.  

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“Is this the way to Spencer House?” 

“It is a private path…” he replied from behind thicker, darker and more-expensive-than-mine sunglasses, to which I brushed past his American accent by elegantly rebutting, “Thanks, I’ll find my way…”  

Entrance to Spencer House: looking west to Green Park & East.  

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On entering Spencer House, I noticed that the splayed and slightly bloated feeling that began on approaching the stately home continued.  Inside were two men; both were rather pleasant.  We began speaking; for the next half an hour, we warmly visited.  Seemingly, there was a group tour booked and they thought that I had simply arrived especially early.  

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As members for the guided tour arrived, I slipped into the ante room and enjoyed the still-life.  Remarkably, there was a real ease for being in his place, which seemed more than passingly familiar.  Finally, when enough of us were arrived for the tour, a silver-haired lady with clear, focussed eyes entered the foyer, walked up to me and smiling, we warmly greeted.  A group of no more than twenty-five persons, the informal gathering was cosy and engaging.  

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As the tour began in earnest, it dawned on me that this house was remarkably familiar.  There were no doubts in my mind that I had never previously visited it; however, even the tour guide approached me and asked when I had last been to the house.  She was convinced that I had been there before and scoffed at my response that I had never before visited the stately home.  She had done so because I seemed with uncanny accuracy to know which door to next use to progress on the tour.  That aside, the energy between us flowed with the greatest ease.  

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As she spoke, the guide mentioned that Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch, who lived in the same street as Spencer House had actually had their wedding reception in the Georgian masterpiece.  As she spoke of the ladder, I suddenly experienced a vision and it was of seeing the room as it looked during Georgian times; however, as in dreams everything was back-to-front from the current life experience.  Indeed, I had definitely been in this room in the past; moreover, I had a rather memorable dream, which was set in this house.  Then as I intently looked to one corner of the room, the rather knowledgeable tour guide announced that in that very corner, Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson loved sitting in that spot as he was a frequent and favoured guest to the house as the 2nd Earl Spencer had been First Lord of the Admiralty.  

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In this marvellous salon is a painting of the Death of General Wolfe… it is even more grand and emotive than the painting of General Wolfe’s death on the Plains of Abraham at the Royal Ontario Museum.  

During that time, as a countertenor with Merlin (then female) my accompanist on harpsichord that I would have encountered Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson.  I have dreamt of this man many times and some were set in the very house where, though it had not been planned, on the 29th anniversary of Merlin’s passing, I was taking a tour.  

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Just before we left the library, the tour guide then announced as she drew our attention outside the window from the library, there on the grounds of Green Park were cattle and other livestock kept.  Indeed, in one such past-life dream, which was set at Spencer House, there was the intense smell of livestock.  For this reason, I had assumed on awaking that this stately home on the edge of vast acreage was situated in the English countryside rather than in London.  

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Definitely, this room – the great room – was familiar; however, somehow, it did not seem as large as it ought to have been.  

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The view from the great room out to the beauty of Green Park.  Suddenly, it dawned on me as I looked out the window that is why on Armistice Day after I left the splendid exhibition: Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs at Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace and cut through Green Park en route to Green Park Station, I felt so joyous. 

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That is why too, for moving past Spencer House earlier on November 11, 2018 and in essence, becoming harmonised with the locale of a past life that I would have such lucid flying dream activity on returning to the hotel that late afternoon and napping.  

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Without doubt one specific dream was centred in this room and there, a play was being staged in the past life dream.  In between acts, one retired to this room from the great room and visited whilst the performers took almost forever at costume changes.  

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This was the setting of great music and laughter; indeed, I may well have performed for the Georgian glitterati on this balcony/stage-like staircase.  

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Lady Spencer’s room.  lovely.  

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The Music Room where 2.5 centuries earlier, Merlin and I were in creative full bloom.  I had a really powerful response when in this room.  I was left teary eyed and on looking in the mirror, I actually saw the outline of my aura; it was silvery as it picked up the stunning sunlight streaming through the windows on either side.  Somewhere in spirit, Merlin was with me and there was further validation that this place, this day… indeed, nothing is coincidental.  

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This room was pure sensory overload.  I felt gay and as though on the cusp of flying.  This visit was more adventure than even I could have imagined.  When the tour was concluded, I warmly parted with the staff and assured them that I would be back.  Then out into all this balmy, glorious sunshine, I headed into St. James Street and made my way to Piccadilly Street. 

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Feeling way too glorious, I decided against using the Underground and instead, headed east along Piccadilly and slipped into the Burlington Arcade’s splendour, browsed then went coffee table book-shopping at the Royal Academy.  Though I hardly had room to pack the six books.  Well in excess of 300£, the handle-barred and zoot suit-wearing poseur – eccentricity is never affected, asked way too condescendingly what did I mean by VAT “dear” and why would I get money back.  You blasted, silly little twit; as I do not gladly suffer fools, I shot back, “Look do us both a favour and go restock these… and try finding a brain while you are at it…” the latter stated whilst walking away from the counter; you’ll get no commission from me.  Who are these people, forever trying so damn hard? 

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With that, it was across the street into Fortnum & Mason to buy more teas and rose petal marmalade and jelly.  From there, further easterly I bopped and grooved in the glorious sunlight and circumambulated Piccadilly Circus and bailed into Coventry Street and into the crowded intensity of Leicester Square. 

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From there, I snuck from the rear of the National Gallery and inside.  

The delightful guide at Spencer House had insisted that I return to the National Gallery before leaving London and catch the Mantegna and Bellini exhibition.  She could not have spoken more highly of it.  I did tell her that I had reservations about seeing Italian art as it was much too ecclesiastic for my liking.  However, since she had been such a gracious host, I decided to just this once to go with an open mind and just explore. 

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You cannot believe how fast, I got out of there.  As I said to the West African museum worker, who asked why I had left the show so quickly, “You cannot imagine how deeply disturbing I find a culture that goes to such great length to never address in their art their savagely ‘civilising’ influence in the world.  It is as though it never happened or they played positively no role whatsoever in the brutal murder, enslavement, extinction of peoples and cultures.  His response was, to the victor go the spoils and the shaping of history in his image; he added that he was very very proud that I am aware, unlike so many of us.  With that, we bumped fists and it was back out into the bright sunlight of this glorious day.  

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Apart from the usual suspects, Yodas seemingly levitating – now there’s a gig! – I made it past a rather engaging African artist who had the soul of a sage if ever anyone ever did.  Being drawn to its beauty, I drew closer to get a really good shot of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and it was then I made the most glorious of discoveries.  

Well, there could be no better way to restore the spirit after the disquiet that I experienced for moving through the Mantegna & Bellini show.  Great art should reflect life, not neatly reinvent and compartmentalise away all that which one would rather not address – likely, though, Bellini had no knowledge of Columbian expeditions to the New World. 

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Presentation at the Temple – Giovanni Bellini c 1460

Certainly, the prominent artists of the 16th century: Tintoretto, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian were supported by the Church of Rome, which by its patronage of these artists was intent on depicting itself in a glowing ecclesiastical light rather than the brutal realism which afforded it the prominence and wealth it then enjoyed… which endures even now. 

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So with that, richly inspired by both the guitarist and Spencer House and all that it represented, I slipped into the National Portrait Gallery, to drink once more Wim Heldens masterful Oil on Canvas of the collectors Harry and Carol Ann Djanogly – she passed earlier this year.  Satiated of spirit, it was off to grab a bite and then a nap of glorious dream-filled sleep – one of which was a flying dream.  God it felt goodly glorious to have returned in spirit to Spencer House.  

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After having overslept by a hair, it was a mad dash by Underground and taxi make it by mere minutes to Royal Albert Hall.  One of my favourite concert halls, any show would do.  

Ah nothing beats a good old nostalgic adventure.

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Intermission from the stalls at Royal Albert Hall.  

You cannot beat a room full of love and wonderment.  Truly spectacular.  Of course, it goes without saying that Merlin was wild about Jim Henson, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.  This was a glorious way to have capped off a great trip and to remember the life of an extraordinarily phenomenal human being, Merlin.  

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And like that, the following day, I was returned to Toronto, my art-filled home and this most glorious photograph of the most magical fellow who made life truly a happening, for seven glorious, love-filled and magical years.  

As ever, sweet dreams and thanks for your ongoing support.  

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

The Day After the Night that Was.

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By now the effects of the stewed fruit at breakfast has seen my waist shrink; I am grateful.  The morning after the night that was, I am still elated and humming away that catchy melody from Ludwig Minkus’ greatly composed ballet.  

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After breakfast I decamped at Leicester Square where it was time to enjoy the bright, cool sunlight and catch a movie.  The Vue cinemas are rather interesting; I was keen to know if I would have a repeat of what had transpired last winter. 

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Back then, I was upstairs at the same cinemas watching, Darkest Hour, which proved a real tour de force performance from Gary Oldman.  Sat in the back row, soon I became bloated and expansive.  Though not the least bit drowsy, I felt wide-open and lucidly self-aware.  Next, as the film progressed, I watched as several pure white humanoid forms simply stood up and walked to the sides and quite seamlessly walked through the very real walls of the cinema.  

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One of the things that Merlin and I always loved doing, was seeing a film during its opening weekend.  Naturally, so close to the anniversary of his passing, I was keen on seeing a film.  J. K. Rowling is among my favourite contemporary writers and having seen the first film in this series, it only made sense to go.  

 

 

Whilst waiting for the cinema to open, I caught a series of items; all are favourite actors of mine, especially Sir Kenneth Branagh.  

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The first screening of the day was a special affair with about one third of the theatre occupied.  A lovely Chinese couple sat to my right with their precocious son of about ten years stuck between them.  We chatted briefly and I thought it so strange that conversation with strangers is almost unheard of when attending a Canadian movie.  

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I emerged into the crisp Saturday morning in Leicester Square a bit teary eyed as thoughts of Merlin at one point during the film overwhelmed me.  It was after all the eve of his passing some 29 years earlier.  

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Slipping inside this tiny joint – I always favour hole-in-the-world, ma-n-pa joints, I got a couple of really good slices of pizza whilst pouring through the Times of London.  There was conversation close by, which struck me as interesting; it went from Theresa May and Brexit to Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex.  I soon realised that both persons were openly criticised chiefly for being women; in the case of the Ms. May, she is dismissed and not taken seriously chiefly for being female.  As for Meghan, like every woman who marries into the BRF, she is readily reviled, though, some of this has bordered on racial hysteria and seriously threatening.  

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In a bid to cleanse my very soul, after all that, I slipped from Leicester Square for the uplifting sophistication of the National Gallery where I deftly moved through my favourite salons with usual mercurial speed, taking the time to pause and admire the key works of art that bring me the greatest pleasure.  

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Well, after all that art, it was time for more prowling the decidedly unCanadian wintry streets of London.  Along Shaftesbury, I strode my Crockett & Jones booted and blistered feet into Neal Street where my favourite hippy-dippy (as Merlin would remark) New Age store, The Astrology Shop in Covent Garden.  Though, it most definitely does not have the best choices, I still love the feel of the place and their sagebrush collection is second to none.   

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Along with marvellous pieces of crystals and a wonderful Citrine, I really connected with this gorgeous agate ring.  The moment that I saw it, I really resonated with me and it felt so right. 

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After a rather warm conversation with a green-eyed, redhead, she was fascinated by my custom Reuben Mack messenger bag.  

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I then headed back to The British Museum for more shopping.  As it was the weekend, there was now a sizeable lineup to gain entry.  As though my impatience with crowds were not enough but soon, I had two Torontonian women doing what Canadians do best; they spent much of their time gawking at me, talking about me and cultural appropriation for wearing the custom Reuben Mack messenger.  Standing there in line, I was reminded of what petty, small-minded bigoted jackasses the average Canadian can be and god do they love being openly racially predatory towards blacks. 

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Never once had I experienced a scintilla of racial animus from a Briton or for being in London to that point; there you have it, the land where racism is enshrined in law: employment equity law of Canada: All employers must employ, Caucasians, First Nations persons, Disabled persons and visible minorities and therein is the framework of Canada’s own form of Apartheid – state sanctioned racism.  All employers, in particular crown corporations (government agencies – federal and provincial) employ visible minorities to the exclusion of blacks and if and when they do employ blacks, they then hire blacks only as casual workers which means they are not entitled to benefits, pension and guaranteed hours.  

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So smugly established is this state of affairs that the current prime minister refused to attend the 50th anniversary of Caribana – the nations West Indian community’s gift to Canada on its 100th birthday in 1967; however, he attends ever Gay pride parade in the same city as Caribana, Toronto, and has repeatedly been to India, to dress up and act a right clown because who gives a damn about blacks in Canada.  As one friend said, blacks over the past three decades have become as marginalised as First Nations persons.  But enough about aggressive young souls and their racialised worldview.  Meanwhile, as they were openly rude towards me whilst queueing to enter the British Museum, I grabbed my phone and pretended to film them to which one of them suddenly became enraged, demanding that I not film her…  You have to laugh or truly you would go mad.  In any event, I got the feisty Buster a nice but scary Egyptian stuffed cat – he is actually afraid of it.  

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On my return to the hotel, a couple of blocks from The British Museum, I slumped into bed and decided that my aching feet needed a break from the rest of the day’s planned events.  To that end, I stayed in that night rather than return to Barbican Hall to catch a celebration of the Windrush Migration.  At that concert were to have been Calypso Rose and The Mighty Sparrow; though it had been years since last seeing either performer, I just was not into it.  Moreover, I wanted to take the time to be with myself and reflect on the eve of Merlin’s passing some 29 years earlier.  

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As ever, thanks for your ongoing support and ever remember to push off and start flying.  

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.