The Whirling Dervish

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Whirling Dervish

Trevor Leat 

©2012

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

Buster En Repose Pyramid Green Room.

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(L to R,) Yonge Street Mask (George Hawken Lithograph 1971), Pink Chair (George Hawken Lithograph 1990 of yours truly; there are only three copies in existence) Woman (George Hawken Lithograph 1980) Sockeye Salmon (Bill Reid Lithograph 1991), Four Standing Figures (Henry Moore Lithograph 1978) 

Buster is a really keen familiar.  Recently, someone of dubious intentions visited my home; needless to say, I had dreamt of the encounter days prior.  As he spends long hours therein, Buster came from the pyramid and promptly hissed at the individual then returned to the pyramid where no doubt, he communed with his Egyptian ancestors.  He only ever enters the pyramid at the eastern corner and when meditating will face one of the four corners in the sphinx position and remain thus for long hours.  

Buster loves that duvet; therefore, year round I have to sleep with one.  Now that it is summer, I avoid roasting beneath the down duvet by having the AC on high 24/7.  Bad carbon footprint; then again, I don’t drive.  

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

Anointed by Merlin; A Dream Like No Other.

 

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As the Moon progressed through the early degrees of Gemini, transiting my first house, I would on taking to bed, slip up past the folds of restfulness.  There, I would awaken into the most lucid dream experiences had in long ages.  It was Saturday, July 25, 1992 – long after Merlin’s passing.  

Regardless your combination, there is no greater gift to receive than the love of another to whom one has chosen to completely give of self.  There is no greater validation of love’s superiority than to experience love from another, who has transitioned onto the next octave in that soul’s maturation, in a lucidly awakened dream as this shared between Merlin and me. 

We have all loved and been loved and may you dear dreamer, by opening yourself up, experience your own moments of rapture as I did in this rhapsodic astral plane encounter with the one, the man, the elfin, the fuck-all fabulous, the ganja-smoking, groovy shaman from Babylon, Merlin! 

The mark of a truly great love affair is the fruit it bears… dreams. 

Sweet dreams you, I love you more!

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The first dream was set, at nighttime, in Sandy Point, St. Kitts where I had spent my childhood.  I was playing in the street, well past midnight, with three local youths.  All Rastafarians, too, they were all in their twenties.  I was my present age – thirty-one.  They were younger.  Everything about them was very real.  There was a direct focussed tenor to their gaze; they looked into you.  I felt very edgy with all this probity.

We had been acrobatically playing, in the street in front of the church, in The Alley, Sandy Point, St. Kitts.  Of course, that same church Harella had built twenty-two years prior in the waking state.  I tried not to outshine them, with my leaping tumbles, for fear of escalating the tension in the air.  There was an edge to our interactions.  It was a tension born of my having been so long off-island and their being suspicious, I thought, of my outré sexuality.  

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Just then, I noticed a light streaking across the star-punctured sky.  In a bid to diffuse the tension between us, I drew their attention to it.  However, I soon noticed that its progress was unusual.  There was also something distinctly different about this light.  It caused me to recall similar icons in dreams past – each had presaged rather momentous visions.  Like all those before it, this streaking light seemed a silent observant probe.  Immediately, I became open to what this comet-like streaking star could later reveal.

I began to explain to the youngest Rastafarian who was an impish, sexually-dynamic beauty – he was not the least bit self-conscious of his missing front teeth – that it was no doubt a very high geostationary satellite that had bombed and was now crashing to Earth.  Further, I speculated that it was no doubt an orbiting space shuttle presently reflecting Sol’s intense light.  As I spoke, I knew that I did not really believe either explanation but I thought that the ideas were a good way to ameliorate my position in the dynamic.  The ruse failed to have done the trick.  On returning my attention to the group, I was sent bolting – the leader was menacingly lunging through the air towards me, with a raptor’s ease, in eager flight.  

 

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Soon I also was in flight being chased through the streets of a Sandy Point, St. Kitts which quickly morphed and shifted becoming, more and more populous, like parts of old Havana.  I was not certain which city this was but I was definitely still in the Caribbean.  

I managed to escape into a house where I very energetically fought off their advance, securing the locks to the front door, thereby shutting them out.  I climbed up the narrow and steep flight of stairs, in near-darkness, to the safety of the second storey.  Winded and more enraged than stunned, at their behaviour, I took the time to gather my breath.  I briefly visited with my aunt Pilar do Aragão† and Pandora – the latter whom Merlin favoured the most of my siblings.  They were unaware of the tumult that I had just endured.  

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I took refuge in the darkened front of the house’s second storey.  Next I found myself, in one of those rare dream moments, actually falling asleep whilst lucidly dreaming.  I nodded… on recovering, I found that I had come to in an apartment.  It was one more opulent than the one in which I had just grown suddenly drowsy.  On a red antique chaise longue, in the most beautifully dark, wood-panelled, high-ceilinged digs that I had ever seen, I was now seated.  Across the room was an open door that led out to a veranda.  

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A dark awning provided ample shade and allowed just the cool tropical breezes to laze in satiating the spirit.  To have awakened into this new dreamspace had left my awareness more sensitised… more absorbing.  The dream became more lucid and any sense of time dissolved.  This left every moment infused with a sense of mysticism – magic even.  It definitely felt like the West Indies here, perhaps, old-money Haïti or Guadeloupe if not Cuba.

Slowly, I drank in every detail of the stately furnished room.  There were, on both walls to my left and right, floor-to-ceiling shelves which were not untidily crammed with old leather-bound volumes – some red, some brown, most were black.  Slowly, from where I reclined, I pinpointed my vision to check the titles of some of the books.  Thus I was able to see and read them, as intimately, as if I had gotten up and gone to stand before them closely peering.  They were mostly ancient volumes.  However, the script was not vaguely recognisable like any of the innumerable ones on the other, more familiar side of the dreamtime.

My spirit soared, as I felt fully relaxed, in this most bucolic of dreams.  Strangely, though not unusual for the realm of the dreamtime, I felt that for having looked at these laden bookshelves my mind had absorbed the library’s voluminous wealth.  Just then there was movement, to my right, across the room.  I saw a cat that looked much like Whoopi.  It appeared from behind one of three sofas, skulking towards another, situated opposite across the room.

Each sofa, like the chaise longue on which I reclined, had beside it a small round table.  Each table was covered in either rich, dark earthy damask or actual rugs in deep though muted red.  I was immediately reminded of the round table, across which sat the sibylline woman from Merlin and I, in the dreams of September 4, 1988.  I sat up calling her name,

“Whoopi!  Whoopi!” at which moment, the cat shimmered and became Julio – our black cat at 20 Amelia Street in Cabbagetown who, like Whitney before him, was killed in a hit-and-run as he ran across Amelia Street on New Year’s Eve, 1987.  As I watched the cat disappear behind one of the three sofas, which accompanied my chaise longue, my mouth froze open in amazement.  Whilst I assimilated that one and thought to myself that this certainly was a most unusual and lucid dream, there was utter stillness.

The cat’s metamorphosis had discernibly shifted the vibration of the dream.  Now time seemed considerably measured as compared to its usual frenetic rhythm.  The door in the far right corner then opened… into the room walked Merlin.  

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*I can’t here relay the rapture I felt on seeing him but the ecstatic descriptive of dream audio-cassette recording, for that day, comes fairly close.  END.

Overwhelmed with emotion, my body quivered throughout.  I tried to rouse from my reclining position.  My arms outstretched to him, I greeted him squealing with delight.  He stood, just in the entrance, raising his brows with the left familiarly arched higher.  Staying me with the index and middle fingers of his raised right hand,

“No, don’t get up…” I heard Merlin direct me with the quiet familiarity that our intimacy knew.

This directive I telepathically experienced as though we were squinging up in bed, in the dark, at 20 Amelia Street in Toronto’s Cabbagetown.  Our souls tickled, at such times, as we listened to some glorious thunderstorm drowning out the dog days of a too-hot-and-humid, Toronto summer.  I obliged, sitting upright on the edge of the plush chaise longue, for the first time placing my feet on the beautifully designed and predominantly red rug.  His face warmed towards me in a smile.

At once my mind expanded, simultaneously processing on multiple levels, becoming even more awakened.  Rapture… pure rapture – I was enthralled.  Here again, Merlin wore all the evolved energies that he had in that first dream encounter – that dream, of course, set in a Pacific west coast rainforest that was not unlike Vancouver Island’s Cathedral Grove in July 1978.  A dream, of course, which occurred four years before I would physically meet him in the waking state.

Slowly, he walked the short distance of the room towards me.  A breeze coming from the veranda not only cooled the place but it shifted the ambiance and made the place grow dimmer.  The dimness highlighted the definite soft yellow glow that girdled his entire form.  I sat there thinking,  

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‘My god, I can actually see your aura Merlin.’

He smiled and I was reminded that everything that I thought was instantly being telepathically shared.  I was passive… moreover I was ripened as though I had just experienced an Alfred Brendel recital.  I felt so lightheaded that I firmly pressed down both my palms, into the chaise longue’s plush red velvet, bracing myself.  Merlin came and stood before me.  He was casually dressed in loose, earthen woollen clothing.  A cloak he wore stylishly draped about his narrow shoulders with its cowl removed.

As I looked up into his face, besotted by the beauty of his soul’s magic, he slowly arched his left brow in the way he had always affected when he wanted to be intimate.  Merlin’s magical expression was exactly as it was, that gibbous-Moon October night, when we met in Babylon – which now for him was truly a lifetime removed.  My face liquidly melted away in a smile.  I was warmed by the knowledge that I was dreaming and that here before me was a man, Merlin, with whom I had shared such wonderful fortune. He had shared his grace, along with his beauty and his intellect, in the most magical combination with me.

As we made eye contact, still never having said a word, he slowly knelt into the bay of my open legs.  Enthralled, my eyes slowly and unflinchingly shifted to look down into his as now he knelt before me.  He wore his glasses, his beard cropped close, his hair styled in a leonine full-bodied mane.  Moreover, I was moved by just how much this pose reflected the last night we had spent together – November 17, 1989.  With an acuity rarely achieved in the waking state, my mind lucidly assimilated this rapturous encounter.

Here before me knelt Merlin.  Merlin was the very embodiment of wholesome health, healing my spirit, releasing me from so much of the pain that I had endured.  Like that last night of his life, before dying of AIDS, I was overcome with emotion.  However, owing to the healing that this moment affected, now I wanted to melt in tears of joy.  More than that, the moment’s poignancy rose from how uncannily it mirrored our final encounter.

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About his slender long neck, Merlin wore a necklace of thick, copper-coloured coil that looked not the least bit malleable.  The coil was half an inch in diameter and set with beautiful large crystals of various colours.  The coil moved through each stone’s centre and each stone was deeply etched with golden hieroglyphs.  Although Mayan hieroglyphs bore the closest resemblance, the inscriptions resembled none in this planet’s long history.

The effect of the bronze-coloured coil and crystals was grounding.  The crystals gave off a low rumbling hum that was felt.  It was akin to the definite effect of my pyramid, in the waking state, but easily thrice as intense.  There were seven crystals in all.  Principally, there was the large, smoky rough-hued quartz set at the bottom of the circular coil.  

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Its design slowly shifted from within but its glow seemingly originating elsewhere.  It was huge and by far the most powerful.  One quarter the way around the circle, which was duplicated on the opposite side, there were three crystals.  The crystal in the middle was like nothing imaginable in the waking state.  It was a coppery-bronzed colour with hints of blue-lapis lazuli dust throughout which actually glistened.  

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With any slight movement, the dust shifted becoming copper-coloured.  When the colour shifted, I experienced a correspondingly subtle shift in the serenity that I felt.  The unusual central crystal was flanked by two small and perfectly clear crystals.  They were more radiant and powerful than any multiple-carat diamond yet found in the waking state.

It was actually difficult to sustain my focus on their exquisite beauty overlong.  They were dynamic and seemingly made of the heaviest element imaginable.  I was so pleased to see Merlin.  The necklace he wore was like a grounding conductor.  Seemingly, in order to manifest from his dimension to this dimensional dreamspace, he needed the energies of the crystals to join me.

He wore an argyle sweater that was not unlike one of the pastel ones I had bought him one Christmas.  This one though was an earthy brown which he had, years earlier, interestingly claimed to have preferred.  He effortlessly removed the crystal necklace placing it at my feet.  The humming abruptly ceased.  The crystals’ effect immediately shifted.  I actually felt a cool energy, from the crystals, buzz through my entire body travelling from my feet to the crown of my head.

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I watched as he detached the different crystals and made sure to leave the central one on the coil.  Somehow, he was able to remove the six crystals from the coil though the coil remained a perfectly whole circle.  As he kept placing the crystals, in different circular formations at my feet, he kept looking up at me with the warmest direct stare.  Each formation affected a different temporal lobe and corresponding area of my body.

I was experiencing crystals with a potency that never before had I known in the waking state.  I felt splayed by the experience.  There were times that I felt as though my body and head were being stretched – elastically elongated with an ease nowhere else possible except the astral plane in the dreamtime.  I thought then how absolutely incredible this man Merlin was – how truly fortunate I was to have met him, to have known him, to love him.

The lights noticeably further dimmed in the room.  Next, the central large crystal grew black changing into the most unusual design.  There had been an incredible energetic drain from me – energy which I suppose was collected in the now-transformed crystal which had remained about the coil.  

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From his left breast pocket, Merlin retrieved a little black pouch.  As he looked down at it, I said to him,

“Oh my god Merlin, you are so beautiful…”

I knew that I was dreaming and I was thinking at the time,

‘…I will never be able to meet you, again.  I’ll never see you again.  You’ll never be that perfect mélange of bloodlines that created the magic that was your every idiosyncrasy.’

He looked up and smiled making me again realise that everything, we said without speaking, was so very clearly, readily known to the other.

As he opened the little black pouch, my lips trembled.  I looked at those utterly gentle fingers that, I thought in passing, were now ashes in the earth at Toronto’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery,

‘Oh yes… those fingers, those beautiful delicate fingers.

‘Oh my god, yes…’ I simultaneously thought,

‘…These fingers, I will never see; they’ll never touch me again in the waking state – they’ll never exist again.’

Then, as if to eclipse my melancholy, he gently took my right hand in his.  Merlin’s still-sensual hands purposefully began pouring the little, black pouch’s contents into mine.  The touch of him was as intimate and as gentle, an evocative memory, as absent waves heard distantly lapping ashore on the beach in Pump Bay during childhood.  How, as in the still of the night, my mind would race wondering of what new vistas I was yet to dream – when I was a child in St. Kitts.

All along, I had restrained the desire to touch him for he seemed so much more evolved.  Truth be told, I was afraid that to physically reach out to touch him would only dissolve the dream.  Naturally, for becoming emotionally overwhelmed, the fear was that I would undoubtedly whiteout.  However, his touch was so real and so very familiar that I let out a heavy familiar sigh.

Into my palm spilled a dozen, perhaps more, of the most beautiful tiny crystals that were quite powerful.  The touch of them actually made my mind further expand.  My head seemed to contort, once again, with an élan that matched the lightning speed with which I assimilated the intense energies from the clutch of crystals into me.

They were more leaden, easily by ten times, than their small size betrayed.  They glowed and they were decidedly hypnotic.  They emitted a sense of music that was more experienced than heard.  In spite of the fact that they glowed, I brushed aside the beauty of them and chose instead the real magic.  I took his free hand with mine and began holding it, rubbing it, squeezing it.

Even more intently, I looked overjoyed into his arrestingly soulful eyes.  I began groaning, moaning, I was overcome with intense emotion.  This was, by far, the most alive and most lucid dream with Merlin since his passing some three years ago.  I wanted more… I wanted no moment of this great intimacy to stop.

I asked him to remove his glasses so that I could really look at his eyes.  He obliged and when he removed them his eyes weren’t their smoky grey-hazel-faded blue.  They were brown, in fact, but they were his eyes and I thought, ‘My god, you’ve got brown eyes,’ to which he slightly blushed.

He wore a beard; it was the usual bushy affair.  His lips were so moist, I said, “My darling, kiss me.”

Taking the lead, as I had when we met, I held the bottom of his ticklish beard and reached up his face to mine as I bent down.  We kissed each other.  It readily became a wonderfully slow and timeless dance high up our entwined greenhouses.  My spirits soared to even greater heights.  It was the greatest pleasure.

It was quite simply a sensory whiteout.  We did not use tongue.  We just kissed each other on the mouth.  Throughout, until it was no longer possible, our eyes remained perfectly glued to each other’s.  I turned my head to the right to kiss him, again.  It was a soft lingering kiss; it was a kiss of complete surrender in which was communicated so much.

As though he and I were two leviathan creatures swimming together in a sensual medium of liquid blue light, our intimacy was pure movement.  This aqueous light medium was immensely heavy and inhibited our progression to a slow-motioned crawl.  Progressing playfully, as though so many nanoseconds were deleted from each time-stretched moment, we effortlessly danced alone.  We were together and enraptured in a universe just for two – Merlin and me.

It was such great pleasure that, in its shared intimacy, it reflected the idiosyncrasies that we had known so well.  It was a continuation of the dance we familiarly had always intimately known.  It was such incredible intimacy that when the kiss was concluded the dream dissolved…

I sighed, on a deep sustained breath, besotted with the beauty of Merlin’s spirit.  This was a most rare dream, a most soulful of dreams, with the dream magus.   The sound of my breath was so loud that I actually felt the weight of my high-dreamer self as I crashed back into my body from, being astral-projected, high up the astral plane.

I felt fatigued, I felt spent, as is customary with such dream travel.  Whilst remaining still, I kept my lids shut.  Focussing on my weary breath, I allowed myself to drift upwards again.  This time, I melted into true sleep where I could rest and recoup my energies.  I awoke, about an hour later, in the nearly dark room of my tiny Queen Street West apartment in Toronto.  Rested, I was truly rejuvenated after all that astral projection in the first sleep cycle.

As is customary with reparatory sleep, there were no dreams recalled of the second sleep cycle.  I cried…  I cried for joy.  The realness of Merlin was so intense that after crying, for the first time since his passing, I grew aroused after dream contact.  I savoured the beauty of this man, Merlin, my elfin-dream magus.

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Pulling the black, satin blindfold back over my eyes, I slipped onto my stomach between the red satin bedding.  Tightly holding on to a pillow, my left cheek pressed into it and the bedding drawn up over my head, I withdrew into a sweat lodge where I could continue communing with Merlin’s very soul.  

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My right knee drawn up, I allowed my rock-hard cock to ride up against the bedding and away from my tummy.  Slowly, kneadingly, I ground my winding pelvis into the luxury of the bedding.  Ploughing away, beyond its wet folds, I massaged my lusty thoughts deep and high up into the magical greenhouse.  Whispering his name, my lips, my abs and body quivered.

From time to time, I managed my way up onto my toes.  This allowed the exquisite play of cock and bedding to draw out greater pleasure.  My abs ached.  Whilst sweat sheened throughout my shivering body, I shuddered as the inside of my thighs violently tremoured.  Merlin still knew how to work his magic on me.

Losing myself, my breath collapsed in repeated noisy, exhausted, shuddered grunts and groans.  I whispered his name proclaiming my love to that point.  In no other way could I have celebrated this truly profound astral plane encounter with Merlin in the dreamtime.  As ever, hands-free auto-eroticism resulted in a most profuse and exquisitely pleasurable orgasm.

So richly deserving was I to have lost myself this way – beyond the usual daily auto-erotic ritual.  I needed to savour this momentous dream encounter by making a solemn ritual of pleasurable thanksgiving.  I had been moved anew by Merlin’s magic.

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As ever, thanks for your ongoing support.  Plié, push off and start flying whether awake or dreaming cause this dance called life is the most goddamn beautiful dream.  I love you more.  

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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.  

Iris van Herpen & Schiaparelli

At the intersections of Vision, Art & Commerce exists the most timeless Couture.  

Iris van Herpen Paris Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2019/2020. 

Schiaparelli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2019/2020.  

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

The Markle Sparkle.

The duke and duchess were two hours late for their welcoming ceremony due to the knock-on effect of an earlier delay to their scheduled air service

Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex in Valentino Haute Couture in Morocco.  

Many moons ago, in the 80s when living next-door to designer, Alfred Sung on Cabbagetown’s Amelia Street, I was more obsessed with fashion than I now am.  Back then, lots of friends used to bemoan the paucity of black models appearing on catwalks of major house, in particular, Armani.  

In this 1992 Fashion Television feature portrait by Jeanne Beker, the thinking model, Veronica Webb makes passing reference to the paucity of black models in ad campaigns and even walking the catwalks of some houses.  

 

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Then along came a picture-perfect day in Berkshire when Sol shone with rays that sparkled as though laced with diamonds and platinum.  This phenomenal woman, this soul who had previously been Margaret Beaufort, she with an unparallelled sense of theatre, with poise, self-absorption and awareness in the space of a couple of hours proved herself a game changer.  That poise, elegance and revolutionary arrival onto the world stage got everyone to sit up and take notice.  Certainly, Pierpaolo Piccioli took notice.  He clearly thought that if Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex were going to favour haute couture in choosing Givenchy for the elegantly minimalist wedding gown then Maison Valentino had to step up and court the Duchess.  

Bored out of my mind, one day, I happened to be tune into a live event on Eva Chen’s IG @evachen212.  It was the Spring/Summer 2019 Maison Valentino Haute Couture show and as Eva shouted and praised the models and creations as they walked, I began crying.  Never had I seen so many black models walking in a show.  Then Naomi Campbell appeared, closing the show and I was simply floored.  Never had Ms. Campbell looked more radiant when walking the catwalk.  There was so much tangible love in the air, in that room.  This was a moment like no other.  There was no denying that Piccioli was courting Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex with that show, not just the ubiquity of black models but the number of creations that featured a bateau neckline were clear homage to the latest duchess of the House of Windsor.  

Listen to what Naomi has to say, near the end of the video, when speaking to British Vogue Editor, Edward Enninful.  There was nothing more overwhelming that seeing the response in that salon, from Naomi crying, to the adorably eccentric Reine de Charlemagne, Céline Dion crying her eyes out whilst sitting FROW along with Mr. Valentino himself, Valentino Garavani.  

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Campbell, Naomi 22/5/1970 London, England

Michael: This fragment is a second-level mature artisan — third life thereat.  Naomi is in the caution mode with a goal of rejection.  A realist, Naomi is in the moving part of emotional centre. 

Naomi’s body type is Saturn/Mercury. 

Naomi’s primary chief feature is arrogance and the secondary stubbornness. 

The fragment Naomi is fifth-cast in the sixth cadence; she is a fragment of greater cadence four.  Naomi’s entity is two, cadre four, greater cadre 7, pod 414. 

Naomi’s essence twin is an artisan and her task companion is a sage. 

Naomi’s primary needs are exchange, expression and freedom. 

There are 6 past-life associations with Arvin and 4 with Merlin. 

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Valentino : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Spring Summer 2019

Naomi epitomises what someone in the positive pole of discrimination looks like.  Of course, she is an artisan soul, which gives her that kaleidoscopic, chameleonesque mystique.  She also happens to be an entity mate of both John Hirsch and George Hawken; this is why George was always left speechless when she appeared on television.  He was bewitched and fascinated by her, which was rare for him where adoring famous persons was concerned.  As the recent trip by TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex to Morocco revealed, Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex certainly took notice of Pierpaolo Piccioli’s homage to her discriminating  sense of fashion and design.  

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As ever, I would be remiss if I did not take this time to state how deeply appreciative of your support all these years I am… thank you.  Here’s to life.   Here’s to you dreaming the most lucid of flying dreams… cause you can!  

 

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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.

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.

Interior of Royal Albert Hall.  

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.  

At Last, The Day Has Finally Arrived.

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With a spring in my step, I came up for air at Piccadilly Circus Station, whistling Ludwig Minkus’ glorious recurrent melody from La Bayadère with thoughts of the astounding Natalia Osipova uppermost in my thoughts.  

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I was returned to the Royal Academy to hunt for coffee table books.  

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More than that, I was on a mission; returned to Fortnum & Mason was I, directed there by the gracious clerk at The British Museum’s Grenville Room.  

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Armed with just over a dozen rose petal jellies, there was no less spring in my step as by now I sang aloud my merry little melody from La Bayadère.  I truly felt as though, on this trip to London, I was lucidly awakened in the most sensual dream.  Dreams so luscious are the ones which cause you to pause, smile and whisper near-mischievously, “Arvin, this is a dream and you’ve earned it.  Now push off and start flying.” 

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At such times, there is no thunder more glorious than the roar of my very soul as I laugh, enjoying my creative soul fulfilling itself.  I was reminded of those early days in our relationship in Manhattan when whilst ambling late at night for staying at Merlin’s agent Joyce Ketay’s Upper West Side apartment, whilst holding hands, I would push down as in dreams but end up doing an assemblé, in place of flying.  His rosy choirboy lips would warm in a smile whilst the ubiquitous fag or joint was elegantly perched between left index and middle fingers. 

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Bailing into to Piccadilly Circus, still feeling mighty spiffy of spirit, I opted against heading back down into the Underground – the place leaves me with sooty phlegm each time nose-blowing.  With that, I bailed out of the Circus and onto Shaftesbury Avenue and made my way to a favourite joint, Ben’s Fish n Chips.  

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There at a cosy table in the rear, I leisurely pleasured myself whilst finally reading the HRH Princess Margaret biography; it is delicious.  

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Blisters be damned, I elected to walk from Shaftesbury Square up to The British Museum and take in more art.  This being a Friday, there were school kids everywhere; my goodness, children have got powerful noise-making lungs!  Then again, what is childhood but play for the soul, which after having recently lived and died is now reborn and gets to celebrate and run up and down in a brand spankingly new and excitingly different body – to say nothing of being in the company of reincarnational travel companions some of whom now you can get a good schtup off of this time around, seeing that last time he now she looked like Quasimodo and even so, you weren’t then same-sexed focussed.  Ha!  

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In the bookstore was a clerk with whom I shared an interesting conversation last winter; he was a dead-ringer for scholar soul, right down to the glasses.  He suggested that I could take refuge in the Japanese wing and avoid the madness that was happily reincarnated souls screaming their lungs out and running hither and yon.  

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Before I could get there, moving around one corner from one gallery to the next, will you look at what I happened on.  

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On seeing it, I was readily warmed of spirit and let out a celebratory, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!”  In that moment, the sense of fellowship and belonging I only ever feel when in Canada for being around First Nations cultures, whether at a pow wow or not, proved the most refreshing drink for my questing soul around a corner in my favourite city, London.  

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Up one elevator, down one corridor then up another elevator and one was then posited into the most serene of galleries.  Now this is more my kind of groove.  

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All this exquisite splendour and not a single recently reincarnated soul running about and screaming way too powerful lungs out for such a tiny body.  

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This proved an interlude of slow-dancing with my very soul… the vibrations here were utterly harmonious with spirit.  

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Photography can never do this masterpiece justice.  

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I am reminded with this gem of the fabulous kimono of Merlin’s hung in our Cabbagetown home.  

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Can you hear my soul purring…

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Phenomenal. 

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My very favourite piece in the gallery; warm, fecund, sensual, curvaceous, feminine, grounding.  It truly is perfection; this after all is what womakind are: perfection of creation – we men just can’t handle it, hence religions which all without exception oppress womankind and tell them that creation is outside of themselves and some warring male god somewhere.  Ha… we men can never endure the pain of labour then get up a completely new aspect of creaturehood – no longer a woman but a mother to whom that child will ever be more closely bonded.  Love this piece.  

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This was the most beautiful adventure… for now, with a couple of coffee table books and toys for kids of a friend’s, I crisscrossed Russell Square Park and slept with my blistered feet raised whilst being held closer in sleep’s warm nurturing bosom and was readily tugged under into the world of lucid, inspired dreams.  

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On a gloriously balmy mid-November evening, I emerged from Covent Garden Station into a sea of humanity filled with love and laughter as the weekend was begun.  As lovers ambled past holding hands, I was reminded then of my life twenty-nine years earlier when the Berlin Wall was being toppled.  I was grateful in the moment because back then, two days before Merlin’s passing, I could not imagine myself being still focussed in this life with so much death and dying around me. 

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Yet, here was I with my happy little lambious (Merlin called me Lamb because I was more 9 parts enraged grizzly than timid lamb) self, in Covent Garden about to see a ballet because Marianela Nuñez, Natalia Osipova, Vadim Muntagirov, Matthew Ball, Francesca Hayward, Joseph Sissens, Steven McCrae, Iana Salenko were part of the most glorious group of ballet dancers.  

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Oh my, look at this; there have been changes afoot since last winter.  

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My pilgrimage to the shrine of high art is finally here!  What’s this, new coat check, new toilets, new dining area… wow! 

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No sooner than was I sat and along came a Jurassic hybrid, no chin, back so long may well have extra vertebrae and a neck that is too thick and long to be on a woman’s body but I am not judging just saying,.. 

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Well I did not cross the Atlantic just for this obstruction and her pheromone were decidedly reptilian.  As Frederick Jones would say, “I’m not havin’ it!” After a few gracious words with the accommodating ushers, my offer to stand through the entire performance seemed reasonable enough. 

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I stood on the steps up to the last row that was more centre of house than my ticket.  I did my best to ignore the chinless spinster who sat at the edge of the row, who promptly repositioned her handbag, as if it were a blasted Birkin!  Naturally, she kept eyeing me.  As I always carry Shaniqua in my back pocket, I was ready to hiss, the minute she stepped out of line.  

During the performance after the Bronze Idol danced his spectacular solo, I lost myself and yelled the loudest bravo in the house and wouldn’t the old bat have something to say, “Be quiet!” to which I leaned in and hissed, “grip harder on your butt plug and shut the fuck up!” Why do people insist on leaving their homes and act as though they are lord or lady of anyone else’s reality.  

Never mind her, the lovely Russian couple who sat in the front row looked back and approvingly yelled “Da!” at my exuberance.  Truly, what a glorious night in the theatre.  You cannot possibly begin to fathom the amount of flying dreams I have had since that night; it is as though, I perpetually am now flying-without-moving.  Of course, I haven’t yet shaken that exquisite Minkus melody from my lips but so be it.  There was something simply transcendent about having experienced the purity and perfection of the Kingdom of the Shades opening of Act III that will ever keep me richly inspired.  

Love is all and whatever it is that makes you want to fly without moving when awake grab on and tightly hold on – drugs don’t do it, they do you!  As ever, come closer let’s have a group hug and a bit of air frottage because life, alas, is the sweetest of dreams!  

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