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.  

Earl of Dumbarton.

Earl of Dumbarton

HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Prince Henry Duke of Sussex, HM Queen Elizabeth II, Doria Ragland, Earl of Dumbarton (Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor), Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex.  

I positively screamed and then began ululating at the news that TRH Duke & Duchess had been safely delivered of a healthy son.  I broke into tears on watching the BBC statement made by the Duke of Sussex.  Everything about this extraordinary human being inspires nothing but warmth, happiness and compassion from deep within me.  

Henry announces birth

Watching HRH Prince Henry bursting with pride as he announced the birth of his son, Earl of Dumbarton, I welled up with tears and burst out crying.  To me it was a healing moment after I fell to the floor of my Côte-des-Neiges, Montréal apartment crying as he walked behind his mother’s casket almost 22 years prior.  He had made it through alright after all.  

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor2

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, Earl of Dumbarton.  

The night after the birth, at the end of La Boheme, I cried my eyes out; happy at the birth of this wonderful child but also because I had just witnessed one of the best opera performances in long ages. 

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Based on past-life histories of the three persons in this photograph, there is no coincidence with them presenting the Earl of Dumbarton in St. George’s Hall, Windsor Castle.  

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Diana, Princess of Wales’ greatest legacy will always be how handsomely she succeeded at being a great parent. 

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As ever, thanks for your ongoing support.  Thanks for your patronage in the past and do please continue buying my dream memoirs, available online partout!  

 

 

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

Gosh that was fun!

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Thanks to World Ballet Day, there was positively nothing or no one that was going to dissuade me from hitting London town.  Armistice Day and La Bayadère, you say… ha!

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Naturally, I returned to London, in my ongoing research/quest for more connections to the past as it pertains to the six-volume dream memoirs.  Though I had hoped to publish volume three this year, 2018, ongoing research has meant its delay until Spring 2019.  

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After dropping luggage at the hotel in Russell Square, it was a quick dash on the Piccadilly Line to Leicester Square Station where the 10-day London Pass with Oyster card was collected.  On this gloriously mild Saturday morning, I took a quick snap of St. Martin-in-the-Fields across Charing Cross, before slipping into the National Portrait Gallery.  

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Before having found what I went looking for, I first took a detour through the Tudor Gallery where, alas, there were no portraits of Margaret Beaufort.  That done, I moved down to the open space where the exhibition: Black is the new Black was housed.  

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Stunning portraits, I love the blue-blackened soulfulness of the portraits; these are all eyes that are thoroughly ensouled and lived-in.  Next, it was off to the salon where what I went looking for was handsomely displayed.  

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Enraptured, I passed long forevers fully engrossed by National Portrait Gallery’s recent acquisition of Wim Heldens’ oil masterpiece – portrait of the art collector and benefactor couple, Harry and Carol Ann Djanogly.  The oil on canvas is handsomely hung in salon 38 and was painted in 2017 by Wim.  Wim, I met in NYC at Manhattan cabaret singer, Frans Bloem’s West Village townhouse when we went out back in the early 1990s.  I had been in town visiting with Frans from Vancouver; we met when I then lived in Toronto and finally, the relationship ran its course on my relocation to the west coast and not to be overlooked but sex with Frans was as meh as warm, runny vanilla ice cream.  Of course, by the time that I was visiting Frans and he was out of town, I met Wim; the latter was sick in bed and I looked in on him between going to the theatre and galleries in the city.  Apart from godawful sex, Frans was a little too obsessed with Diana Ross for my liking – it all seemed too sissy-queer-boy, clichéd and banal. 

Distracted by Wim Heldens

Besides, by the visit where I met Wim, who was the warmest of souls – Wim is an old-souled scholar and it shows in spades in his works – I had long discovered the raunchy funk of hot sex deep into the woods of Vancouver’s Stanley Park where the world’s largest city park (1000 acres) is ever ten degrees warmer than elsewhere in the city during the sodden wintry months as the half millennium-aged sitkas keep the place comfortably warm.  There was no need for the ennui of sex with Frans after tying raunchy fuckers to a sitka and whipping them; besides, positively nothing beats fucking in nature – truly, it is the most empowering, grounding experience.  

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On leaving the National Portrait Gallery, I ambled down Charing Cross, took the time to admire the bronze springbok that lords over the entrance to the Republic of South Africa’s embassy with the maple leaf-festooned Canadian Embassy to the west across Trafalgar Square.  

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Down into the bowels of Charing Cross station, I then skipped and hopped the Bakerloo Line to Lambeth North Station.  There on a gloriously temperate and sunny Saturday afternoon, I made my way to the Imperial War Museum and was rather moved by the beauty of the metallic poppies that tearfully bled from a bathysphere-styled window at the museum’s domed rotunda.  This glorious display was part of the centenary celebrations of Armistice Day 100 years earlier which marked the close of World War I.  

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Standing in the atrium of the museum, I was reminded how geography does determine the scale of architecture.  Relative to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D. C., there is no way that the relative limitless wide-open spaces of America would find military gear in such close cramped quarters as at the Imperial War Museum’s atrium. 

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I was there to take in the exhibition, Mimesis, which honoured, on the 100th anniversary of the close of WWI, the contributions of blacks from across the Commonwealth.  Turns out, it was not a photographic exhibition; rather, it was a most evocative of films.  

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From South Bank, it was back to Embankment Station and onto the Circle Line to Tower Hill Station.  There, emerging into the sparkling and relatively warm daylight, one was readily reminded of Vancouver temperatures at this time of year.  Into the perpetual queues one headed for a chance to gaze on the Crown Jewels at Tower of London.  

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Going in, the ravens were keeping a watchful eye… as is their wont and the tourists here were predominantly East Asian.  

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Seeing these metallic simians, I was reminded how good London’s fortune is not to be inundated by predatory monkeys… as is the case in both St. Kitts and Nevis.  

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After having viewed the Crown Jewels, this photo of Tower Bridge, suggested that the fast-moving clouds, though stormy-looking, would not break just yet.  

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About half an hour later, the vista to the west looked dramatically foreboding.  I tried to negotiate and decided that these clouds did not look all that fast-moving, besides they were considerably to the west.  

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Into one of the city’s ubiquitous and thoroughly indispensable Pret A Manger joints I slipped.  There, I dined on a hearty sandwich and had one of way too many raspberry smoothies.  

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Each day, wherever I travelled, there was always one in each pocket.  

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This little rocket was the must-have.  Always, there was one handily tucked away deep inside my black Dorothy Grant messenger bag as I darted about my favourite town, on my favourite West Indian isle – it really does vibrationally feel as though in the West Indies, besotting my insatiable soul with culture, art and more high-end inspiring fare.  

After having interminably waited out the rains, along came 1700 and time for the second to last day of the torch light ceremony at the Tower of London in honour of the centenary of WWI’s conclusion.  And so, of deference one waited out the rains, which rolled through in waves – waves they were which seemed increasingly more monsoon.  Finally, the show was begun and after having been soaked sans parapluie and too many souls – I do not like crowds, I opted to make this short clip as I could not see a damn torch on the ground and headed for the warmth of a hotel suite in Bloomsbury.  

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After being soaked to the gills to get into Tower Hill Station, no sooner than being on the platform and headed towards King’s Cross St. Pancras, along came the announcement that the station was now closed as there were too many souls on the platform to assure everyone’s safety.  Back out into the torrential downpour, we all grumbled, huddled and shivered; this downpour was seriously fierce.  

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After much aimlessly darting about the crowded and flooded streets of the city, two-plus hours later, finally a cab was dispatched and into a very cool hotel suite I arrived.  Somehow, in spite being soaked to the bones and frigidly cold, I managed not to have come down with the sniffles, a cough or runny nose. 

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Soon, wakefulness gave way to sleep and I was readily awakened into a plethora of dreams, which are always thrillingly, lucidly awakened in this favourite city of my well-travelled soul.  A day filled with adventure lay ahead; it was Armistice Day 2018 and I would manage to be captured on ITV film of the ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.  

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

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

All Too Human… And Then Some!

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Well, after having been dazzled by Natalia Osipova, there was no doubt what next adventure my soul had to devour.  I arrived at Pimlico Station and enjoyed the cool brisk walk to the red and white gorgeousness of the neighbourhood architecture.  I arrived at 08:50, a good hour ahead of the opening.  I took the time to place my palm on as many of the august sycamore trees in the neighbourhood as I could.  There were some high-end cars waiting out front of the Tate Britain Museum to take in All Too Human as yet another jetliner roared towards London Heathrow.  Definitely bulletproof, a stately Benz sat closest to the entrance with a smoky grey Bentley, SUV no less, parked furthest of the cars.  

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Eventually, persons began turning up and the engaging West African security agent who had the same strong, proud, full-lipped mouth as Leontyne Price’s closed one of the two heavy black doors to protect me as I waited outside the main glass sliding doors as a private event was underway — thus one couldn’t be allowed inside.  Finally, persons began leaving, one of whom — in a beautifully vivid red coat — was Cherie Blair CBE, QC.  She was proud-looking and had the kind of broad body that as I child was so familiar when growing up in the West Indies.  She had that air about her that bespoke a life in the public eye; someone made a curt remark and she was quick on the rebuttal.  I was much humoured and reminded of Saddam Hussein trading insults with the men who moments later gladly terminated his life.  

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Finally, it was on to the business in hand and what a beautifully stunning exhibition; one of the best contemporary art exhibitions that I have attended in years.  The greatest discovery was the lush, richness of the Lucian Freud still-life, Two Plants.  Thoroughly layered, engrossing and lyrical in its deft vividness.  I was left teary eyed by its sublime beauty. 

Sleeping by the Lion carpet Leigh Bowrey

Of course, I was moments earlier moved to dewy-eyed focus when drinking in the rich tableau of the portrait of creative artist and true eccentric, Leigh Bowery whom many years earlier I had seen perform in New York City.   I was reminded, of course, in Leigh’s passing of the countless many whom I have lost along the way to AIDS.

All Too Human

The poster for the show at Russell Square Tube Station in Bloomsbury.  A wonderful tribute to Leigh who covered a fair bit of ground during his lifetime… sweet and blissful dreams be yours…  

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Naturally, I booked my flight based on two things: one, Giselle with Osipova and secondly, a joint exhibition featuring Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon.  For that, I would gladly hop a Tesla to Iapetus.  Of course, this exhibition was a pilgrimage of sorts for me and it was a way of paying homage to the artistic accomplishments of cadre mates.  

Study for Portrait of Lucian Freud Francis Bacon

As per the portrait of Lucian Freud above, these two artists are cadre mates of mine and Merlin’s.  Lucian Freud is a mature priest in our entity (6).  Along with Rudolf Nureyev and Grace Jones, Francis Bacon is next-door in entity 5 of our cadre.  Francis is a mature artisan, Grace Jones a mature warrior and Rudolf Nureyev a mature sage… and how.  I was thoroughly warmed to have drunk of their spirits.  

Portrait of Isabel Rawsthorne 1966 by Francis Bacon 1909-1992

This particular portrait, Isabel Rawsthrone, I especially loved.  Raw, primal and emotionally intense there is something decidedly operatic about the focussed intensity of this portrait.  After initially getting over the intensity of it, it proves rather warm and enveloping.  

Three Figures and Portrait 1975 by Francis Bacon 1909-1992

This was a thoroughly arresting and soul-stirring adage; it was a beautiful way to have begun the day’s adventures.  

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After walking past the noise of the construction/renovations taking place on the first floor — one of the workers was a real pulse-racer, looking as he did like no end of hot, rough sex and in work gear no less!  Then it was downstairs to take in the Impressionists in London exhibition.  I did not buy the catalogue.  I always am a bit put-off by the association of the word “dream” when describing the works of impressionists.  There is nothing unfocussed or diffused about dreams.  Trust you me, as someone who recalls at least half a dozen dreams on average, oftentimes, dreams prove the most lucid part of any given day.  Perhaps, it was all the wine the French impressionists consumed but the maudlin-feeling lighting just doesn’t do it for me… most times.  

Notting Hill Gate

Having had my fill, off I went from Pimlico to Nothing Hill Gate in the wet snow and made the long trek to Kensington Palace where one of the most glorious flying dreams in this lifetime was set — also, in that dream was a then incarnate, Diana, Princess of Wales with her two beautiful-spirited sons, the future HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and HRH Prince Henry of Wales and Duke of as-yet-known after he marries his beautiful bride, Ms. Meghan Markle — a mature artisan, to his mature warrior and an entity mate of his no less.  

Kensington Palace

On the long trek along Broad Walk in Kensington Gardens from the high street, I enjoyed the look of snow everywhere.  The odd flake fell from time to time as joggers braved the fierce wind off the park.  One brave soul with a shock of close-cropped red hair, sported the greatest thighs as he jogged strictly in a pair of wrestler’s shorts.  He proved warming for my blood, indeed.  

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As I got towards the edge of Kensington Palace the handsome raven above swooped in from off my rear right and towards the palace.  He alighted, cocked the head at me and kept taking to the wind to come closer, all the while fixing me with a hard gaze.  “Yes, of course, you can see my heart.  Love is the password” I said aloud to the totemic creature as it kept on calling at me and edging ever closer, though, not being confrontational.  Satisfied with my password, seemingly, it bobbed and took to the air never to alight again.  I rather appreciated the warm welcome.  

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I loved the sparse beauty of the King’s Gallery at Kensington Palace, which — for me at least — was lauded over by the Equestrian Portrait of HM King Charles I by Sir Anthony van Dyck, who happens to be in entity 1 of my cadre; he, presently incarnate and one of my oldest friends, shortly is about to return from his winter stay at his Acapulco penthouse; I will be visiting him later this spring on the Canadian west coast.

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A truly beautifully tailored, handsome suit, this one.  I am not a big fashion person — I believe that one is best dressed when naked and preferably tumescent.  I did, though, rather enjoyed the movement through the Diana, Princess of Wales exhibition.

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A very beautiful second-level mature artisan, she was too.  

HRH Catherine Duchess of Cambridge

Having been inspired by Diana, Princess of Wales’ portrait, I made my way to Charing Cross Station in Trafalgar Square and cut across the street where there was a broken water main flooding the street.  As usual, Yoda was there doing his routine and, no doubt, earning a pretty quid.  I took in the HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge-curated exhibition, which had opened two nights earlier on my arrival.  Though, I had stood outside the National Portrait Gallery to catch a glimpse of her arrival, I soon dashed off in the increasing snowfall, if I were to make my Jazz at Lincoln Center performance across town at the Barbican Center.  So, having missed seeing her in person, the next best thing was to go gaze at the portrait of HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.  I love it as it is so layered and complex; she is a late-mature warrior soul.  

National Portrait Gallery

As I move very, very quickly, I was out of there and soon grabbing a take-away fish and chips at Ben’s on Shaftesbury.  I then headed back to my hotel, ate, napped and got ready for a night at Royal Albert Hall to see OVO.  

Royal Albert Hall

Never before had I taken in a Cirque du Soleil performance — I have my reasons…  Nonetheless, I just wanted to enjoy anew the ambiance and acoustics of the marvellous auditorium.  

OVO

The show was no more engaging or exciting than bad bathhouse sex, which if it weren’t so late, one would never have bothered engaging in.  A perfectly forgettable tourist sort of thing to indulge when there was no other nighttime entertainment going that was worthwhile.  I could have taken in 42nd Street in the West End but I had already seen it at least a dozen times when then living and dancing in New York City in the early 1980s.  The idea of taking in 42nd Street was only slightly less irritating than the thought of messy bathhouse sex… options… choices, indeed!  

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After the show, on the long walk from Royal Albert Hall to South Kensington Station, a young mesomorph asked me for a fag — I don’t smoke — but it was obvious what he was after.  He sat across the narrow aisle on the eastbound Piccadilly Line ride and the rest proved a rather memorable night.  

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The morning after the night before, it was off to Windsor Castle, of which I will next blog.  

All Too Human Catalogue

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As ever, sweet dreams and thank you for your ongoing support.  

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

Come Celebrate!

Come celebrate with me the launch of volume II of both Merlin and Arvin: A Shamanic Dream Odyssey and A Six Volume Michael Overleaves Appendix at my über chic Toronto apartment this December 22, 2017 at 2000hrs.

On hand will be copies of both volumes I & II of both the memoirs and the Michael Overleaves Appendices.  Great music, nibbles and an open bar.

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Nature of Things I of III Artist Proof2

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Sockeye Salmon

Owls

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As ever, sweet dreams and thank you so much for your ongoing support!

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

Four Standing Figures.

Four Standing Figures Henry Moore

Four Standing Figures

Lithograph

12.5 x 15 in

11/50

©1978 Henry Moore

Provenance: Collection of Arvin da Brgha

Let there be art.  Let there be love.  

Back in 1982, Merlin and I were holding up at the Trockadero loft — home of Natch Taylor and his dancer lover, William Zammy Zamora.  Theirs was a beautiful loft in New York City’s Chelsea where across the street presided the block-long, imposing green edifice of one of those grand buildings found only in America.

One evening after rehearsals for a dance concert, I hung out with dancers from the Nanette Bearden Dance company, then finally made my way home late at night.  When I got in, Merlin was at the loft’s rustic kitchen/dining table with a large sketch pad with director, Jim Henson with whom he would be working in Toronto, filming the inaugural season of Fraggle Rock.  Tall, slightly drooped and intense, Jim briefly chatted but remained focussed on the task in hand.

Presently, he and Merlin were going over sketches and design ideas on respective pads for the shows.  At the time, whilst standing behind Merlin seated at the table, I remarked that the sketches were not unlike Henry Moore sculptures.  Both men simultaneously responded, “Hmm” to which we all laughed as it was reminiscent of the creatures in Mr. Henson’s feature film, Dark Crystal which had weeks earlier opened wide in theatres.  The film was a definite favourite of Merlin and mine.

Merlin remarked that the design were not dissimilar to Henry Moore’s sculptures whose massive curvaceousness, Merlin and I had agreed were feminine, .elegant and beautiful.  This discussion about art was had late at night, after having fucked like rottweilers at the Hotel Chelsea where he held up one weekend when in town from Toronto to both network but mostly to secure a right, proper ploughing of which he could never get enough… we both could never get enough.

On the whole, both men agreed that there were unconscious Henry Moore influences to their design sketches.  Those sketches would be further refined and were recently shared herein.  What none of us at the time could have known, was how spot-on was my observation.  As it would turn out, Henry Moore happens to be an old soul artisan who is an entity mate of both Merlin’s and mine.  Furthermore, Jim Henson who is an early mature artisan, also happens to be strongly bonded to Henry Moore, Merlin and I as he is in entity one of cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414, to all three of us being in entity six, of cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414.

Always, it is nice to find the ties that bind and it was really good of me to have picked up on that cadre connection when looking at the sketches and throwing Henry Moore ‘out there’ as it were.  The evening was lovely but I was in my restless youthfulness, dying to be alone yet again with Merlin and get on with the business of sinfully sweating whilst celebration life… love.

As ever, thank you for your ongoing support and do know that I shall shortly be starting a podcast, plus volume two of both my dream memoirs and the Michael Overleaves appendix will be launching soon, here at my art filled and recently redecorated home…

Sweet dreams as ever!

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

Hot Rhythm.

hot-rhythm-1961

Hot Rhythm

Oil on Canvas

40 x 48 inc

©1961 Archibald J. Motley

Provenance: Chicago History Museum.

Love this rousing masterpiece!  

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

Put Your Complaints ‘Ere

my-ere

Put Your Complaints ‘ere

Lithograph

41 x 29 inc

Edition: 13/67

©2002 Robert Davidson

Provenance: Collection Arvin da Braga.

My but this makes me purr…  Lovely way to start Black History Month.  

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

In Memoriam: George F. Hawken

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(George F. Hawken – February 5, 1999, Montréal, Québec)

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This past Friday, December 23, 2016, I went to my doctor’s to get my test results for HIV.  The doctor whom I had not seen in long ages was unusually engaging.  When he finally cut to the chase, never had he announced that my test result was HIV negative with so much pleasure; I thought it odd at the time.  Brushing past all that, I then inquired of him how George Hawken was doing; after all, George years earlier on my return to Toronto had insisted that I have the handsome Sino-Canadian for a GP as well. 

Marta 74 George Hawken Intaglio on Paper

Marta.  Intaglio on Paper. 1974 George Hawken  

 

As he paused, I told him that I could appreciate his patient-client confidentiality considerations; however, forging ahead, I told him that I had sent George an email more than a week earlier and had not heard back from him.  Pressing on, I inquired if George was doing well of late as I had last been in touch a couple of months earlier.  In that way that the good doctor had mastered, he haltingly stammered back that yes, George was doing well…  We then left it at that as clearly he did not want to pursue the matter further – he had actually stood up to conclude our visit.   

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Pink Chair 1992 George Hawken  (Arvin)

 

About a week earlier, I was feeling especially uneasy about not having had a reply from George to my last email; he would always answer within 36 hours at the latest.  By then, it had been about a week; we hardly ever spoke by phone on my return from Montréal.  Previously, when we spoke by phone our conversations back in the late 80s and through to mid 90s resulted in an invitation from George to immediately get together where our passionate physicality was intense beyond the norm. 

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Gordon and Janet in their Garden.  Lithograph 2009 George Hawken 

 

To still my worrisome mind, I began playing Joseph Haydn’s Paris symphonies; George favoured the Paris symphonies where I favoured the London Symphonies.  George  had actually introduced me to Haydn’s music; he insisted that I become better acquainted with the 18th century composer’s works.  When first I sat for George in 1986, at his Brock Avenue loft in the Queen Street West neighbourhood, he always played Haydn…  I would always love the way, he would play imaginary keyboard whilst enjoying a cigarette break as I privately sat for him. 

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Franz Kafka – Kafka Suite. Intaglio 1982 George Hawken 

 

One of the funniest memories of George is lying in bed with him after passionate play at the Brock Avenue loft and laughing hysterically whilst we listened to CBCFM and a Florence Foster-Jenkins performance.  Afterwards, we indulged another round of Rottweiler style passion that was part Greco-Roman brawn.  On my return to Toronto, George and I never resumed our physical relationship; though, I had at least hoped that I could serve as muse to him again.  Alas, it was not to be. 

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Book Cover Illustration. 1980 George Hawken 

 

One morning after work, with Haydn symphonies swirling about my mind as my apartment was sodden heavy with the Paris symphonies, I suddenly made a right whilst coming up Yonge Street and headed along Adelaide Street East.  Then, I went one better and hung a left up Sherbourne Street for the morning ride home; never had I done this.  Riding up Sherbourne, the familiar strains of Haydn’s Symphony No. 85 B flat major ‘La Reine’ spirited me along as I leisurely rode up the moderately icy, dedicated bike lane. 

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Fly. Etching. 1976 George Hawken 

 

Just above Shuter Street, George suddenly fell into my mind and I crouched forward towards the handlebar to best face into the cold winds barrelling down the avenue.  Whilst coasting up the bike lane opposite Allan Gardens Park, my mind as I whistled Haydn’s symphony began recalling moments of passion with George long years earlier.  I thought of those glorious nights of noisy, sweaty passionate play at his McCaul Street loft; I crouched forward even more as my face warmed into a smile at pleasurable memories. 

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Beethoven Asleep.  Etching. 1975 George Hawken 

 

If only, I still had George’s numbers, I would call him on getting home; it was so unlike him not to have responded to the email that I had sent him on December 13, 2016.  Peddling harder up the tough stretch of bike lane between Carlton and Wellesley Street East, I suddenly began slowing down as a large black hearse slowly negotiated its way from the Rosar-Morrison Funeral Home & Chapel property at 467 Sherbourne Street; it waited in the middle of the bike lane for northerly flowing traffic to ease up. 

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Pink Chair I/III AP. Lithograph. 1990 George Hawken  (Arvin)

 

I rolled up and paused looking squarely into the hearse where a cardboard coffin was bound and en route to the St. James Cemetery and Crematorium over on Parliament Street.  This was the same route that my father’s cadaver had taken after his funeral in August 2008 which George had attended.  I was so appreciative of the fact that he had asked if he could attend my father’s funeral.  After the lovely service, I had approached George and we hugged and he seemed really pleased to have made the outing. 

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Woman. Lithograph. 1980 George Hawken 

 

Moments afterwards another of my lovers, Owen Hawksmoor came by to start lecturing me about the importance of having many friends; after all, said he, look at all the people who had turned out to my father’s funeral.  Then said, Owen, as can ever be expected of him, “you should at least have six people who would be prepared to pall bear for you.”  Brushing him and his big sex cockiness aside, I rebutted, “trust you to always make for a bitter after taste.  What’s it to me, I’d be dead; it really wouldn’t matter anymore than it does now.” 

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Yonge Street Mask. AP Etching. 1971 George Hawken  

 

I broke and hopped off the bike and intently looked inside at the brown cardboard coffin; it seemed an eternity waiting for the hearse to finally make it off the bike lane and into traffic.  In those moments, I again thought of George and that was when it suddenly dawned on me that I was never going to hear from George again.  Further, I had the distinct impression that what had prompted me to route-change for the first time, to be humming and whistling one of Haydn’s Paris symphonies: symphony No. 84 in B float major is because George’s corpse lay in the hearse before me en route to St. James Cemetery and Crematorium. 

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Myself  (Self-portrait) AP Etching. 2008 George Hawken 

 

Without doubt, this was why I was in this place in this moment before an austere black hearse straddling the northbound bike lane on Sherbourne which I had never used before en route home from work.  With that, as the hearse slowly pulled out onto Sherbourne and then made a right turn onto Wellesley Street East, the traffic in the icy snowy street was sufficiently slow that I rode alongside the hearse along the side of the cardboard coffin and accompanied all the way to the black wrought iron gates of the cemetery on Parliament Street. 

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Baudelaire II. Etchin. 1975 George Hawken 

 

After I got in, had a shower and had my lovely home infused with Hoju incense, Haydn’s symphony No. 104 in D major ‘London’ played on repeat as I grounded anew.  Though it was not especially windy out, there was a loud noise on my balcony and wrapping up in my lovely woollen pea coat, I took to the balcony to investigate.  The first sight that greeted me was a heavy plume of sooty black smoke from the crematorium’s chimneys as they were being swept southerly in the cold wintry morning air.  I lost a tear and on returning indoors, though my Google search on coming home produced nothing for ‘George Hawken Obituary’ I still felt firmly that there was no coincidence to the sequence of events and synchronicity of the past several days which culminated in the black hearse across the bike lane. 

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Colin Campbell. Etching. George Hawken 

 

As it is always tough to close shut, I gave the door to the balcony a bit of encouragement by heaving my right shoulder into it.  On turning away from the door, I noticed one of George’s gifts to me “Woman” was titled off its hook on the cement wall where moments before taking to the balcony it had sat perfectly aligned.  Yet another sign indeed.  Finally, today at work, as I kept checking the folder which bore all George’s email correspondences, then did a Google search for ‘George Hawken Obituary’ alas there was confirmation.  George had died the day before I had sent him my final email; it was one in which I offered to buy a copy of an illustration which he had done for an anthology of emerging Canadian authors. 

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George Hawken, 1970s.

Again, today after work, I rode up the Sherbourne Street bike lane and it all fell into place.  Almost always when I went to our shared doctor, there would George be.  Finally, when I saw him after a long spell of not having been in touch, he sat birdlike in the doctor’s office and he was just as stunned to have seen me walk in as I was to have seem him looking so gravely ill.  George had said that it was cancer; we there and then made arrangements to get together and did.  I was so pleased that he had finally met my lovely sister, Pandora and it was lovely going to George’s Camden Street penthouse suite for dinner with my lovely sister when she was in town from Ottawa. 

Self Portrait 5. Etching. 1984 George Hawken 

Today, whilst riding up the bike lane on Sherbourne Street, the doctor’s excitable congratulations to my testing HIV negative made so much sense.  Too, his response to my query how George was doing of late and his response that he was doing well, indeed, made perfect sense.  By Friday, December 23, 2016, George was doing well and in a better place no longer suffering from the wear and tear of his end-of-life monadal illness.  Ours was a very private relationship and there were only two persons in George’s life with whom I enjoyed cordial relations: his son and his lover, Colin Campbell.  I rather suspect that Colin is George’s task companion. 

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Grete.  Etching. George Hawken 

 

I will ever be proud of having been an inspiring muse to George and for having facilitated the energetic work that he did in the late ‘80s to mid ‘90s.  Our passion fuelled his creativity; what’s more, our passion kept me focussed and grounded in this life as Merlin and his ravaging illness and the hideous ghouls who betrayed him in his illness made life at times more harrowing than already the illness made it.  George and his compassion and support were invaluable for me and Merlin was aware of it and openly and unselfishly encouraged it; he knew that I needed that support as with his passing the vipers in his circle would readily dispense with me.  Alas, all things being mutual, dispense with the ill-evolved lot I gladly did. 

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Hearts and Flowers. Intaglio. 1976 George Hawken

Sweet and blissful dreams my darling ennobled George; I am honoured to have fostered and enabled your creativity to have lotussed into greater flower.  Yours was a most rare and beautiful spirit and yet again our love shall dance and soar to higher octaves.  My heart centre is wide open to facilitate your journey in whatever capacity of our choosing in the dreamtime.  Ever, will I love you more. 

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

This Corona’s for You!

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On my return from a giddy trip to both Washington D.C. and New York City – which Merlin ever referred to as Babylon, I would dream this most exquisite of flying dreams.  Too, this dream of bucolic splendour occurred on the eve of that truly rhapsodic adage – previously shared herein – entitled: Won’t Take the A Train. 

At the time, I had decamped to Babylon – after having cut short a trip to Washington D.C. and having secured part of my art collection from a roué Russian boor who, after having attempted to con me out of my art with the offer of setting up a home together, then crawled into my ear, calling me the N-word and let me know that it simply wasn’t going to work between us; this on my return to Toronto from the latest trip down to be with him. 

Naturally, for good measure, he thanked me for the art… as he hissed his racially predatory bile in my fucking ear, my nostrils drew on a few quickened breaths as raptor-like this shrewd intellect of yours truly began rapaciously charming my way back for just one more visit.  Of course, he could have the art but we had after all planned on going to Kennedy Center and the wedding of a friend of his. 

He acquiesced… the damn fool.  Returned to Washington D.C., thank goodness he was into S&M because his neighbours were little bothered as tied and gagged, I took to him with leather strap wrapped tightly about my black custom gauntlet as opera blared through his 5ksqf condo.  After having riotously owned his ploughed under arse, I dragged him to the living room where whilst he remained crumpled, bound and gagged, I patiently removed my art from his previously naked walls, left the god awful gold frames on one, rather than both hooks, as previously, carefully wrapped the prints and placed them in the containers in which they had been transported from Toronto weeks earlier. 

As the music soared, I moved his bound body to the bathtub, slumped him inside, relieved my bladder in his face as he ever loved during regular play… this, though, was anything but regular play.  Truly enraged, as is the custom at such times, I said nothing whilst my eyes remained illegible beyond my shades.  After I was done fucking with him for having fucked with me – I deal with karma here and now; besides, who would want to meet this boor in any future life – I called a cab and went to Union Station.  Took another cab to the airport, changed my flight itinerary and made it to that glorious island like none that I knew whilst growing up in the Caribbean. 

As for the roué, I called his best friend and told him that he, perhaps, ought to go check in on him as I had been out in Dupont Circle and my amour fou – and his best friend – was not answering the phone.  Of course, we both knew that apart from S&M our drunken Russian regularly engaged in auto-erotic asphyxiation.  Since I had met someone at a bar in Dupont Circle, I shared that I intended to go home with him and, perhaps, he ought to go and look in on his best friend.  As expected, he readily agreed and hurried me off the line – to say nothing of permanently out of my life. 

That done, I hung up the payphone at the American Airlines lounge at the airport, boarded my flight and as the plane roared down the runway, the one music I always listen to on takeoff, Jessye Norman gloriously roared whilst singing Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs. 

Lids languorously collapsed shut as the memory and thought of what should never have progressed beyond a one-night stand drifted away.  Seriously, where would have been the fun of having to pass my life time-wasting with an ill-equipped man of less than five inches… quelle fuck-all joie ça! 

So there was I returned to Babylon having secured MY art.  I then had to prevail on one of Merlin’s oldest friends – a Toronto WASP Brahmin with a penchant for being a classist boor – to say nothing of bore… god who on Avenue Foch knows or cares about these people?  At the time, my other lover, Manhattan cabaret singer, Frans Bloem was out of town and working at his bread-and-butter gig. 

As I was not prepared to pass an evening with Carl Leroiderien, Merlin’s friend, being socially snide and all that transparent silliness, I got up in a pair of high heels, hot pants and tied my shoulder length permed hair in a ponytail and went crawling further south into the Village and ended up dancing at the Stonewall Inn which was recently made a national monument by President Barack H. Obama. 

Of course, whilst I shook arse in my high heels, I had some big-handed, intensely beautiful-eyed Canadian lawyer from Montréal end up bump and grinding against me.  Soon enough, back at his hotel, I discovered there was reward in having recovered my art and not having settled for trifling fare – my Italian stallion proved a girthsome ten inches of delightfulness. 

More than all that, the tree you see accompanying this exquisite flying dream, I planted after having returned to Nevis for my 7th birthday on August 2, 1967.  My mother, Harella da Braga, knew that seven was my favourite number and asked what I would like for my birthday.  As I had relocated from Nevis to St. Kitts at all of 7 months old, there simply was no other gift that could do it for me.  The day trip to Nevis was the most lucidly awakened dream this side of the dreamtime had – at least to that point in my young exciting life.   

The following summer, my mother who was as cold and emotionally remote as can be imaged, came to the door in that photo of the house we then lived in – after having been unceremoniously excommunicated from the Pilgrim Church down the street – and presented me with a lone large mango.   Naturally, as the lastborn of six children, getting a whole of anything – let alone a mango – was simply unheard of. 

However, the enigmatic Harella shared – after I had scrambled down from the genip tree where I daily retreated to take naps, dream and imagine myself on fantastic voyages and sometimes, though, rarely read – that the mango was from Nevis and she knew how much Nevis meant to me.  I was floored by the gesture. 

So whilst I sat making love to the ‘Nevis’ mango, my adorable sister, Pandora edged down onto third to last step to quietly sit – just one behind me – and asked for a bite or two.  Ever precocious, without missing a beat, I assured her that she could have as many mangoes as she wished of the tree that, in time, the half-exposed seed of the fruit that I thoroughly relished would yet bare. 

Always a man of my word, I then promptly planted the seed and – never, of course, having afforded my sister a single bite – erected a flower garden about it.  I made sure to plant it outside my bedroom window so that each day, I would be greeted by its burgeoning beauty on throwing open the bedroom window. 

Life is about giving – giving of self.  I have never tasted a mango from that tree.  The last time that I returned to St. Kitts – 1993 at least whilst the tree yet lived; it was gone in 2002, I am simply too eccentric and too much an off-islander to ever return there – the tree was promptly felled on my departure.  The locals, as human society can ever be expected to react to anything remotely outré, decided that my being long-haired, a ballet dancer, in riding boots and multiple bracelets on each arm was too gross an affront. 

Pandora did have many mangoes from that tree and I was always proud on my first return to St. Kitts in 1989 when Nicole McHugh (6th mature sage) said that she made sure that the tree was protected as it had been planted by myself and she always hoped that I would return one day and see what I had accomplished… indeed. 

There comes a point where high heels, riding boots, long hair and all that run their course.  More than that, I will damn well not go putting myself in harm’s way amongst persons who would just as readily dispense with the threat of my outréness as they did a perfectly beautiful and innocent mango tree. 

That aside, this dream and the corona experienced therein could never have been perceived and experienced had I never planted the seed of that Nevis mango.  This photograph remains my most prized possession… and with good reason. 

The dream was dreamt on Thursday, July 8, 1993 whilst the Moon then grooved its benign waning beauteousness through Pisces and conversely my tenth house, conjunct the cusp of which is my retrograde Chiron which opposese Pluto in the fourth and simultaneously squares both Luna in the seventh and Mars in the first conjunct the ascendant… yes, I can be operatically combative when provoked, though, I have much mellowed of late – fuck it, life’s too short to be doing battle chaque fois… partout… 

Goodness, it’s been awhile since I have taken the time to express my gratitude at your continued patronage.  Too, it gives me no end of pleasure to be of inspiration and wish that you will ever take the time to push off, start flying and make as sweet as that Nevis mango your every dream.  I love you more! 

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At night, in this the first dream, I walked towards Cleverly Hill, Sandy Point, St. Kitts in the streets of The Alley.  There were some guys sitting along the roadside who seemed, perhaps, Italian, Lebanese or Syrian.

They might well have been light-skinned Blacks.  Four of them in all, they wore white t-shirts with different-coloured shorts.

One wore red shorts, another black, one white and the other a blue pair.  I was more connected to the one wearing the red shorts.

They were excitable guys who drew my attention to the large screen, high definition TV that sat just inside the window of Rosita Gould’s old green house.  I could hardly make things out but the action seemed to be occurring in liquid slow-motion.

A young couple were very intimately making love; there were lots of extreme close-ups here.  The guys were very excited by all this, of course, as they sat across the street from the house.

As they hung out liming away, they were closer towards the large drain that dissects the main road.  There was a crumbling wall; the foundation was the remnants of an old house which was long-ago abandoned.

They were commenting on the fact that Hesketh Gould Jr., whilst fucking a woman, was in the house looking at porno.  I couldn’t quite figure out who the woman was supposed to have been.

Going over towards them, I began checking out the guys and found them rather attractive.  They all had rather light-coloured alluring eyes.

Certainly, there in Sandy Point, it was unusual to see such light-coloured eyes.  The one in the red shorts was the definite ringleader.

I approached him and openly groped him.  So bold and uncompromising was I, he could have done nothing but surrender to my forthrightness.

Of course, he was sporting a rock solid hard-on.  Relaxing him further, I then began caressing him gently on his right shoulder.

I looked at him rather lovingly and sweetly.  He surrendered; sweet smiling eyes complemented his colouring as he blushed.

Though these were not energies that he was accustomed to experiencing, I telepathically told him not to be afraid whilst the others remained perfectly arrested by our interactions.  I casually suggested that, perhaps, we could go off somewhere and be alone.

He replied that he and the guys were actually about to head off somewhere.  After having looked at his buddies for a bit, he then offered me to join them.

We ended up in the lobby of what seemed a cinema.  In order to check out the movies, down a flight of stairs we had to go.

Naturally, since being in the dark side-by-side could only lead to greater intimacy, I was all for the experience.  Whilst in the lobby, it was quite busy with lots of Blacks everywhere.

Different group settings of tables were scattered about one section of the lobby.  There were several concession stands about the place.

The usher, a teenaged Black guy, wanted to know where my ticket was.  I told him that my party had the tickets and had gone ahead and that I had come out to get something from the concession stands.

They had actually gone ahead of me and at no time had I seen them show any tickets.  Not that I didn’t have the ticket stub to show but I really didn’t feel like being messed with by anybody.

Showing my legendary impatience, through and through, I got confrontational with him.  He wore a company suit as part of his uniform.

The confrontation occurred at the half-flight down’s landing.  One had had to turn to the right to go down another semi-flight and to the cinemas.

He stubbornly refused to let me go any further or, for that matter, to go call the guys.  Finally, I got pissed off so headed back up the stairs to the lobby and stormed out of there.

When I left the theatre, I became aware of a group of guys close by who were intent on chasing me.  There was no way that I intended to be party to any such scenario.

Looking at them, I said, “No, no, no.  You are not going to.”

With that, I chose to rise above all this and decided to start flying.  Pushing off, I began flying quite slowly.

Nice and peaceful, I thoroughly enjoyed myself whilst in flight.  Rising higher, I grew dissatisfied with my speed and so willed myself to progress much faster.

Going alongside the road, however, I did keep close to the trees.  I always seemed to have problems willing myself to fly higher or lower.

At certain times, it proved problematic when trying to negotiate the branches.  There were times, when it seemed that I would even crash into some of the branches.

Then I reasoned, “Hey there, now Arvin.  Wait a minute now.

“This is a dream and you can do more than fly.  You can make your body even more malleable.”

With that, I upped my vibration and began progressing ahead.  When I came to the next thicket of branches, I effortlessly moved through the branches and leaves without being obstructed by their solidity.

In short, to the point where I became light itself, I had intensified my vibration.  This enabled me to pass through everything without the slightest discomfiture to my body.

In order to have to negotiate safe passage, through the unobstructed air, no longer did I have to go up or down.  Regardless its vibrational density, I had become at one with the light which permeated everything.

I intuitively knew that everything’s vibration is imbued with light, as per the subject’s light properties, which allows it to be a perceived entity.  Becoming pure light enables one to pass unhindered through the filter of all matter.

Therefore, to get through denser matter, one would simply have to will one’s light body at a faster speed so as to continue progressing at undiminished accelerated speeds.  To have attained this degree of focus afforded me even greater expansiveness of spirit than for being in flight.

Next to the weighty confines of being bipedal and earthbound, flight itself had already proven fairly limitless.  Thus, being focussed in the light body proved quite a wonderful experience.

Pushing ahead, I willed myself to fly even faster… soar even higher.  At this point, even if others were on the ground, they would not have been able to see me.

Still following the road, I saw way below a six or seven-year-old White boy playing in the streets.  He did see me, much to my surprise, and came running down the road after me.

He was so excited at the sight of me.  Certainly, it was not as if I was dangerous for being Black and in flight.

The road had at one point veered off to the left, then down a steep incline, into an open expansive valley.  At times, the road was earthen but on the whole it was a paved affair.

Where the road fell down into the valley, I began having problems because I kept on looking down below me to get my bearings.  Part of my problem was experiencing fears, for being that high up, whilst in flight.

There was this sudden apprehension that left me feeling that there ought to have been branches close by; so that, if need be, I could readily grab ahold.  Fears of losing focus and falling from the sky began taking form and assuming a life of their own.

I think that much of the reason for experiencing problems was the fact that I had been of the impression that for making myself light, vibrationally, I could not be perceived.  So that when the young White guy in the road below had seen me, this left my confidence as to what I had been up to understandably shaken.

Before becoming fearful, there had been a point when I had soared high above the treetops.  At those heights, it was fairly obvious that there was a corona of energy that towered up semi-spherically above the collective crowns of the treetops.

Though not perceived, it was raw pure energy which was distinctive.  Energy it was which fed my own light body’s energies.

The really beautiful part of all this is that, in the process of becoming light-energied, I was able to leave tendrils of my light energies whilst moving through space.  Everything, with which I came in contact, also left a residue of its light energies mixed with my own light energies.

In the true sense of the word, this was about becoming one with everything.  Beingness, that state of total acceptance – wherein one is at complete oneness with all nature… all life – I had clearly achieved.

A thoroughly uplifting experience this was.  Becoming infused with aspects of the trees’ collective life-force was akin to the experience on Boxing Day 1972III.

All in all, it was a healing experience.  What alas could be more rejuvenating and uplifting than, my trusted familiars, arboreals?

A very energising experience this proved.  In the final analysis, I was able to recover and not become weighed down in negative vortices of fear based – fear it was which was based on the notion that I couldn’t will myself to stay aloft.

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