Two Weddings, A Baby, A Gaggle of Racial Predators and Hadrian’s frightful ghost.

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The recent wedding of the Duke of Huescar to his handsome bride was a stunning bit of theatre. He is, of course, the future Duke of Alba, grandson of one of the grandest nobles of the last century, the inimitable Duchess of Alba.

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The cut and design of the bridge’s dress is truly elegant; apparently, it was designed by her creatively gifted mother herself. They make a truly handsome couple.

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At this juncture, I have not yet found any video of their nuptials on the Internet; perhaps, it will surface at a later date. The sublime elegance of her dress deftly reflects the undeniable harmony between this couple. So good it is to see a couple of souls who after having suffered lost through death in recent times, return to find each other anew, to further explore their loving bond.

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Whilst awaiting the second royal wedding, I passed much time reviewing the coverage of the royal wedding of TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex last May. I was ever intrigued at the notion of an even larger guest list for the marriage of Jack Brooksbank and HRH Princess Eugenie of York.

Princess Eugenie Of York Marries Mr. Jack Brooksbank

A simple wedding, I was moved by how vastly different it was to that of TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex’s months earlier. The most obvious difference in both ceremonies being the latter’s carriage ride; a rather simple affair. This, of course, was an affair filled with aristocrats – some of whom had attended the earlier wedding last May.

Sophia Wellesley & James Blunt

Along with Tom & Lara Inskip and Guy Pelly with a wife more noticeably pregnant, there was the ever stylish Sofia Wellesley, this time equally stunning in a Dolce & Gabbana dress.

Tom & Lara Inskip

Tom & Lara Inskip processing towards the Lower Ward and St. George’s Chapel.

Guy Pelly

Guy Pelly attending the second royal wedding of the year.

Elizabeth Pelly & Astrid Harbord

Guy’s expectant wife, Elizabeth Pelly accompanied by Astrid Harbord.

Zoe & Jake Warren

Also, attending their second royal wedding for the year, Zoe & Jake Warren.

The wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, Pre-Ceremony, Windsor, Berkshire, UK -  12 Oct 2018

Back for more, Pippa Matthews with her younger brother James Middleton with that Tsar Nicholas thing going on with his look. For me, a woman is most beautiful when expectant – fecund, voluptuous, primal she is then most powerful; she is then truly the creator of life. How beautiful is that Kelly green?

Chelsy Davy

Perennial favourite Chelsy Davy with Melissa Percy, who wasted little time in saying, this mum don’t babysit and there went Tom van Straubenzee. Gorgeous periwinkle dress.

Cressida Bonas

Cressida Bonas radiating the light magical essence of artisan souls everywhere.

Franz Albrecht & Cleopatra zu Oettingen-Spielberg, young Bavarian royals attending their second royal wedding at Windsor Chapel this year.

Holly Candy

Holly Candy – hands down, the best dressed lady at this royal wedding. Those matching pink bow gloves took her outfit stratospherically to the next level of |über soignée. I really did not think that Amal Clooney deserved that honour at the royal wedding of TRH Duke & Duchess; for one thing, her hat was worn on the wrong side of the head – always on the right side!

Naomi Campbell

Coming on strong in second place, like Secretariat was phenomenon, Naomi Campbell. Readily, so many people were carping on about what is she doing at the royal wedding; hello, how many times has Sarah, Duchess of York not been a guest of Ms. Campbell’s whilst holidaying on some yacht or other in the Mediterranean. I love the way that Ms. Campbell feigned disbelief when asked by an attendant to leave the seat in the front row of the royals’ side of the quire where she sat speaking with Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and his family.

Emiily and Oliver Proudlock

Made in Chelsea star, Oliver Proudlock and his fiancée Emma proved among a couple of the best-dressed men.

Tracey Emin & Alexnder Gilkes

Admittedly, though, not the best photograph, the urbane Alexander Gilkes, Paddle8 CEO, arrived in the company of artist Tracey Emin.

Cara Delevigne & Derek Blasberg

Cara Delevigne – another dead-ringer for magical artisan soul with the planet’s most ubiquitous plus-one, Derek Blasberg.

Princess Eugenie Of York Marries Mr. Jack Brooksbank

Kate & Lila Moss bringing the glamour.

Poppy Delevigne

Poppy Delevigne sporting one of the best fascinators at the royal wedding of Jack Brooksbank and HRH Princess Eugenie of York.

Marie-Chantal Pavlos Maria-Olympia

Other notable royals in attendance, Princess Marie-Chantal, Crown Prince Pavlos and their daughter, Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece. Also, the Crown Prince’s younger brother, Prince Philippos of Greece attended.

Gabriella Windsor & Thomas Kingston

Lady Gabriella Windsor and her fiancé Timothy Kingston; yet another royal wedding is on the horizon. By far, the most statuesque of the Windsor ladies.

Lady Helen & Timothy Taylor

Lady Helen & Timothy Taylor; the minor royals whom we never see enough of. Love her dress.

Jwan Yosef & Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin and his artist husband.

Stephen Fry & Elliott Smith

The always witty thespian, Stephen Fry and his husband, Elliott Smith.

Holly Branson

Holly Branson coming through.

Sam Branson

And her brother Sam Branson

Princess Eugenie Of York Marries Mr. Jack Brooksbank

The irrepressible mother of the bride, Sarah, Duchess of York and her firstborn who seems resigned to the fact that there is always an opening for spinster lady-in-waiting. Back in the 80s when Merlin was then incarnate, I shared with him a dream had that night of ‘Fergie’. Set somewhere in east Africa, she was riding atop the roof of a Land-Rover with several others… it was a dusty, tree-lined road and they were loud, happy persons all – her husband, Lord Porchester’s offspring was not present in the dream. As the vehicle hit a bump in the road, Fergie went flying from atop the vehicle’s roof and landed on her head; it was the most startling affair – we all screamed.

There was deathly silence as her khaki-clad body remained motionless for what seemed an eternity. Suddenly, as though jolted by lightning, much as a ginger cat with a few lives yet, Fergie shot to her feet, ramrod straight then began rushing about from one side to the other of the parked Land-Rover, mugging and waving to the perfectly immobile and non-human trees. I awoke from the dream laughing, the image was so bizarre. Seated across the Cabbagetown breakfast table from me, Merlin casually declared whilst remaining focussed on the Globe and Mail in hand, “So that’s how she became unhinged…” Yet again, I was reminded of that dream as Sarah, Duchess of York bounded from the Rolls Royce and made a mad dash, mouth ajar, mugging and waving to god-only-knows whom at the foot of St. George’s Chapel’s west door the day her daughter took possession of her man. This eccentric behaviour, much as in that dream, was on display as she entered the quire at St. George Chapel at the wedding of TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex on seeing Misha Nonoo and her date, oil heir Michael Hess. These days, she always seems only too happy that she has not ended up like Diana, Princess of Wales.

Another soul who seemed spooked to be at the ball was the groom’s gin-blossomed father whose daft expression throughout was more than a tad distracting. One was reminded of how odd Thomas Markle would have looked, had he been allowed to attend the Sussexes’ nuptials.

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Here’s to the lovely young couple; here’s to life indeed. Happy for them that they have found each other anew in this life experience. To paraphrase Prince Seeiso of Lesotho when speaking of the Sussexes, I wish them buckets and buckets of healthy, happy children.

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Even more glorious than their beautiful wedding was the recent announcement of the pregnancy of Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex. You cannot begin to fully fathom how excited this makes me for HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex. He has always seemed so alone, so vulnerable and emotionally fragile for having suffered the tragic, violent and sudden loss of his fantastic mum at age 12. So happy to know that they will be parents, and so quickly, and am fully confident that they will make the most fantastic parents. What more than two parents truly in love does a child need on coming into this world… again.

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In all of this, what has not been cool, has been watching her racially predatory white relatives act as though she is nothing but a runaway slave. There is no doubt in my mind that were the Markles a wealthy family with a net worth of more than 200$m, would any of this acrimonious dreck be taking place. How dare she, the otiose, racially impure step-sibling, Meghan, end up doing better than them in life? Not only had this runaway slave managed to have escaped capture but she had gone and married the scion at an even more wealthy plantation.

Alas, nothing was more abhorrent than having to watch the most venal racial predator interject herself into the Sussexes/Markles’ “drama” as she opined on the ABC TV documentary, The Story of the Royals. So what if a twelve-year-old Meghan Markle wrote to you about a dish detergent ad; she also did same to then First Lady, Hillary Clinton. Straight away, the puppet-master orchestrating the Markle step-family’s media campaign of slander, grudge and none-too-succinct racial predation became fully focussed. Who else but this vile racial predator, who uses the U. S. justice system to wage personal racially predatory campaigns, against blacks with heretofore impeccably clean public personae, seated there in its invisible grand wizard Klansman’s hooded costume, could be directing this media putsch to sabotage the Sussexes’ marriage? Well near the end of the 9th decade of racially obsessing over blacks, you would think that having finished off Michael Jackson, made a joke of Tiger Woods and a jailbird of Bill Cosby would be enough; no thank you, there is bigger game to prey on. Clearly, the clown knows nothing of the BRF.

Enough about those who truly do not matter.

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Hier soir, as I live an almost exclusively nocturnal existence, I got into a compensatorily parfumé Uber, driven by a recent Dravidian arrival with rather pleasant overleaves. I was stunned by how much traffic gridlock there was at pushing six in an already dark, autumnal and cool, too, evening. The driver could not figure out why traffic was so bad in Toronto and as I have always been a most vocal backseat driver, I soon began educating him on why Hogtown is the only major North American city without exclusive one-way streets in the downtown core. Back in the 60s through 70s when streetcars were being removed from streets like Avenue Road, Bloor Street, Sherbourne, Parliament, the city’s old WASP guard decided that for nostalgia’s sake some streetcar lines ought to be maintained a little while longer.

Well in excess of 40 years, the city still only has the two subway lines, two million more citizens and what seems like the fungal viral growth of condos. Naturally, the city’s constabulary and the TTC (Toronto Transit Commmission) made an unwritten alliance to keep themselves gainfully profitable by maintaining the streetcar lines that were left. Hence, each summer, kilometres of tracks are ripped up and replaced with the necessity for TTC outdoor workers and police staff on hand to maintain traffic. Well into the 21st century, a woefully inadequate 19th century technology clanks away, holding up traffic and as recently was the case this past monsoon season – climate change is truly upon us – the new streetcars were caught in feet of flooded water with faecal matter afloat their flooded interiors. All this so we never end up with new subway lines, one way streets with the discontinuation of streetcars. At least, Montréal can be commended for having owned up to the crippling corruption at the municipal level of government.

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Finally, after directing him along streets that he didn’t even know existed, I got to the southwest corner of University and Queen Street West, hopped out, crossed the city’s widest boulevard and made it into the lobby of the Four Season’s Centre for the Performing Arts at 1831. Lucian Mann-Chomedy who happens to be a scholar in my entity and a professor emeritus at University of Toronto, who also happens to be an unrivalled Voltaire scholar glowed as I dashed inside. We hugged and kissed and it was good to see his eyes light up; he does have more than a passing resemblance to Merlin… vibrationally. Gave him his ticket to the first opera of the season that we’ll be seeing, Hadrian. Whilst he took to the amphitheatre for the pre-opera lecture, I swiftly made it west along Queen Street West and got myself some very deliciously spiced beef teriyaki washed down with a dash of prosecco.

Returned to the theatre, Lucian shared that he found the lecture rather stimulating; heaven only knows what that meant, I was though too busy creating a post of the evening for my Instagram. What then unfolded was the most god-awful unmitigated bullshit conceivable. Look this was nothing more than effete poseurs of Toronto’s gay mafia, throwing government money around to keep their friends afloat. Watching this bit of bold-faced arts larceny was at times cruelly embarrassing. Of course, it was staged by consummate professionals, thus there were truly sublime moments when the production was marvellously realised. However, I was reminded of all those downright dogfests at Toronto Dance Theatre in the 80s – do they even exist anymore – where god-awful retro-Neanderthal movement was set to, of all things, J. S. Bach.

Hadrian

Act I opened with vaguely lissom dancers upstage posing overlong as Roman statuary. Naturally, they were lit such that when they finally began moving downstage on the diagonal, in movement that had been first realised by Vaslav Nijinsky (he is a mature sage, in my entity and currently reincarnated and an actor on the Portuguese stage) a century earlier, you really had to squint and try to make out if they were truly nude. Naturally, there was no such luck. That was just as lame as the opening of Act III after an intermission where there was much cruel laughter at what a dog’s breakfast we were having to slug our way through. There was the none-too-fey/verile or lissom-looking Antinous cavorting on a bed that was reminiscent of a couch I frequented in the late 70s where the city’s only queer psychiatrist and I had an ongoing affair. This bit of uninspired staging in the post-AIDS paradigm was as lame as having to watch two bored manatees going at it. Goddamn, where is the frottage! They seemed to be sleepy hobos, trying to make out which side of the bed they wanted to sleep on rather than obsessed lovers engaging in the gay world’s paedophiliacal obsession – let’s not go there just now.

Well, if you can’t hack a pop career in these parts, the next best thing is, go compose an opera. Lord Jesus… why? I am only too grateful that he didn’t set his sights on appropriating black high art and opting for a Jazz career. Last evening, Tuesday, October 23, 2018 proved without doubt that the kinder of minor Canadian celebrity should never be indulged when they elect to pursue whatever line of work mama or papa pursued. I am reminded of “Bathhouse Pierrette” as he is charitably dismissed, playing party leader in these parts and forever looking gripped by stage fright. I was much humoured this past summer as he followed the future Duke of Sussex about Buckingham Palace at the Commonwealth banquet desperately trying to score an invite to the royal wedding and being clearly snubbed by HRH Prince Henry of Wales who was gruffly dismissive of his attempts to score a pair of tickets – in the 11th hour – for him and his insufferable fag hag wife.

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There were points where persons in back of Lucian and me were laughing at how embarrassingly bad the opera was. Small-time, one guy to my rear readily dismissed. Goodness, if there was one more unpleasant reference to “the Jews” in this horrid farce, I was ready to get up and walk out. The opera was frankly a reflection of the archly conservative and frankly sphinctered worldview of Toronto’s incestuous gay elites – many of whom I went through in the 70s through early 80s and who then were just as smegmaed as a can of freshly opened corned beef – those, indeed, were the pre-plague years.

Getting on the elevator to make it to the basement where I collected my pea coat, I remarked, to one woman who asked my verdict, “You know, it would truly have been great theatre if that strobe light in Act IV had suddenly flashed brighter and erased this entire madness from memory. Trust me, dreams are never this bad!” You can fool those of your tightly incestuous social crowd all of the time but never those too shrewd to give a damn about you and your BS.

As ever my darlings, dream like you’ve never dreamt before and by all means, push off and start flying for at least there, you can readily escape the madness that’s got this paradigm saturated to the gills with BS. Thanks so much for your ongoing support, I love you more!  

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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. 

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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.