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

 

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

I readily knew that I was dreaming. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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