It’s moments like these, in the dead of night, that I wonder about my legacy and even more importantly my own, current state of affairs. Last night seems like last year. I was tucked into the corner of the Sheraton’s banquet room, transformed for one night into a citadel of faux heroes, with latex biceps and flesh hugging spandex. I’m the guy reading tarot cards for computer nerds dressed up as action figures, rewarded for their year’s past service. The booze is flowing like a river and karaoke breaks out with more and more frequency as inhibitions dissolve like sugar in the bloodstream.
I’m flipping cards and freestylin’ like Charlie Parker. The cards are the standards and I’m deconstructing their eight-note-song, according to their particular harmony or dissonance. Conducting challenge, tragedy, triumph and inertia, I summon the gods and gaze into their spirits.
It goes on for hours. Almost always, I am left with, “how did you know that”? Or, “The cards told you all that”?
After an hour or so, the line to sit gets longer. It’s always been this way. I remember one night in Tucson, on my 36th birthday, the Autumnal Equinox, on a warm, Saturday night–it was like something out of a Garica-Marquez novel. People were ten deep to hear their fortunes. Some wept. Others had mile-wide grins, beaming at their own reflection.
The next morning I went into the desert to commemorate my new year and to beat back the loneliness in the aftermath of that kind of night, where such intense, temporary intimacy is gripping and alive with a deep sense of service. It’s like jazz, deconstructing the code of the moment, running on the through lines of meaning, articulating the darkness, coaxing forth the light.
I once read something by Bird, something about his addiction to smack and how it was the replacement of the emptiness, the void that would inevitably creep back into his life after an evening of wild improvisation and deep listening in soulful reverie, swinging on the rhythms of Orishas, descending into the chordal vortex of bluesy invocations.
As the painted faces of court cards stared back at me, I felt less like Crowley and more like Trane.
But it’s in the aftermath that the darkness and the void return. What was once whole and full, naturally becomes empty. It’s the way of things. I’m grateful for the gift, but it’s a strange one by any standard, jazz or otherwise.
My son’s “other” family is reveling in their new found affluence under the decidedly less burdensome financial gravity of the Lone Star’s orbit and here I am telling people about their future, floating on the elliptic of the fringe, my central nervous system jacked into the grid of the planet. I couldn’t think of two, more disparate lives or ways to get by in the world.
The skies here in my old world reflect my inner atmosphere, the only difference being that the outer is decidedly more artificial than the inner. I shudder at the utter absurdity of it all, like how magically the baddest of the bad guys that led the bloody uprising in Benghazi just might have been caught pulling the same sort of shit in Egypt. We’re supposed to feel some sort of closure I suppose, but it feels more like Oceania fighting Asia or whoever we’re fighting this week. Bad guys have absurdly short shelf lives these days. How many years did we live with the scraggly and ever-changing-mug of Bin Laden?
Now, some unpronounceable, who had recently committed the unthinkable, gets removed under unbelievable circumstances. What are we supposed to feel? Who is it really for? Us? Them? Are we supposed to feel relieved that we got the Benghazi mastermind of the Embassy massacre?
The artificiality of it all trumps the Truman Show and life itself becomes a set within a set, set within, within a set. Nothing feels real.
NFL players die on a weekly basis now, apparently. Last week it was guns, this week, booze and cars. I wonder if Bob Costas will get on his soapbox this Sunday night and go from 5’7 to a soaring 6 feet and declare that, “If cars and alcohol were illegal, that Cowboys linebacker, Jerry Brown might still be alive.” He could, but it would royally piss off Ford, GM, Budweiser and Coors, sponsors of the NFL and Sunday night football. Oh well, don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
In England, jolly old England, which ain’t so jolly anymore, Jacintha Saldana supposedly took her life over a prank call, where she fell prey to two Australian DJ’s and their crappy accents, pretending to be Charles and the Queen. Saldana was anything but the suiciding type. She had two children and a loving husband. She was deeply devoted to her profession as a nurse. In 2009, they were named family of the day at the “Boom Christmas” party for the Mangalore, Christmas celebration. They were very close.
Alternative researchers are circling the event like hawks now, combing over the symbols and dates with steely vision. This is no secluded hotel room in Mexico. This is open air carnage at noon. A sharp, collective gaze is decidedly fixed on Buckingham palace.
Speaking of fixed, Saturn in Scorpio is a revelatory portal and this Mercury retrograde, now gone direct has unleashed an absolute laser beam into the soul of the Vox Populi. As it gets ready to move into Sag, prepare yourself for the carnival of revelations. Stay focused, stay present and get ready to witness what you cannot or will not believe. Don’t avert your gaze, don’t crawl back into the comfort of that rotting shell. Medusa will not turn you to stone this time around. The mirrors of the soul will shield you from the serpentine horror.
We need this moment to break the spell, to see the world as it really is, the illusion cracking and fading, pixilating and crashing down around us. Only when we can do this, will we be truly free. Drop your feel good warm and fuzzies, your permissive, false sense of freedom and justice for all and look, look at it.
About four years ago, I stumbled like many onto Dave McGowan’s magnum opus work, “The TLC”. That’s short for “The Laurel Canyon” for those of you that don’t know it. In it McGowan deconstructs the sixties, the Summer of Love culture, and essentially reveals it to be a grand, military industrial exercise, performed like an acid-laced talent show, by kids from military families and faded blue-blood dynasties.
One of the core players of the scene was Vito Paulekas. Paulekas was a sculptor, who used to give sculpting lessons to socialites (code for fucking) at the foot of the Laurel Canyon, in his studio. Paulekas was the leader of a group of free lovin’ fully expressive free spirits in a big, sprawling house in the canyon that would be the crucible for the 60’s as we know them.
Paulekas and his band of merry mavericks called themselves, “freaks.” When early Sunset Strip bands like The Birds would play at The Whiskey, Paulekas and his crew would be bussed in like ACORN members and start doing really strange, free-form dances, which of course, they called, “freaking.”
His little extended family had charming names, like, “Strawberry Giggle Glow” and “Starshine Happy Love.” Style points were obviously not rewarded. Well Vito got into a little trouble when his young son mysteriously wound up dead right around the time he was supposed to be part of Kenneth Anger’s movie, “Lucifer Rising,” Future Manson Family member, Bobby Beausoleil would wind up taking the little boy’s place in the film. Things got a little hot around the canyon as a result and Vito had to leave town.
The reason I’m bringing all this up, is because I was on FB the other night, cruising through the pages of friends of friends. I still have some Marin County, compassionately communicating, ecstatically dancing, raw foodies in there.
I tripped through the second and third degrees of separation and wound up in SoCal, skimming through a poly amorous network, where I saw names like, “Shiva Love Juice” and “Coconut Divine Deva” and it dawned on me that Paulekas’ family of freaks had cracked through to the mainstream, that it had mutated into this strange collective hybrid of raw food, yoga, esoteric piracy, arrested development, toxic narcissim and rampant horniness with no commitments.
This, is when I fully realized that some people are in the Marianas Trench of conscious awareness, masquerading as enlightenment.
There was a time, not too-long-ago, that I might have entertained the notion of a poly-life. I have Venus sextile Uranus and my 11th House is a Libran gang-bang with Neptune in Scorpio on the bottom, with Venus also trining my Mars in the 8th, but now, I simply see the irony of it all, projected onto the world’s plasmatic screen, broadcasting the weird visions of twisted seekers looking for something, anything, that will liberate them with the least amount of work possible.
So, it’s in these empty moments, after contact with the numinous, that the dark light seeps in.
I’ll watch football tomorrow and try to have some mundane marker, some reminder of a normalcy that never really existed. I’ll watch for Russell Wilson, the Seahawks Sag phenom, born 11/29/88, his Sun in trine with transiting Uranus. I ‘ll watch for Colin Kapernick as Saturn moves closer and closer to his Sun/Pluto conjunction. It will give me a Hemingwayesque moment or two for a few hours and then I’ll retreat back to a world where Syria as we know it is on the edge of extinction and WW3 could be just around the corner as a result.
Yours truly, “Heart Chakra Vanilla Wolf.”