Upper Reaches

Time to continue the tour of my house as we move upstairs to bed & bath. The bathroom has remained one of the least ‘decorated’ rooms the house – too, much moisture for one thing. There are shelves of towels, body wash, shaving stuff so the room is cluttered enough as it is. 

This stained-glass star is in the bathroom window. Handmade by my partner before we met it is one of the oldest object d’art that isn’t shop bought. He made couple of such pieces at a workshop he took one summer. We did have remains of this stained glass supplies for decades & I got rid of them in my covid cleaning frenzy.

I won this sunset (or is it sunrise) train track photo in a GenX Bears fund-raising raffle in the early 2000’s. I think they were raising money for their Pride Parade float. A friend was a member of the group. It was, as I recall, a ‘blind’ raffle, in which I knew the range of prizes but they were assigned randomly. I was happy to get this & it was perfect for over the toilet – I can gaze down the endless track of life as I pizza my life away 🙂

Across the hall is my bedroom which is relatively uncluttered – unless you count the dressers, racks of cds, book case, shelves of frequently used clothes as clutter 🙂 This wonderful Tarzan poster what a birthday gift from my fans at Cabaret Noir. I have seen the film – Acquanetta fulfills hetero teen boy exotica fantasy, while Weissmuller & Sheffield fuelled many a confused lad’s sexuality as, like me, we wondered how they kept their junk hidden under those loincloths while swinging through the jungle.

While I’m going about exotica fantasy – these jungle ‘epics’ were where many saw an abundance of hairless male flesh in our formative years. In particular, when I’ve seen some of these recently, as well some set in the jungle serials – I am delighted by the abundance of bare chested native guides, bearers & tribal kings. I wonder if any historian of black performers in movies has looked at this pool of performers.

This Japanese noren was a gift from a Japanese friend. It is a door hanging, about half-a-door in length, split down the middle. The samurai protects my room from negative energy 🙂 While the celebrants usher in good vibes. The leaf leads to my Peace Lily. 

On the wall, by the door, is this marvellous piece of religious kitch. A print I bought framed at an antique store, not longer there, near Queen & Broadview. It was love at first sight. Early 1900’s. This was a very popular subject – there are dozens of variations of the trouble soul clinging to the rugged cross in the storms of life. I love the face of Christ at the top of the cross – almost like seeing him in a piece of toast.

You Never Know Where He’ll Pop Up Next

<>

you saw the face of Christ

in a piece of toast

yet you don’t own a toaster

you can’t even boil water

you have enough trouble

opening a granola bar

<>

why was it only the face

was the slice of bread

too small 

to hold His entire body

was the holy toaster

limited to specific body parts 

<>

was it the result of

ancient aliens

who after they built the pyramids 

designed a toaster

specifically to replicated

the face of Christ in toast

a face that seems rather caucasian

for an ancient alien

<>

beside you aren’t the first 

to have seen the face of Christ

where it doesn’t belong

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Creche Landing

the cat and the cradle

waiting for the inner glow

Santa snow globe swallows the reason for the season?

I bought this at Honest Ed’s decades ago & it is one of my favorite ornaments

season stained

stained for life

amazing crèche built into an old TV chassis – asking price $1200.00

close-up of the blessed event

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Out and About in Sydney, Cape Breton

Cape Breton sunrise

where I had great ice cream on the Sydney Boardwalk

stone stairs to nowhere in Sydney

the welcome feet of Sydney

stone in the Park/Brookland/Hospital Sts triangle

close up of the stone

stained glass in the CB Regional Library

CB highland dancers on Charlotte St.

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#NikBeat Into The Mystic

The ‘farewell’ to Nik Beat at St. John of Norway Church, fell on the first day of autumn. It was warm and sunny, almost as if Nik had arranged it himself, to give us a warm goodbye.

church01 that’s a diet coke beside Nik’s guitar

When the celebration ended with the Beatles ‘In My Life’ combined with a touch of ‘Hello Goodbye’ I have to admit I teared up a bit. Both lyrics sum up a full life. The event, to me, was more of a bon voyage party – Nik was an explorer of the mystic; whether that was through angels, poetry, or music he was always seeking. The opening verse from Van Morrison’s ‘Into The Mystic’ played in my mind: ‘We were born before the wind/ Also younger than the sun/ Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic/ Hark, now hear the sailors cry/Smell the sea and feel the sky/ Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic’

church02 Nik’ll help this guy with his manuscript

The service was a deeply emotional journey held in the framework of a rather dry liturgy. The emotional chords of the music, poems and memories of Nik’s friends & family held, to me, much more spiritual resonance & relevance than the scriptural promise of an afterlife.

A sweet solo violin version of Danny Boy started things on a real emotional note. There were heartfelt poems, songs and even Nik himself, from his recently recorded cd, to remind us of what he was taking with him on his flow into the mystic.

church03 Nik’s new writing workshop group

Too many people present to name, besides this isn’t a performance or event review but a farewell note to Nik to take with him. He’s left a strong mark on the lives of many people with his generosity of spirit, time and talent. But he was always a seeker and now his seeking has taken him to the next amazing vista on his flow into the mystic.

(sorry that my church pictures are a bit out of focus. I tried to be unobtrusive and fast when taking them). My previous Nik Beat memory: http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Te

sky

This is a piece I wrote after the service for Jackie Burroughs – seemed fitting for Nik Beat as well.

. . . walk through . . .

her casket unadorned pine

pale

unvarnished for burning

heavy even with three on each side

the gentle struggle

to get it up church steps winded me

all glad to let go

let it glide on the gurney

through the narrow granite arch

into

the vaulted cathedral

massive stained glass window

images promised resurrection

 

we followed the minister

a slow steady pace

he held aloft a silver cross

each a single hand on the casket

oppressive organ music

muffling the simple choir

I longed for unadorned chant

then wanted the droning reverential

minister’s voice smothered

too much scripted polished scripture talk

and none of the real in the casket

 

suddenly

silence

 

then her voice

previously recorded

“… I walk through … ”

all breaths held

to take in

her reading “ … I fear no … ”

sobs for this real presence

I looked to the casket

expect it to shake   giggle

 

next the rites

holy water sprinkled

dense incense wafted

I choked   gasped

air thick

smothered through the rest of the ritual

 

we walk the casket out

again the gentle clumsy struggle

out the narrow granite arch

the dead weight down the steps

to the hearse

where we all took a deep breath

 

it drove off into the sun

sky

into the mystic