Bear Avenue/Child of the Wind/Darkest Night Embraces

Summary: Three subsections: the first another waxing gibbous moon alcohol-faciliated lithium-free psychic death episode in Banff at the end of July 1993, which I came out of with no meds at all at full moon after about three days of holding on in a near catatonic state on my brother's couch. The second and third describe my best mystic high ever, 5.5 lunar months later from Jan. 5-9, 1994. An appendix to the third subsection mentions some of my musical influences; this will be made a separate section eventually.

mixed episode on Bear & Banff Avenues, Banff, AB, Canada

Six weeks after the June93 playful high I went off to Banff to visit my brother and forgot my lithium in Vancouver, a sign that I was already a touch wobbly. Sudden drops in lithium level can cause more problems than gradual ones. To compound the matter, on the Friday afternoon/night near the end of July, a few days before full moon, I drank six pints of beer (at The Rose & Crown, Joshua's, etc). Then for the next 2-3 days I went into a distorted panic/fear type episode in which I froze in an incommunicative state on my brother's couch, and missed the Atlantic Canadian band Rawlins Cross's Canmore Festival and Rose & Crown shows. But at full moon, after three days of problems, I came out of it without any meds at all, then on the Monday went to a local doctor for an emergency supply of lithium, and, just in case, some haloperidol. This 3 days of near-catatonia with release at full moon I liken to the Christian tale of death and resurrection, which I discuss in more detail on a subpage of the parallels in world religions page entitled Christianity.

Child of the Wind

(that's a Bruce Cockburn song, plus refers to wind conditions the week before I was born)

5.5 lunar months after the Banff incident, at the beginning of 94, with highly variable weather, the week before new moon, I had one of my smoothest and best highs ever, from Jan. 5--9,1994.

On Jan. 5 there was a sudden weather change from cold to very mild, on Jan. 6 the highest winds I have ever felt (I think) in St. John's, on Jan. 7 a tranquil starry night, then Jan. 8 a late night dump of snow with wind. Each night I felt mystically connected with nature and felt powerful musical energy, with sensations of chi energy burning my hands. I probably should have done some writing, but this time just relaxed and enjoyed it. Each night I made sure to get at least four hours sleep, woke around the normal time but stayed up late. My family noticed nothing amiss. Also I was drinking some alcohol in moderation, now I know to avoid this since it can contribute to problems after new moon. Music is enough of a high, here.

Jan. 5: I had not long before recovered from a cold, and that night I went to Bridgett's (now Peter Easton Pub) to catch some blazing accordion from Art Stoyles, backed up by Jean Hewson and Christina Smith, then bounced down the hill.

Jan. 6: The high winds blew me to The Ship Inn (now called The Ship Pub) , which was sparsely populated by me, the bartender and Liz Solo (but I didn't know who she was at the time), who had on a (fake?) fur coat and had bare shoulders and flashed me (by raising her arms above her head) with her velvet black fur underarms but we didn't speak, even though I was attracted to her. I wrote a "shy pin" draft poem on the men's washroom graffiti blackboard, then left, and let the wind blow me up Signal Hill (where Marconi received his broadcast). I thought there were some Northern Lights but it was actually city lights reflecting off high drifting snow, I think. Behind Cabot Tower, I gazed out over the Atlantic and wisely decided not to attempt any trails but turned around to face the near-hurricane force gale. Then just for a second, after blowing steadily all day, THE WIND TURNED AROUND SUDDENLY and blew me down the hill a bit before resuming the direction and building-shaking intensity it had had all day.

Darkest Night Embraces

Jan. 7: Earlier in the evening I went with some friends to The Hat lounge in Holyrood and while there ran into a high school friend, Wally Maloney, who I hadn't seen in over 13 years. I had a memory block and couldn't remember his name and I think he thought I was snubbing him. But I think the block is a physics clue: Wally--> Wall E or a wall around energy.

Later that night, around 3 a.m., I went out back of the family house in Lakeview under starry rural skies, no wind, and felt a sense of enlightenment/peace/tranquility, with a gorgeous near-new-moon bejewelled-raven (Cosma) sky. I had a feeling of oneness with the universe, and went down on my knees in the snow to hug a small fir tree, symbol of the universal mother. From the base of the tree I took a small twig. Later when I was back in Vancouver I took a pale green jade bead with a hole drilled through it, put a bit of the twig in one end and a thorn from the thorn climb top in the other end, went to Kits Beach just east of the Maritime Museum, I think near full moon, and gave the bead to the world ocean.

Jan. 8: I and siblings went to the LSPU Hall to hear Ron Hynes, my favourite living Newfoundland songwriter (check out his new country/ folk release Face to the Gale). Liz Solo opened, backed by Ron's band, and then did backing vocals for Ron, and I was mightily impressed by her voice (the voice of liquid night) but again we didn't speak during the intermission. Afterwards I went off to hear the session at (then) The Captain's Quarters, which ended in a powerful round table session of Emile Benoit's set of tunes Diane's Happiness/David's Reel. That made me ready to buy a round (I still owe them) for the musicians, who inluded ace fiddlers Kelly Russell and Christina Smith, and guitarist/vocalist Jean Hewson. Earlier the weather had been very good but at the end of the session a snowstorm with some wind was brewing. I then left and instead of heading west to home went down the hill to the north and walked around Quidi Vidi Lake (qui divida, qui reuinita, site of the local Regatta the first Wednesday in August) before slogging home through the deepening snow.

Jan. 9 was uneventful, then Jan. 10 I flew back to Vancouver, then probably Jan. 11 went to the W.I.S.E. Lounge (downstairs) had some alcohol (and was jet lagged), stayed to well after last call, just missed one bus, and decided to walk home to sober up, from East Van to Kits. Then as I crossed the railway line I stupidly decided to take a shortcut by walking south on the track, and eventually found myself down inside Grandview Cut with no exit for miles. It felt like a dead river, needing rebirth. Eventually I had to climb out, over a few thorns and some mud, then walked home. After that I resolved to avoid alcohol during the late stages of a high, something I later ignored in July94, and to wind down as new moon approaches.

The next bit is on (some related to the above) musical influences, but may be separated out into a separate expanded section eventually. Skim through to the end of this subpage if you aren't interested. But note that in the last seven years (it is now 2003) I haven't bought many CDs, and the CDs I have bought are mainly local, except for e.g, The Best of Tanita Tikaram a few years ago, and the concerts I have heard have been mainly of local artists, who I should mention more of below, but not today.

  Here's a few snippets from a small percentage of my favourite
"sons of long forgotten races, that the darkest night embraces"
          [daughters too]                    (Ron Hynes)
"sunrise in the morning, bird singing on every tree,
    a greeting and a warning, the song that they're singing is 'be free'
wild rose in the forest, wild rose on the moor, 
   dawn mist on the mountain, comers crashing on the shore"
                                      (Dave Panting/Rawlins Cross)
"we are the children of the night, we feel the sparks before they fly"
                              (Noel Dinn, sung by Pamela Morgan)
"white wing mercy, don't you leave me here" [change here] (Ferron)
"there is no balance here"  (Colleen Eccleston)
"main street is a river and there's lightning by the school"
                                 (Wyckham Porteous)
"I gave my love  a golden feather,  I gave my love  a heart of stone"
                                  (Robbie Robertson)
"how can you say, I'm hiding in the belfry, how can you say, 
         I want to catch time"   (Tanita Tikaram)
"she said  everything will be all right"  (Tom Landa/Paperboys)
"I stood like a rock, when I should have run" 
                             (Robert Ford/Stoaters) 
"oh Obliah, sun come round, wild goose morning, life in the ground"
                                    (Bill Bourne)
"sky full of stars like a french lace gown
  shimmer, glimmer, think I'm gonna fall, catch me momma that's all"
                                  (David Wilcox)
"dance me to your beauty with a burning violin,
   dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in" (L. Cohen)
"oh Anna-Marie don't you know me anymore, 
  after so long I've tried to open the door..."  (Roy Forbes)
"Sweet is the melody, so hard to come by..."  (Iris Dement)

and lots more, including Sarah McLachlan, Holly Near, Tom Waits, Mae Moore, Van Morrison, Christy Moore, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Bruce Springsteen, Loreena McKennit, Tammy Fassaert, Sam Weis, Andy M. Stewart, Geoff Panting, Pamela Morgan, Derm English, Jody Richardson, Dar Williams, The Hynes CRonies (Ron Hynes Hon Rhymes), more, including lots of world music. I guess my favourite living songwriter is Ferron.

Here's a few more musical influences (the biggest of whom, singing/songwriting combined, is Sarah McLachlan) that I missed before:

Miriam Makeba singing Welela (which I can also relate to my mother's name), not sure who wrote it, heard on the radio (by the way, in Canada, the government is stupid to make cuts to the CBC since music and culture, including local, inspire creativity in other areas). Also Babatunde Olatuni's Drums of Passion and other stuff on Mickey Hart's Around the World for a Song. Also the Latcho Drom soundtrack, which I'll comment on in the Jan95 tale, especially the warming guitar tune Kali Sara and the Tony Gatlif El Pajora Negro invocation by La Caita.

Also Sinead O'Connor, who I heard from the large UBC garden across the wall from Lollapalooza ("take a walk in the garden...") singing her "thank you for hearing me..." which I relate to my blue rose vision, and to my sundance "call" to the sun, and to the tree hug above, so the trio of deities Gaia/Sola/Cosma. (Which as I discuss in the deities section I have now extended to eight non-SSOSOSS deities ALL, LOVE, Cosma, Galacta, Sola, Gaia, Luna and Human and 14--16 SSOSOSS deities for my personal spirituality which I am not pushing on anyone but do state openly that I have.)

Also Bob Dylan (was just here, but I'm poor, I last heard him Aug. 1, 1986 in Vancouver with Tom Petty opening), Bruce Cockburn, Luka Bloom, Stan Rogers (Mary Ellen Carter, etc), Neil Young (like a hurricane, etc), Laura Smith, Victor Heredia (todavia cantamos, sung by Mercedes Sosa and Holly Near), Neil Diamond, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Shane MacGowan, Philip Chevron, Alias Ron Kavana, Rory MacLeod (who's been here a few times recently), Peter Gabriel, Richard Thompson (time to ring, etc.), Bob Geldorf, Clive Gregson, Melissa Etheridge, Willie Dunn/Kashtin (son of the sun), Heather Nova, John Mann/Geoff Kelly (Spirit of the West), Wapistan, Tracy Chapman, kd lang/Mink, Jenny Allen, Sandy Scofield, Natalie Merchant, Art Bergmann, Mike Scott (Waterboys), Bob Seger, Billy Joel, Bono, Paul Simon, Cat Stevens (shadow of the moon on the ionosphere), Mark Knopler, Page/Plant, Rory Gallagher, Colin Hay, Roger Howse (the shell game, with the Bill Reid sculpture in mind), Doug Schmidt?/Stoaters (Navigator, navigator, hold your course-keeper true...) Midnight Oil crowd, Pink Floyd (at new moon we are on the Dark Side of the Moon), Yes (the wind can with her arms all around me), Moody Blues, oh yeah, Jim Fidler, with his CDs Gypsy and Friendly Fire.

Colleen Eccleston is my favourite BC songwriter "crest of a moon crest of a wave crest of a hill bring me there for loving." I'll tell the story about her and the Tannahill Weaver Best of cover symbol (like a circle with a thorn or lightning through it) late in the Aug94 section; maybe we can find an adaptive balance).

Anyone know who wrote the Irish party tune Rocky Road to Dublin, which might have references to the 5 cauldrons and the Asian rabbit in the moon?

Are there any lyrics to the Vancouver band Uzume Taiko's Spring on Heavenly Mountain (instrumental for trad Chinese Muslim song, so I suspect so)?

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