Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sailboat Adventure Story. Part 1.

Previously Released as a 40 pager on my other blog, now to be released in digestible sections. This took place in may-june 2010.

We woke around eight in the morning and the sun was shinning, a bit chilly so we all wore thick jackets that Danny had on board. Motoring out of the harbor we spoke about the right of public space, a theme that would continue through our time with Danny. Apparently the port authority attempted to charge the boaters that moored in the bay, some refused to pay rent, we cursed the those that did; the weekend sailors that gave any validity to such blatant extortion. The ever present updates of the marine radio station informed our rout and we took off under sail and motor out of the beautiful bay, the early hour meant the tides would carry us with ample room through the narrow passages. Soon we had turned the motor off, packed a bowl of hash, kept keen eyes on the markers, sipped whiskey and sailed off into the straight of Gorgia. Bliss was a fair description of how we were feeling. This brand new relationship with Steph had such flow it was if we'd spent ages together in previous lives. After two days of hanging out, she readily agreed to "go on an adventure" and suddenly we found ourselves in ideal circumstances; Danny was as jovial a singing sailor as could be, the boat was sound and constantly in a chaotic party state, we were learning sea shanties and all the practical knowledge necessary for navigating a 45 foot sailboat. Into the channel, civilization slipped away, we settled into a slow but steady pace and marveled at the passing landscape of Gabriola Island. Danny's plan and general lifestyle revolved around popping into bars and markets with his guitar, doing some busking and meeting with managers and owners for the purpose of booking shows later on. The music life is what brought us together and would carry us onward.

The B Fuller is a ketch, meaning it's fore mast is higher then it's aft, it's Danny's home, means of transportation and party vessel. He'd come from a big family in Alberta, had been a social worker, a TV repairman, was provincial delegate for the NDP, headed a Nanaimo house boat association, was married twice, had a number of adult children in various states of communication and had left the conventional life for one of excitement on the open waters. For the last few years he'd traveled around the gulf Islands, mostly based in Nanaimo, performing wherever he could, receiving a small government pension; living the Bacchus life through and through. Fascinated by history and politics, his 65 year old mind was sharp and seemed to get keener after he cracked the daily bottle. "Sailing just isn't the same without whiskey." A husky build he moved around the limited space with the grace of a young man, scraggly hair blustering when the wind picked up, his blue eyes were crisp, constantly gagging the water and wind. Steph and I were transformed those first few days on the boat, we'd both sailed before, she's even worked on a ship yard, but suddenly we were in a new realm; attention and balance had to be sharp, suddenly we were a crew. The Be Fuller had sat on blocks after being owned by a celebrity in Malibu, Danny bought it for the price of a house in the seventies and never looked back on his old life. Stability was the reason he'd liked it, quite wide, easy passage along the sides, the cockpit fit 6 comfortably and inside ten could party while being just a bit squished. The back deck was covered with roped-down paddles, an extra generator, crab-trap and various things found on a live-in sail boat, behind was towed two dingies, one a small wooden sail boat, the other a fiberglass rowboat. The cockpit had milk crates filled with food in various stales of decomposition; without refrigeration, innovation was imperative and sour milk pancakes proved delicious. On the cockpit benches sat long cushion which were a constant negotiation; more comfortable then the bare wood, but tares in the seam meant water would seep in, soak up and disperse at the worst of times. We were having so much fun that it didn't really matter though.

The Aluminum steering wheel was about four feet across; we used our feet and hands to maneuver while on the bench. My sailing experience had been on day sailors, never bigger then 18 feet, but guiding the course of that ship came quite easily. Sailing is a constant negotiation between a desired destination and the direction of the wind, the centerboard acting as leverage between the two. Occasionally we'd put the boat on autopilot, the radio, ignition and electronic navigation systems being embedded in the wheel stand. If the coast was clear, we'd set the course, listen for the mechanical whirring of the components and amuse ourselves by reading, playing guitar and banjo, pouring more drinks, smoking Danny's bunk shake, catching some z's or preparing food in the cabin.

Pulling into the southeast corner of Gabriola Island, the small harbor was alive with boating culture. I though back to my friend Dave the police officer talking about living in or out of "the system" because here as everywhere, the system and society, is hypothetical and fluid. As the sun set, a cluster of boats of every fashion and form dotted the naturally protected harbor, much smaller the then one we'd left that morning. An ancient Chinese looking vessel floated proudly by and just a bit further a single mast was covered with all the accouterments of a happy pack rack. Further, someone was busily cleaning a fancy looking yacht, beside it a stream of smoke floated from a cozy looking double mast. Further on a black cat encircled the wheels of bicycle perched on the stern of houseboat. This was a hub, people from all over stopped to refuel, reconnect and head back out onto the great vastness of the natural landscape. Before heading to shore, Danny was engrossed with internet chess on his laptop, the connection kept going sour, causing him to curse out loud, it was the only time I'd seen him mad. Apparently the lost connection meant a loss would be on his record, he got over it and ventured into land to check out the bar with hopes of a gig. Steph and I decided to stay on board and clean up the place, which we viewed as a fun challenge.

Sliding back the teak and aluminum cover, four ladder steps brought you to the center of the boat. To the right was the kitchenette, complete with two small sinks, draws, a small stove that rotated on hinges as the boat rocked, some cupboards and storage spots. To the left was small passageway leading to the back of the boat and two navigation tables along the outer wall with a rotating chair in the middle. That spot was haywire; maps, gadgets, clothes covered the area. Down the passage, on right, outside wall, was a workbench, covered with grimy tools of every manner, (however, there weren’t any tools scattered in the rest of the boat). Above the workbench were small cubbyholes that let some light in, but water as well. Danny had rigged an electrical panel and generator from the outside and ran the cable through the window, preventing its closure. On the left of the passage was storage, the control panel and access to the engine room; that half door opened to a cramped space which housed the two engines and generator that allowed us movement when there was no wind. The control panel was used for cabin lights, water pressure and propane. At the back of the boat was the big bedroom I shared with Steph It was a big double bed that ran parallel against the back wall, it had far too many blankets and was quite cozy. Small drawers everywhere had contained Danny's method of organizing his clothes; each one had a one set of underwear, socks and a shirt. The starboard side of the room opened to the rear "head" aka bathroom, it consisted of a tiny sink and mirror, bathtub used for storage and pump action toilet.

As Steph tore through the front end of the cabin, I focused on the back, after a few hours the navigation tables were bare and there was some semblance of order throughout the boat. Danny came back clean with his hair combed back and we had fire in the propane tank sized wood stove next to the four by two foot, foldable table, past the kitchenette. We sat on the benches that ran along either outer side, which were lined with history books, trinkets, novels and picked country, traditional irish and rockabilly tunes. Broken down cardboard boxes sat soaking in the oil, which we tossed in the burner. Soot flew all over the over the cabin and a bit of water dripped in through the crack where the tin chimney went through the ceiling; the boat was beginning to feel like a new home. The right bench and table ended in the front wall of the main room, the main passage on the left led into the front sleeping quaters, which narrowed considerably, houseing a bunk at waist height on the left and a wider one on the right at the shoulder. When Danny sailed alone he slept in on the cushioned benches next to the table, that night he slept in the front cabin. He said he'd prefer to have company when sailing, easier to keep control of the great boat.

In the morning we sailed by Valdes Island through the channel by North Galiano Island, we were settling into a rhythm, taking turns at the helm, enjoying the cruise. Pulling into Pender Island that afternoon, more boats of all kinds represented the many types of people who live, explore and enjoy themselves on the sea ways. We rode into the docks on the dingys and took in the slower attitude towards time and living that exists outside cities. I had been to this harbor once, the year before while a member of a Vancouver Island Hillbilly band, Kinfo. That band orchestrated persona of buffoonery, debauchery and alcoholism; when we hung out, it usually felt like a performance. The band had found me while waiting for a ferry, they asked me to play with them that night and afterward I became a member. I'd moved to their studio space, done some quite amusing gigs, but I knew that the general air of idiocy would impede Kinfo's success and evolution. Temper tantrums were reoccurring, the year before we'd come all the way out to Pender, while stopping at a few bars along the way, only to discover there was no gig booked. During much drinking and hollering in the middle of the night by one of the members, I decided to disregard the yelling of my name, and the screeching of tires, only to find my possessions on the ground in the morning . It didn't bother me, the adventure continued as always, it was nice to come back to this lovely corner of the world.


Friday, July 15, 2011

The most incredible thing that's ever happend to me

Now that my three year, epic spiritual journey has been bookened and the next chapter is beginning, I feel it's time to start sharing some of the experiences. This story actually happened. I'd been on the road for about three months and had felt a strong pull towards the Burning Man festival. Burning man is a a celebration of art and the destruction of "the man", so art, giving, freedom, love, expression but also fireballs, free bars and fire shows are everywhere you go. 50 000 people gather in the middle of the Nevada desert, creating a week-long city for the sole purpose of exploring expression.

It was on the Sunday morning after the 8 story tall man was burned to the ground, at the end of the week. Wandering around in the hot sun, a man with blond hair and glasses, lying in a hammock invited me though a megaphone to the dome he was in. With about 7 people we ate delicious breakfast burritos, smoked some dubies and drank whiskey. A man with the nickname Hobosus came and sang some tunes about his mother telling him to make up and kiss his sister. I sang some tunes and we got to chatting; living with only a jacket and the clothes on my back for the last few months, walking barefoot and hoping a freight train over the border got Mr. Hobosus' respect and said I was a true hobo.

The man in the hammock had promised me some magic mushrooms but forgot about me, so the second time asking, a lovely asian girl provided some, and as they started to kick in, I new it was time to go for a wander. Walking down one of the roads, thoughts of a few nights before entered my head. Mid afternoon on friday, I came across a camp that consisted of four large tee pees in a square, a fire in the middle and rope bordering the outside. One of the woman with the camp described it as the womb of the new world, aligned at 6 30 from the man (the city is shaped like a clock) and the four teepe's were all symbolic. Going in a clockwise circle, starting on the front left, first we came to the sun tent, aka the men's tent, back left was the earth, the women's, back right was the moon, the bleeding women's, front right was the spirits-wind, the ancestor's, where both men and women were welcome. In the middle of it all was the fire. The tents were sacred places for ceremony, I spent my time in the sun tent with another man talking about magic, spirits and intergalactic radio stations that you can tap into by focusing on a star, seeing another star twinckle, drawing a line from one to the other and repeating it untill it made a geometric form. This apparently allowed people to listen into transmissions from around the galaxy.

After our time in the teepee, we volunteered to welcome people into the camp, explaining everything and blessing people in the name of the 5 elements. The lady telling us about the camp said we were the first men, not from the camp, to be the gate keepers, and that special things would happen to us so to be ourselves for the rest of the festival.

Flash forward to the mushroom trip, the glactic radio signals came into my mind. After so much casual talk about the star communities, I felt that they must be listening in at burning man and would be able to help out if I made the right intention of contancting them. I wanted to go into space, in my head I said, "my intention is to go into space". And went about trying to acomplish this task. Taking a few steps, I sensed someone behind me and turned to see three ladies walking near me. All three had long dresses, they were standing in a circle, we saw each other, smiled and exchanged hellos. I said "I wonder if you could bless my intention``. The one who answered had beautiful and petite facial features, was about 5"2', thin dreadlocks, warm eyes, a noticeably wide jaw, and a light African complexion. ``What is your intention?``. Tickled that someone actually cared and that my intention might come true, a great big grin spread across my lips and I noticed the other two women; one of middle eastern or Persian decent, younger then the first, absolutely gorgeous. The other woman had on a vale, all wearing long modest dresses or calming colours.

I said `well, uh, to go into space, sooner rather then
later.`` The african lady looked into my eyes and with a soothing and confident voice said ``let it be now, let it be safe``. The four of us walked to the side of the road and into my mind popped something I'd read in a copy of the witches bible I'd found in a hobo jungle outside of takoma washington. The book was a great resourse, spoke about the feminine power being the first among equals in this dualistic reality but specifically, the three form godess representing three stages of feminity, the youthful maiden, the mother, and the grandmother crone. The male being represented by the comming together of magic and animal, the horned beast.

So we walked to the side of the road and the mother asked me to sitdown, the maiden and the crone on either side of me. She put the hoop around me, sat across from me and said it again, let it be safe, let it be now. I closed my eyes, and what felt like a wush of wind came up from below. In front of my eyes flashed a multitude of colours in rapic sucession, all associated with their own buzzing sound, unique taste and smell. The wind started to pick up and the colours got more intense A great smile overtook my lips as I started rocking with the power that was overtaking me. The wind got so strong I opened my eyes; the three of them were still sitting peacefully, but the pressure inside that hoop got so strong it ejected me, threw me back, I took off running. The force carried me 30 feet before slowing down. Once I slowed down, I just shook my head, smiled and started strolling back to the ladies. There were three poeple at another camp near by, observing, we smiled and waved.

Aproaching the ladies, the african one was standing with something on her palm. She said to me "look what you birthed". "What?". She held out and passed to me a small quarts christal with three spires, sparkling in the sun. "I made this?" I asked. "It was sitting on the ground where you were" She replied. We sat facing each other, all cross legged. The mother across from me, the maiden and the crone faicing each other. With a certain serious nature, the mother asked me "why do you exist?". Once agian the witches bible came to mind, it said the feminine is the dominent but the masculine exists to pass energy back and forth like poles on battery; that we inspire each other and fill each other with energy. A symbol for this is the two spirals, both going clockwise, one on the left, starting in
the middle, birth, growth, feminine, expansion, and one on the right,
starting on the outside and going in, homecomming, chrystalization,
masculinity, death and transformation. The two sides of life exist to be each others muses, to energize and enlighten; they need each other, like the ying yang.

I said "to polarize you" with a satisfied grin, feeling like it was the answer she was looking for. With a warm smile and more relaxed tone she said "say it again". "To polarize you and create everything that is this world."

Before sitting down she drew an infinity sign in the ground with her finger (a figure eight). After giving my response I looked down and drew one small circle above it and one big one around all three. That symbols was inspired by a dried snake I'd found on the side of the a hiway on vancouver Island.

Not the best picture of him, but it's the only one of I could find of him on the internet. World, meet Oscar the Perpetual Party Snake. On my way from Tofino to Shambala, far into the Kooteny's of BC, Oscar was sitting in the middle of nowhere, on the side of the highway. I brought him to the massive dance festival and spent much of the time walking around, showing him to everyone. It was a sacred object and folks were tickled to meet him and hold him.!/photo.php?fbid=438596562552&set=t.503098270&type=1&theater

I put the chrystal in the middle circle of the infinity circles and we all
close our eyes. In the mind's eye I could see the circle we`d made in the center, it was a gold ring and I could only see one quater of it. Rushing up through the circle was the most powerful energy I'd ever come across; it felt like hurds of purple and
gold elephants, or 18 wheeler's, racing through, as great strangs of purple energy. It went on for a few moments when the maiden said something about meeting freinds and we all opened our eyes. The intese power made me slightly loopy and I blurted out "Ì think we made a vortex". The mother's eye's open flashed open then closed again, with a deep moan comming from her belly, shaking her head said, "mmmm, say it again". "I think we made a vortex and we're birthing the new world. We closed our eyes and the rush of energy flying upward continued, the great power surging through.

After a few moments we open our eyes again and sat in silence, then they had to go. We got up, hugged, and I devoted myself to the mother. In spanish (for some reason) I said I'd always be the fool, the magician and preist, three tarot cards that resonated with me.

We said our goodbyes, and I stood there watching them seem to float away, abreast, long dress fluttering in the wind, untill a dust strom came up, disapearing them. Walking over to the onlooker's I'd asked if they'd ever seen those girls before. They said no, that they were just attracted to my enegery.

After that I went to SanFransico and Santa cruz, where things were equally magical.

All my love,


ps. this did actually happen, It was a low dose of mushrooms, not that much wisky. A number of other sureal/mystical things happened to me along the way, that will be comming out in their own time. Feel free to ask me any questions.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hello ladies and gentlemen, yes I've disappeared into the great wild again this summer, but this time something is different. Where every I go, I feel at home, it feel like a series of homecomings, that the universe is trying to tell me something.
Here is a summation of the last month or two. The day after completing a folk/roots album with my friend Morgan Friend in Ottawa, I flew out west to perform at longboard race/festival called Danger Bay. In 2009, after a cross country tour, I happened upon the race, asked if I could play between the sets of a punk band, it went well and went off on more adventures, then flew back the following year in order to play the concert again, I think the blog started petering off. The blog ended because the journey was so intense and incredible it seemed like reporting on it brought me out of the flow. Around that point I started meditating, getting deeper into the spiritual realms, and even stopped contacting my parents (whom I now contact regularly). The stories from last year will come out eventually, probably in some kind of mixed media format to fully represent the epicness. The spirits lead me around BC, then to the Burning Man festival, San Francisco and eventually Santa Cruise California, a place that some call the center of the universe; I experienced it as such.

The journey ended after about seven months on the road, most of which had been done with only the clothes on my back and a jacket rolled into a ball and hung from my belt when it got to hot. At night I'd cardboard or tree branches on the ground, put a garbage bag over my legs and cover my body with the long hooded coat, warm as could be. The lessons were many, the most prevalent being that the abundance is everywhere; food, shelter, love and support are in every corner of this earth, if the universe calls to go out on the road, all will be taken care of. The experiences where so profound, that upon return I was committed to be directed by the universe, to be as open as possible in order to allow greater consciousness to guide me. After a week or two back, my girlfriend proposed marriage and all of the sudden I was engaged, moved my possessions into her apartment and began the simple and calm life of a house husband; looking after a new puppy who'd recently broken her leg. All the while, waiting, knowing that there were great plans for me, somewhere out there and that it was time to be quite and as grounded as possible.

Luckily there were personal problems to keep things interesting as well as the opportunity to perform with my band and create a wonderful record with my friend Morgan. Without the CD my family would have gone on believing that my life had come to halt and that I was content doing nothing (rightfully so, especially since I still haven't explained what really happened last summer).

Then the time came again to fly out west for Danger Bay. My faith in the Great Plan, was such that I came out with only the banjo and my longboard. The first day while riding and playing the banjo (at the same time, obviously) a police officer smiled at me encouragingly, I knew that this summer I wouldn't get in any touble with the law. I wrote a facebook note about that day, here it is. php?id=506782710#!/note.php?note_id=10150188972746517

So things were super smooth, the contest went off without a hitch, learned some new punk songs to play, did my first real downhill run, about two and a half minutes of top speed riding, (for me it was around 70 km/h). Got back to Vancouver, then off to the international indigenous leaders gathering, a calm and fascinating event. There were monks, priets, elders and shamans from around the world, all gathered on native land about 3 hours north of Whistler. What struck as most intersting was the local cheifs interpretation of the comming age, that we've cycled through the ages of the sun, the earth, the water and the wind and are heading into the age of fire. It went along with everything that I've been living this last while, was comforting. There was much love and my favorit part was when I spent "woman's day" cooking with 5 other men. An elder told stories and we made enough food for about 1300 people.

I met a girl named Dee and she invited me to Nelson, a super high energy place where magic was afoot. Then lived on the farm of a religious group call the twelve tribes commonwealth of Israel. Those folk don't use money individual, all live and work together. It was a powerful week, learned how to milk goats. Then went to a solstice gathering where the powerful magic of the year before was retained, if only for a little while. I stayed a week on that land with the owner, an incredible man who welcomes visitors to his peaceful house in the woods. Cut off my beard, snuc into a dance festival where the conversations where the most memorable parts. Headed south west in search of a rainbow gathering and got picked up by a stunt man from Vancouver who was also tapped into a deep spirit vibe, we had much to talk about. I stayed at his fathers ranch for the the night, had some deep conversations, and in the morning headed for the rainbow gathering that turned out not to exist. West was the decision and I got to drive a good portion of the way.

On the way, we were listening to a recording of a south American shaman talking about the importance of a village, community and mostly about that state of full on crying, a feeling similar to bliss. In van magic mushroom found there way to me and the tears started flowing. It was the first time in three years that I had a powerful cry, it felt like a reflection of that day in 2008 when I got fired from a music store for sub par paper work, it was devastating at first, but it had to happen and was the first step of a spiritual journey that's been my higher purpose and has lasted three years. Praying for some feminine energy to open my heart, a sweet man outside of Cafe Deux Soleil held me, sang to me as I sobbed into his arms.It was divine love and it felt like the angles were truly appreciative for all the work Ive done and were listening intently.

It hit me how strong and brave I had to be in order to live such an extreme life of the spirit, traveling with nothing, getting arrested, scavenging, hoping a freight train over the border (because burning man was calling). The words of my new friend Tara came up; as she laid her hands on my heart, she could feel the case created for protection, then case started to break down and it hurt. All the denial of pain for the sake survival and sanity came back up, the fear of separation and isolation that we all feel came to the forfront. Making my way to a hippie house in East Van, looking for comfort, I thought about what exactly I was looking for at that place; visualizing many people holding me in safety, I started howling, wailing, screaming.

When I was a child, my image of god was many people, a group without defining features, translucent, supportive. They came to me at that point, they held me, now colored in with all the individuals and entities that I've come across, and they were all holding me, telling me I was safe, I was home, that I was strong and brave and I've never cried so hard. It was a bookend, after three years of expansion, being brutally torn out of one community, I was finally re-integrating, coming home. At the Trout house a lovely young man gave me tea and food and we chatted into the night, the buzz had long worn off and I slept well for a few hours until the sun came up, then slept in the park across the way for a while. The day was spent contemplating the realizations, homecoming yes, but not regression. The thought of coming home to release the album crossed my mind again, as it had every week since Ive been out here. I prayed for community, for bonds, for people to serve and to be served by. Once again my prayers were heard and thus begins the story that inspired me to sit down and writ this blog in the first place. I'm going to eat some ice cream first, though.

IM tired, the rest of the story is coming. Love you all. M