Songs of Love and Mourning
By: Brian Michael Barbeito
Songs of Love and Mourning, 4:07 on the Clock, Kaleidoscope Travel Observations
Princess America and the Desert Wind
The bus goes through the desert beige and I fall quickly and quietly in love with the world there. Mountains like the mountain shapes I drew as a child. Distant. Only then, there were for some reason hundreds of stick figures tiny, denoting army and paratrooper guys, and dot…dot…dot…, and slash- slash-slash, where their guns shot out at each other. I do don’t think anybody actually died though I can’t recall for sure. I miss myself as a child. The toys and the light at noon that shone off of them from the windows. The sound of angels. Dreams of light. It’s windy everywhere and Princess America, the bus driver and guide, has a lot of spirit. She calls out at some point, ‘Give me the wind, and blow me away, not the hot sun, no not any day.’ People smile. Princess America is a triple threat- driver, tour guide, and poet. I remember randomly hearing the Tarot reader somewhere say, ‘10:21 on the clock,’ which she does from time to time to let anyone interested know that some numbers can be special to some people and also just for luck.
Not long after I leave Princess America and the group behind. I walk along a road that is made from dirt and leads further to the desert. I can see why people go missing and die in the desert. It’s vast, impossibly similar looking in many directions. If you get turned around you might not get turned back. There are shrubs on the way and I can hear rattlesnakes. I don’t look inside the shrubs but can see some skin that has been shed by them or other snakes. I love snakes but some people that love them are very weird, no? A snake is an outward manifestation of the kundalini energy. I walk on. I stand under the sky and remember the northern snakes. Once, in a far off forested land, I happened upon them and was surprised. They were sunning on an opening upon a small hillside. I flashback. But then I become present again. I stretch. I better head back. I don’t want to become lost in the desert. I don’t want to become a statistic or a sad story. I do t want the snakes to find me today. 3:30 on the clock.
Joshua Trees and the Distant Sun
How I love the Joshua Trees. Magic. Verdant. Many. At times I wish I were a spirit, emancipated from the body, flying across the air and surveying the trees and snakes, the stones and pebbles, chatting sometimes with the other spirits. I can see the sun. It’s ancient. I sense what I haven’t before and that is its age. The trees are so still, so frozen it seems in their prayer to the heavens. The sun is like a stoic mother and father in one, not saying much but taking care, warming, guiding them along. I doze off later. The sound of the air conditioning system or the hum of the engine or time and jet lag and age,- anything,- everything,- I don’t know. I dream I am swimming in a pool of water and my eyes are open watching colours…electric lights blue yellow and orange. They are a blur, or fuzzy, and I like this,- the effect circular distant orbs. And I can hear music. Under the water songs. See, there is a waterfall above the water there, manufactured, but beautiful, so you can oddly enough hear the music playing, well you can hear it more clearly and loudly, under the water. 1:08 on the clock.
Exile in Autumn
Awakening from the dream I am eventually taken back. Travelling across State lines, past the Hoover Dam, they play a film, a documentary about the building of the Hoover Dam. I feel the narrator sounds like Peter Coyote. What is it about his voice that is so reassuring? I don’t know. I wish he was a family member. That would be nice. It is a strange time arriving, sort of exiled from the world and time itself. What will happen? I walk along promenades of cities and towns, sit on their parapets. People have purpose and strategy. Most of the them. But, they are too similar. The exiles find a different flavour in life, sometimes sweeter and sometimes not. But at least it is their own. A unique journey not one taken by crowds. Their by-lines could be switched around at random and it wouldn’t matter. They all seem and sound the same. 7:32 on the clock.
The Karma of the Leaves
Back home in Canada the leaves have begun to change. A liminal time. Autumn the bridge between summer and winter. Winter will arrive but not for a while. First the riotous colours of September and October. Halloween with its ghosts and goblins and ghouls. Thanksgiving and its food and souls together, for many people anyhow. I am not sure what to do. At a crossroads spiritually. I read not Carlos Castaneda this time but what his people have to say. They love him dearly. They sense his in his words and vibrations that though not all maybe true and factual,- the soul of all is adventurous, important, relevant. I can see for some reason spirits in marble and in wood and in other places. Horses. Birds. And polar bears for oddly enough. The sun is going down. Hard to believe it is the same sun from the Arizona desert. I draw a card from a tarot deck. The Magician. Not bad. I like the looks of him. A good guy. A lot going on. I can hear someone playing music. It is The Space Song, and I feel it is strange and mellow and atmospheric, like a good dream or more specially and specifically, a mystical feeling dream, a dream that feels like love and mourning. 2:21 on the clock.