eXisTenTiaLNihLisT revisits the bucolic cultural mindscape of Maine Native American spirits, cosmic adventures and nude astral projection.
Adult Themes of Sex, Drugs and Language; Part Two.
It is distressing that once I finished my three-year, two-week inspired sabbatical in Maine that I returned home to reality where fantasy has no place except in the head. My mother’s illness was entering the final stages and from 2004 until her death in 2007 my life was engrossed in care giving and devoting my energies towards making her remaining days comfortable as Alzheimer’s destroyed both her being and my inspiration to become a novelist.
It would be a humiliation to have erased three year’s work in a cabin 1,500 miles from home and to comprehend that for those six weeks I exhausted my motivation. Even during the three years of work I could never avoid what was occurring back in West Ala; my next door neighbors called the police on me claiming I had abandoned my mother, who was actually staying at my office while the house was fumigated for an insect infestation and was being watched by my partner. These neighbors, who never once visited my mother or even asked if I needed anything, also called a plumbing company and pretended to be me in order to get their sewer line unclogged!
We have not spoken since October of 2003 when I returned and told them to stay the fuck away from me.
My business was also an irritating disruption from work; I had a manager at the time, who had experience in the business, but who would call me for every infinitesimal question, so often that I began conveniently leaving my cell phone turned off. It was not bad enough that I stayed in an area where I had to drive five miles to make telephone calls; it was the realization that most often when I finally heard the voice messages they were as significant as the daily New York Stock Exchange to a group of beavers.
The first year, which I found more investigational, as I traveled into the mountains and explored the surrounding natural environment, was indeed filled with adventures. I saw families of deer and elk, porcupines, turkeys, beavers, crows and a variety of insect life different than anything in the south; including the magnificent actuality cockroaches don’t live here!
Even the spiders, grasshoppers, moths and flies were of different genus and every day I was privileged to view nature in her splendor with eyes opened wide as never before.
There was the usual fun in exploring a nearby apply orchard, Portland and Bangor, a drive to Conway, New Hampshire and the realization that no matter where I traveled people were friendlier than back in West Ala; so much for the purported “south hospitality” promulgated here, for it is a myth and I believe in the existence of Greek Goddesses and Gods more than the south being a friendly place to live.
It would be a circuitous two weeks, as I would later learn, because I had made a promise to myself to not be wasteful and my first notes adroitly articulated so many feelings that it was both phenomenal and exasperating; I had always been an automatic writer, much like the original Dadaists, writing whatever route the consciousness stream flowed and while recently revisiting these essays of the soul I was overwhelmed emotionally. Retrospection is wondrous especially when revisiting text that was intentionally and explicitly incoherent and incomplete. Sometimes one line of dialogue takes hours or weeks to perfect and on other occasions the words flow with the ease and eloquence of precise moments in time from mind to fingertips to paper.
The first night of the first year, 2002:
I settled in quickly, piling books onto the small table in the living room, which faced the field between the cabin and the lodge with a magnificent view of distant mountains, and filling closets with clothes for virtually any weather change, of which there would be many. The kitchen needed stocking and I decided to only shop for the most necessary groceries, having brought many canned and dry goods, coffee, herbal teas and alcoholic beverages.
The view would inspire me even when I was not writing; to my left was the spirit-permeated forest and I often visited the woods at varying times: daybreak, late night or sunset to get a better sense for the spirituality that I believed existed within them. Having already received a friendly, but necessary, portend of the possibility of spirits making contact, I was eager to connect with the dimension of dead and being open-minded and unafraid was optimistic life-forces would invite me to join them.
Not to inculcate the point but there were mystical life forces nearby and, although I embraced them it, would be later before I felt reciprocation.
Once the sun had set and I had returned with groceries and replicated starting and keeping a fire stoked – I had never started or maintained fireplace heat in my life and at age38 (I would turn 39 in November) I felt foolish each time I could not maintain the flames long enough to create raging flames. I was inconsistent at this imperative task all three years at the cabin, which I dubbed the Panopticon, after the major thematic leitmotif of dREaMbanditS, which I will explain further in next week’s reminiscence. The weather in Maine was a fluctuation from mild to very cold, day to day and totally unlike what I left behind in humid West Ala where autumn was constrained by hot weather. When I left, the leaves had not begun to change but once I was past North Carolina the season varied with a continual beauty that profoundly accepted by my hunger for nature beyond the hell I left behind in the Heart of Dixie, as Alabama is named, although as a citizen of this area for 42 of my 56 years I cannot give anyone a lucid explanation; overall it is purely named because it is in the middle of the south and nothing to do with that precious organ.
By the time I had settled into the cabin, for my first night, I had stoked my first every fire and sat before the fireplace warming my hands and giving in to iniquitous feelings of being seduced. I did not even care whether it was a succubus or incubus! I took a tightly rolled joint from my stash and good religiously high, notebook before me, and jotted down inconsequential musings about the trip and a succinct outline of what I hoped to accomplish over the next two weeks.
“Malevolence; victorious in illuminating, to myself, we must be accountable for actions beyond the realm of dominance over the helpless.” Why I wrote that was a mysterious as anything I wrote that first Sunday morning because I accepted I needed to empty my subconscious mind unto paper.
Essence of corporeal life leaving body to expand consciousness or Ephemera is my second middle name
Several nights into my first week I decided to take a stroll into the forest to near the cabin. The first two nights I saw shimmering light in an area where no one lived that I surmised was a sign to join the spirits. There was no indication they invited me to join them nude but I wanted to see if my body could sustain below 30s temperature. I wore a pair of shoes and nothing else and stood on the darkened front porch, lights off, my nudity note evident to Joan, unless she had night vision goggles. It did not take long to realize my acclimation to cold was not forthcoming but I ventured into the woods anyway.
It lasted five minutes.
I envisioned the spirits glowering at my nakedness; they wanted any communiqué to spare them my thin nude body. I could feel the cold breeze swirl around my privacy and although I was not frightened of providing a wild animal with unclad nourishment I felt tingling sensations that aroused me and after realizing there would be no contact I went back inside and stood before the dying fire to warm myself.
Maybe I’ll just sit here for a moment and watch the final ambers sizzle and fade away and soon I was in the throes of astral projection which lasted about five minutes. Over the roof and into the woods I went, incorporeally, into what I would later deem, Transcendental Body Snatching, I felt as if I was inside the body of some kind of four footed animal; stalking another four footed animal and it was at that point I returned into my body.
It was dark and cold and there I sat, naked, pondering what had occurred and if it would be useful in my spiritual quest.
It would be the beginning of a week that started with computerized writing and ended with all work done on one of my seven typewriters, after the Sony Vaio motherboard took its own vacation, by deep frying an entire week of the novel. I had to start over from the beginning and aside from my many hand-written notes I lost 72 hours of computer text. I would not see the written work until later when I had it downloaded unto an external hard drive and spent many hours deciphering sentences that suddenly looked like cmgmdms $%^&990@>?
Am I a lucky bastard or just a bastard? Perhaps, I embarrassed a female spirit with my nudity and the Medicine Man decided to alter my mojo. In any case, I spent the next week tryping, visiting Portland and Bangor and going to half a dozen movies at the local drive in and another trek to see one in Saco.
I have chosen to stop part two at this juncture in order to complete my final post for May and which is of a more serious and angrier tone. Next week: my first year ends with animals, the night sky, getting lost on purpose, apples and climbing a mountain.