4/19 and 4/20 AT #RichardsonsGrove #HWY101 #Garberville #Humboldt EXPLORES #RELIGIOUS #FREEDOM ASPECTS OF #CANNABIS #April19 #April20 #KymKemp

15 Apr

Kym Kemp Features Redwoods Spiritual Healing Ministry Press Release about This Weekend’s Gathering

As a representative of the Redwoods Spiritual Healing Ministry, I sincerely invite all of the people commenting here, voice opinions, create dialog and bring others you think may want to participate on April 19 and 20 at Richardson’s Grove in Garberville. It’s a patriotic act to join together and demonstrate our 1st amendment rights to the free exercise of religion and free speech …

In the United States it isn’t our place … “to sit in judgment of religious beliefs, but only to protect their free exercise. Just as it is the ‘proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence’ that we protect speech that we hate, it must be the proudest boast of our free exercise jurisprudence that we protect religious beliefs that we find offensive. Popular religious beliefs are easy enough to defend. It is in protecting unpopular religious beliefs that we prove this country’s commitment to serving as a refuge for religious freedom.”
–Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch

“Whatever is my right is also the right of another, and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as possess… Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigues of supporting it… Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”
–Thomas Paine from Common Sense and the American Crisis

A new #denomination has formed, at Redwoods Spiritual Healing Ministry, in #GarbervilleCA. The #Church believes in #Cannabis, as a #sacrament

31 Mar


“A new denomination is forming, the Redwoods Spiritual Healing Ministry, across the building from the Chamber of Commerce in downtown #Garberville #California. The #Church members believe in the sacredness of #Cannabis, as a sacrament to enhance connection with the divine. #KMUD #News discussed the #LEGALITY and #Spirituality of the #Ministrywith #Attorney Matthew Pappas and life long friend Brent David Fraser” #MatthewPappas #BrentDavidFraser #BDF #CannabisSacrament #HolyCannabis #Entheogen #Healing #CommunityRadio #PeoplesVoice #PeoplesRadio #TanyaHorlick reports. #SoHum #HumboldtRadio #Redwoods #RedwoodRadio #PeoplesVoice #HumboldtCounty 

Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 7.51.49 AM

#Redwoods #SpiritualHealing Ministry, Humboldt County Community Gathering on Legality of Religious Sacraments, Entheogens, #Holy #Cannabis, #FirstAmendment Liberties and #ReligiousFreedom

31 Mar


BE THERE at the #RedwoodsSpiritualHealingMinistry GATHERING! Friday, April 19, 5-8 pm & Saturday, April 20, 2-5 pm, YES **4/20** #420 at Richardsons Grove RV Park 1600 US HWY 101, #Garberville, CA. Redwoods Spiritual Healing Ministry is a #SpiritualFellowship for Personal #Healing, Community Healing & Environmental Healing. We unify in #peace, #love, #compassion, and #alliance through #SacramentalCannabis for Meaningful Purposes. #SpiritualCannabis is Sanctified by the #Creator from seed to service, and provided to the world for its greater good. Do you #believe in the Spiritual Nature of #HolyCannabis? Do you believe it’s a #ReligiousSacrament and Healing #Entheogen? Do you know that #belief in #HolySacraments for a Religious purpose is protected under #FederalLaws, and supersede substantial State and Local #burdens like permits, etc? Have you ALWAYS known & want to lead the way to #liberty? Join us in our #DISCUSSION on #FirstAmendment #Freedoms and Protections, #ReligiousLiberties, #Sacraments, #Entheogens and creating greater security for believers. We invite you to become a member of our family, creating positive changes as we support each other’s #SpiritualGrowth, healing, and better living. #MatthewPappas, Attorney, his Law Group & Support Staff for the Ministry will be on site to answer all questions. Contact #BrentDavidFraser at 424-285-4612 :: Listen to the full story on: https://soundcloud.com/kmudnews/newchurch-will-use-cannabis-as-a-sacrament-in-garbervilleinstagram.com/Redwoods_Spiritual_Healing and facebook.com/RedwoodsSHM

ALL ARE INVITED on **4/20**

FRIDAY, April 19, 5-8 pm & SATURDAY, April 20, 2-5 pm

at Richardson’s Grove RV Park,

1600 US HWY 101, Garberville, CA 95542

CALL FOR INFO: (424) 285-4612

Cops Never Pull Volvos Over

4 Feb

9:34 pm, March 2000, Hollywood, CA

The rain greets me with a cross of mirth and mock as I tunnel vision my way along the star lined streets tonight. I’m pulling into my “used to be” crack neighborhood haunt, mind growing scattered, driving like a fucking idiot, careless cornering, eyes glued to the scene and not the road.

An old feeling, distant for a time, is flooding back into me, body sweating, teeth grinding, jaw clenching, adrenaline pumping, and the urge to find a toilet. I know that sounds a little graphic, but it is as it is.

I’ve just come from the house I moved out of last night, having cleared the short stop there with my ex, offering some nonsense about having left something there, CDs books, or whatever, so I could nervously fumble my way in, bee line to a known cupboard holding a secret, the Valium and Vicodin I had stashed, the left overs of a root canal last year. Relapse begins long before it actually happens. That’ll probably be the last time I see the inside of that place and “good riddance”, I lie to myself in an effort of empty solace.

I pick a spot and park near what is, to my recollection, the easiest corner to cop drugs, saunter casually, up the jacket collar, stand, lean against a wet tree and wait. I’m keeping a view to the street corner and the surrounding scene, watching for police and looking for any who will be “holding” out here on these saturated streets. The regular night shifts rollover too often to think I’d find anyone I know out here.

Experience told me it would be like this, dealing slowed by the rain, and it’s early yet. I’m indignant at the lack of good business sense the dealers who work the Hollywood street corners have. You’d think there would be one overachiever who thought to come out and get a jump on all the others beaten away by the rain and cold.

This is the worst part of the whole drug acquisition because I have too much time to think and rethink the decision I’ve made, but if I know me, I’ll hold true to my convictions. I can’t even remember now what I liked about smoking coke so much, but I’ll hold true anyway. The minutes, the minutes, the seconds, each passing of five or seven ticks, filled with the pros and cons in rumination over the lot of painful secrets on my mind and nowhere to put them, this is the only option, other than dumping them out onto a person, that I’ve entertained as a solution. I’m not convinced a good unload is going to get me what I want. That item, “what I want” is most central to my cause tonight. “You get honest, or you use”. I’m going to use. I’ve already downed a couple pills anyway, so on the books I’m officially “out.”

I’d been clean since December, 1996, a little over three years. I left the four-year relationship I was in and moved into one of my bestest friends, Billy’s place at the historic Los Altos apts. He’s going to be most of the time in New York filming a new TV series, giving me ample space and time alone to do as I will. I got settled in last night, drove down to San Juan Capistrano this morning to spend the day with family and Clan, playing this anticipated scene over and over in the back of my mind through catch up conversations about the weather, the environment, politics, etc.

I left the gathering at the family ranch in full Highland dress, kilt and all, happy about the downpour. I sped back up here from the Ortega Hills in a record hour and twenty-three minutes, and couldn’t waste time changing clothes before getting the pills and coming out here on this mission, so I’m sticking out like a misplaced time traveller and paranoid about it. Maybe I should just bag it; this is so dumb.

I laugh thinking about anyone I know seeing me out here, how hilarious that would be, and wouldn’t it be especially grand if my ex drove by? Fall in love, life rebuild, engagement, stay four years, couples therapy, short separation, break-up and here I am, right back where I started. There’s something satisfying, to me, in the knowledge that this element is always here to take or leave.

I’ve set out to “make it on my own again” taking with me the irritations and restless discontentment over the perceived wasted time in the relationship and life I had. The girl was happy; my family was happy, her family was happy and everybody seemed to have exactly what they wanted from me, but me. I’ve been inauthentic, dishonest, self defeating, pained and resentful about it. Pissed off at others for my not doing the requisite things to free myself from the bondage of my sagging ego. Mad at you for what I did and didn’t do. I’ve decided to dispense with all the people pleasing silence and start looking out for my “best interests” as I think I should have been doing all along. Right after I take this medicating pit stop… Where the hell are all the dealers?!

The break-up has been a big disappointment to a lot of people, but you’re going to disappoint some, eventually, if you want to be venture to be true to yourself. I have told myself I’d stayed in it as long as I could, and that I wouldn’t leave until I knew I had given adequate solution work to the problems we shared. he truth is of course that I could have done more, I could have practiced what I’d learned to do in the program, get humble, own my part, amend my wrongs, change behavior, but a screaming immaturity that wants to blame others for the shame and worser parts of my character that I’ve forced them to carry for me has won another battle in the ongoing war for freedom. I still have not identified my true enemy. I still haven’t realized it’s not them, it’s me. It wasn’t at all a bad relationship. Not at all as though it was some really tough living; Not a question of whether she was “the one”. I’m not the one. I’m not the one who can yet stomach the mirror of myself in the loving eyes of others, and my accountability for every time the image fades to reveal the bottom line elusive shame in me with it’s insatiable appetite for more, via nights like the one I’m acting out tonight. This old dance is old, but I know it so well, so how about just one last time, same as all the other last times.

I’ll usually stick in a relationship such as it was a little too long, to ensure a more volatile implosion. This last time’s extension was largely due to our life amassing enough of the fixtures that were payoffs to me for that time, on the outside. I mean the girl, the house, the dogs, the travel, material stuff. What I do or have done on a parallel track, is to still silently nurse my fears, allowing, or even encouraging the ego to wear away a central sought after thing, like the career, to keep it dying, to keep it going on down, to where I barely have any sight or sense of it anymore, thereby cutting, scratching and gnawing me into restlessness, irritability and discontentment, to drag myself once again out onto this stage to play it out this way, and yet find all other people, places, things and situations to blame.  I feigned trying to take my consternations about the game to fellows in the program, but no wonder the “Hey man, you’ve been clean for three years; that alone is a miracle” responses didn’t seem to console, and they aren’t truthfully meant to console, that’s just  away to contract others into the play. They’re meant to disconsole, it’s more fuel for the implosion.

A great number of people in the fellowship slapped my back and shook my hand constantly with validation and approval at what a “great program” I “worked.” “such integrity and honesty,” they said, “what a great example,” they said. One would have thought I was campaigning for poster child position in a program that uses no identity or personality endorsements. All I could think was that if I was such a great example, then where the hell was the success I wanted to prove it.

The funny thing to me is how much I didn’t bring to the table, how much truth I didn’t share and what an act I was into most of that time, just trying to look good to everybody else. It’s the things I thought I could never show to the world and didn’t that have me out here tonight. I don’t wonder how I’d look to everybody now. And I don’t care.

I thought about simply taking up drinking again, but that just won’t do. I don’t care for the effects of alcohol much and only use it when I don’t have any good prescription drugs to take the edge off of my coke. Drinking wouldn’t get me where I wanted to go anyway. I’m set to reopen the case for drugs and try to see if there is something I might have missed in all the insanity I had before. This is just how this disease functions. It chews at your ego, telling you all the things it can to get you to pick up again because it wants you dead.

I’m feeling just dejected enough to take its hand when it offers me a dance, but I know it just wants to use me and leave me crying over the hurt of its obvious selfish seduction. I don’t plan to tell anyone that I’ve relapsed, least of all Billy. It really won’t fly too well if he learns I’ll be using his apartment to conduct my “research” again, indefinitely.

Finally, a dealer appears. I ready my money and start my looking the other way wander over. I glimpse the confusion regarding my appearance on his face turn into a sort of smirk as he hangs under the dripping streetlamp, looking disinterested and innocent. I am aware that I must look pretty funny in my Highland getup, but one of the great things out here that is no one needs an explanation.

“Ain’ you cold in a thkirt, man? How much you wan?” he says with a thick Mexican lisp.

“Hundred. It’s a kilt, not a skirt.” I say like I just did this yesterday, to a face with no recognition. I hand the money; he spits ten cocaine pebbles out of his mouth; he drops the plastic wrapped pieces into my hand, telling me to put them in my mouth. I hate that. He runs after me to hand me a card with his pager number on it, telling me his name is Jose and to page him if I want more. They can size up the good customers right off.

“I’m Alastdare” I say, for whatever reasons, out here, I never use the name Brent, as my friends and family call me. I scoot away with a grin, back to my car, heart pounding now, to duck away in the back seat and relieve the anticipation one feels before finding the eventual all night place to smoke.

Carefully unwrap the plastic, notice what a pungent smell comes from a speck no bigger that a pine nut, lick fingers and taste the bitter chemical compound, setting the piece on the console between the front seats. Reach under the passenger seat to get the already rolled up foil pipe, prepared early to avoid wait time, break the piece in half, don’t want to have a heart attack and die out here smoking crack in the back seat of my car, deposit the half into the bowl, pull pipe near mouth, going cross eyed as it comes to my face, pull lighter from right jacket pocket, strike flame, exhale, mouth to pipe, flame to bowl, last thoughts of me with a view outside myself through the eyes of family, friends, the program, all I’ve said and done, fuck it, inhale, crackling, quiet crackling, like tiny birds stabbing clawed toes across tiny leaves, get a full lung, hold, wait. . . . There it is. That old feeling.

Everything is fine for now. Exhale a sigh of relief and exhilaration that it’s over. I have to laugh at myself and what a production I make out of the whole thing, but I am my most demanding audience and I savor the details. Well, that’s done, what to do now? I don’t know yet if I’m set to pull an all nighter.

It’s the same cycle every time, telling myself just a couple of hits and I’ll get to a motel, but those resolutions are thin enough to exhale away and I end up on my last again, out of the car and back out looking, not having established the place to land and stay till dawn, which wouldn’t be a problem, but the rain has most people, specifically dealers, still inside until the later hours, so extended periods out here are tedious to bear.

The time in the car is nearing movie length, and I’ve only got a couple rocks left now and know I’m going to have to get out there and cop again before I do anything else. I look to see that Jose has left his post. I pull out the card he gave me, dial the number into my cell phone, push pound and wait.. .Three minutes… Startling Scotland The Brave ringtone sounds out my phone’s purpose, this guy is fast. We speak a meeting place, amount and time and I leave the car with anxiety, round a corner to 7 -11 and go immediately to the scoped out dumpster in the reaches of the parking lot to huddle behind it and get more smoke in me while I wait for Jose to come, only to find a 6’4″ black man in drag has already beat me to the spot.

“Nice lookin’ skirt,” he says through a broken toothy grin, “You smokin’ them rocks too huh?” A street urchin can smell it on you. “It’s not a skirt it’s a kilt,” I say, eyeing the matts of cardboard next to him. “Don’t suppose this seat taken?” I ask.

“You gonna share you rocks?” he says with that grin that was too much the first time. “Maybe a couple.”

“They call me Bambi,” rolls out of my fellow squatter’s mouth on a face littered with burn marks and stubble, and I can’t help wondering who THEY are and how’s their eyesight. I say nothing.

I’m growing sweaty and impatient though I find a quieting beautiful clean that comes to all the muck that covers this hole of a town in the glistening blanket of wetness. I’m smoking, sharing as little as I can, making sure he uses his own pipe and thinking what a sucker play it is to deal with hangers on. I still get a quiet chortle from how well I can venture into this world and fit in, none of the other crack monkeys out here having any idea from what or where I’m born, my history or origins, I’m just another smoker looking for a piece of dumpster real estate, kilt and all. I let loose a self-deprecating laugh from my cliched “devil may care” act too.

It always gives me an ill sense of pleasure that I’m nobody out here. This sub-culture levels everything else out or takes it away. I only have to think about one thing- getting the next hit. I see Jose appear, rounding the corner, and I’m up and over there before Bambi can say “blow me.” Nick of time, near escape. I make sure to buy enough for my now bolstered appetite, screw the all night motel option, Billy’s out of town anyway, so I’m down the road to my Hancock Park friend’s pad, my new home for now, soon to be defiled by my actions. I’m smoking all the way home, top speed, grab beers at Bogey’s liquor on the way and suck one down in celebration while I drive, without a care about it. I drive a Volvo. It handles great in the rain. Cops never pull Volvos over.


Copyright ©2019 Brent David Fraser, Stratherrick Publishers, All Rights Reserved (ASCAP)

King Albion

4 Feb

Every midday sees no change,

His heart is beaten, so down and out,

Princess pain, she pines, is now estranged;

Maybe a King of clowns, but still a King no doubt

Cryin’ loud down to Satan,

Princess pain says, ‘what’s love anyway’?

‘It’s just the other side of hatin’

‘Another silly road to chase away the day’

Inside he cries,

‘She’ll miss me when I’m gone,

It’s no surprise, I could only fight so long

She only lies, this fairy tale was written wrong’

Inside he dies to one more bittersweet losing song,

Back to the guarded road, he travels along’

Princess pain, she was so pretty,

Albion says, ‘she was such a fair weather ride’

She shops her wares around the city,

She says she can’t live alone, but never tried

Albion flees to the north tonight,

To a girl he doesn’t know very well,

She suits his love in bayside moonlight,

But there’s no moon inside King Albion’s hell

Inside he cries,

‘She’ll miss me when I’m gone,

It’s no surprise, I could only fight so long

She only lies, this fairy tale was written wrong’

Inside he dies to one more bittersweet losing song,

Back to the guarded road, he travels along’


Copyright ©2019, brent david fraser, stratherrick publishers (ASCAP), all rights reserved


Natural Healing Church Sharing & Caring

6 Jan

Natural Healing Church of the Holy Redeemer via Natural Healing Church Sharing & Caring

“This sanctuary and fellowship when followed through has been most interesting, in fact it is amazing. The #unselfishness of these #Spiritual seekers as any may come to know them, the entire absence of profit motive, and their #community spirit, is indeed #inspiring to anyone who has #labored long and #wearily… They believe in themselves, and all others, and still more in the #GreaterPower which pulls those battling chronic maladies of #body#mind and #Spiritback from the gates of hopelessness, loneliness, and even death.” -A Fellow’s Eye View

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 8.21.57 am

My Highland Heart (excerpt)

3 Sep

cropped-mhh-blogtalkradio-header.jpgIn birth I felt the grip of those before me,

Their Highland valor beating in my chest,

If ever I would wonder where is for me,

In dreams I glimpsed the glens ‘round Inverness.

In life I’ve passed my rites’ initiations,

Withstood tough trials that few could ever bear,

Had friends who’ve honored me, my name, and nation

Who were, in my darkest fights, my saving care.

In death I’ll be forgiven, I’ll have no pain,

As Fraser Ghosts come to me from Strathfarrar,

To lift me on a bed of plaid through Heaven’s rain,

Return to God my grateful Highland Heart –BDF, 2002

This book is for my Mother, Mary Jane Fraser

Je Suis Prest (I Am Ready)

-Clan Fraser Motto

From a naked wee bairn I was shaped & hewn by elders of exceptional character and heroic proportion, to their measure of grit, panache, and ancestral solidarity. Transmitting and fusing their silvery traits into my consciousness with the gutsy, soul soothing tales of our forebears. These luminous legends thrived and grew through the refinery of generations, kept alive and flowing from the mouths of the raconteurs and orators of each era.

Countless drizzly nights by cozy wood-fire warmth laid the setting for this purposeful duty delivered to a tot’s ears, that was Clan tradition from the beginning. They branded me in the bold history of Scottish life in our wet homeland in the Highlands of ancient Alba (bonnie Scotland), giving me placement in our living, breathing saga. It taught me how by multiplying, cultivating, soldiering, striving, enterprising and winning (but not by too conspicuous a margin), my kith and kin had made the journey that landed me on this earth.

I learned of their struggles and suffering too, with the great number of Gaels in the cultural destruction following the failed ‘45 uprising and the Battle of Culloden. With numbers as great they left our historic origins in Inverness-shire and ‘The Aird’, Stratherrick, Strathfarrar, and Strathglass to a sustainable living in Edinburgh, Lanark, Liverpool, Keith, Glasgow, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Montana, Washington and California.

The braveries of their trek uncovered an inborn devotion to the “blood of my blood” and “bone of my bone”. Sooner than I could speak I was gripped with a passion for my blood home, and brought to the fore was a bond to it I carried into this life. I’ve never not felt, deep down under my toenails, that stamp that blessed and built me with a rich, rare sense of place, unknown to many.

I haven’t found family passion of depth or height like this in other people, save for very few. It’s a love affair for our souls’ true home, a flood of that blood bond with which I’ve since entered every fight and fray.

But with that, throughout my tender youth, my elders imparted an axiom (a law) that I only wrestled into my mental grasp under the dominating, demoralizing consequences of my self-gratifying years. They tempered with this: “Whenever you think to find fault or inferiority in others, remember that the majority of this world do not have comparable favor of the family, history, and privilege you have… so, your growth & improvement are compulsory.

I’m called to raise myself up again now to seek the recovery of losses, of family principles and good favor, life skills and social codes with which I’d been gifted from the start. I rise up again to hunt down my self respect and earn the respect of others, rebuild trust, walk with liberty, heal within my family, but most of all break open the willingness to love freely again… even after manufacturing wreckage in a life I will have scattered far from those valuable properties, for whys and wherefores I couldn’t catch or comprehend until this late in the game… even after episodes of explosion and implosion that nearly cost me, again, everything I love and live for.

But in this battle, equipped with new purposed bravado and audacity, (though shaky at first) I begin a fresh contract with integrity, humility and esteem for myself, my family, my strength and purpose. I resolve to fight well, honestly and fairly, cultivating and inspiring good mood, good will, passion and fire for life, loving openly, gratitude, kindness, helpfulness, devotion, compassion and generally walking in the sunlight of the spirit. I have no aim to change anyone, win over the cynical, nor my detractors to my side of this world, but all should be aware that anyone near me will be hearing much about the GOOD in everything.

It’s the unquieted voice of that ignited fire in me with which I’ll tell you my tales as they’re written and rewritten, and the magic and miracle of truths shared with all my beloved. Hopefully it will compliment what gave birth and rise to all of it.. or I end up revealing all of my worser deeds in a stark, rigorously truthful telling of everything about me I’d rather you not learn if I could help it.

It’s my defining aspiration, fueled by my heart’s core knowledge of a grail of sorts awaiting, with a loving, golden spirit. Something calls more distinctly every time it’s heard, from among infinite blessings and various victories ahead on my horizon. There’s little to say more about who or what I am than that I yearn to bring healing such as my experience may produce to bear upon this apocalyptic saga of love, liberty and life. The grail of which I write today carries a higher meaning now, that in greater alignment with God and my fellows I might aid suffering souls to suffer less.

What parts of myself are inseparable and eternally unified are where my fight for love is most alive… It’s been made clear how I’d hung it in the balance, in peril, under attack or ambush by the diabolical soul destruction of the true enemies living and fighting to rule inside me.

I had to be cracked open, broken down and to descend to the dungeon to unchain the better self I had masked for so long with regret, “justified” anger, resentment, fear, guilt, shame, and self pity. If I am to walk a free man and live in the dream of a unified life made to exist for a greater good, I must shed the lot of them.

Hadn’t I always found my way home? Hadn’t there always been a light in my shadows? And hadn’t I always landed back on my feet? Wasn’t there always serendipity, unexpected riches & triumphant comebacks? And, hadn’t I, when I recalled our ancient truths, always had that love? Had I simply been a lucky man? Or maybe instead, might I remember, that I too had always been loved?

At the bottom line this is a dance I must do alone if I’m to escape this prison cell of my own making in heart and mind, but when my fight becomes about something bigger than me, and better than me, serving the good of love, family, or the bigger picture. When my work turns from “have to” to “get to”, and duty becomes privilege is when I’m back in the game. That’s when the more skilled play begins.

The Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 still lends me the  most articulate guideline; “…It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that I am fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself”.

Skies that pour all day with tears, from God’s grey hollow till it clears, for just a second, short & then, it starts to rain & rain again, The pine & fir forest’s muddy floor, the mountain’s rising rocky door, The seas of teal & jade that spill to frigid shores when winters kill. I’m one of many northwest winds, blowing blessings, expiring sins, a son of silky skies that pour, the misty blood I’ve bled before

–27 June, 2011, Bellingham, Washington

I break from sleeping stillness like amber candle light from darkness, as the Rainman lets last drops sprinkle sparsely to tree branches and hang on, hang on, then let loose, plummeting eventually like jumpers to death. I’ve been shot out of a seething, pulsing dream tunnel, like blood from a sliced artery, spitting me back into a rusty consciousness and instant panic, sweat, anxiety and fear.   

I too am dripping beads and pieces of myself by the second; the sopping shreds of veiled truths, falling to a mudded, treed pathway within, as late spring leaves turn down with water to leak it to the brown fallen duff, the long dead. Some rise and put on a masquerade of living, inspired with a short wind, shooting around in twirling gusts, then littering the base of softly lighted tall trunks I scan from the opened windows of my room, serving up my own reflection.

My dry alcoholic mind mirrors the spinning subtle chaos under the trees, at first bare, but filling up with questions and demands, and rapid creations and re-creations of fevered, fantastical scenes in fast forward, play, break, repeat, shake, stop, scatter, repeat, play, the inevitable desperate vision in which I’m seen clawing through whatever bottles there may be all the way up those heaving stairs, to serve up a strong dose of the medicinal solution central to my horrific obsession and spiritual ache.

Clicking go the sounds of breaking twigs and picking birds. Early summer rain fancies no particular tree, giving equal ratios of moisture to nature’s otherwise perfect symphony of being born and dying. Even the least imposing sounds seem to irritate my ears, ringing like an endless scream. Clicking, clicking, ticking, ticking, I throw off the comforter with an exasperation, inhale, prop myself up and spill my weight forward to take me from the bed to teetering footsteps in sync with the echoing beat, on to the stairs and begin the climb, arms and hands outstretched in case I will have to drop to all fours and dog it upwards. I slide shuffle across the wooden floor to the dining room liquor cabinet, and muster all the control of my shaking that I can wield, to pilfer a hefty single malt whisky bottle tucked back behind others and lift it without clinking its neighbors, also reaching in my left hand to glide it right over the tops of the others. These savior bottles almost never get removed from their placements, no one here ever drinks or pays enough attention to their visible measures. Strange people. I quietly spin off the cap, hoist up to salivated lips and chug a long pull. I consider not so much what amount would by some long shot be noticed, but more to be sure to get enough in me to warm and relieve my avalanching brain, my aching frame. Enough that will endure the coming hours. My gut twists to try to send it back up but I squelch my breath and freeze, hold, wait for the reflex to subside and the stomach to accept the marriage to my prescribed poison, to seep right to the bloodstream through the its lining. I breathe out, releasing, calmed like a babe, with the comfort that it’s settling over me in right time. Yes, first relief. Amen.

Slipping the bottle back into its resting place, a fearful voice shouts out immediately that I should have taken more, but I must be wary of waking my sister, bringing on the discovery of me in the ugly throes of my plague. All of my movements, even just standing, heart beating, breathing, with the vibrating collections of molecules placed about; sofas, paintings, table and chairs and plants humming in amplified frequency to my lying ears. I don’t know what noise level I’m truly generating, or not.

I breathe back into a more workable perception. It’s quiet now. It feels like an eternity that I stood there. I collect and console myself that there is a just as full bottle of vodka waiting back there as I tiger step away more smoothly than I arrived. I’m measuring already the way in which I will re-approach the medicine later, playwriting it in my tuned up mind, with the visualized exactness that only a singular, crystalline obsession can paint. I recede, carefully getting away like the sole witness to a bloody crime.

I’m steady on the pathway back to my comfy bedroom with a feeling of solidity and the assuredness of being held in a place of grace. I am well known here. Known by the spirits in these rooms, the home, the trees, the welcoming town, the history in and out of time, running in lines as deep as the sea that ebbs away and rises up along its harbor.

This town is Bellingham, Washington, not my place of birth, but the most of home I’ve known given the nomadic conditioning that came to be me. The home to which I’ve returned to reckon with the call of endings in myself. Home to charge my heart to begin anew, on the less traveled leg of my journey. I’ll spend only a few days here piecing a sought rebirth with hands not my own holding the humming power to reboot the game in the matrix, dump the cache, so it forgets all lost games past in a God blink. That I may saunter onto the pitted moor laid out in anticipation of the dragon cave, with 7 new lives… Or so my companion voices have said in chorus, deflecting my ego’s doubtful ways. Where better to be reborn than the home of Mother? Though, sadly, she’s away at a diametric pole point in China.

I’ve skillfully crafted aloneness as my one man show. I, to the naked eye, my own audience. But, ah, if one could only see the soiree of mechanics backstage. The hands managing ropes, pulleys, trap doors, false partitions, facades, curtains, costumes and masks. The heaven and the pit, the orchestra and all the ethereal, co-witnessing, co-starring players’ faces that blink into visible existence most when the house lights are brought down and my willful play begins, flashing winks and grins in waves, particles and stardust.

And, well, there will be my compassionate sister too,  observing when and where she can. Not much gets by her, one can be assured. She’s there when she’s not there, she sees the hidden. I do so appreciate an audience, of any or all, size is relative, especially those familiar enough with my act to expect better and keep me sharp.

So, The first morning has been an alcoholic success as compared to how I came into it. Got all fixed up in a flurry of motion now remembered as a sweeping, bountiful roll of the dice ending me up back in the comfy wrapping of covers in bed.

As I lay watching out the window, rays of golden dawn overtake clouds, illuminating my room, my personal effects, my awakened face and my resting thoughts. My sight slowly surveys the clarty coziness of this chamber, piece by piece, as I do what I’ve been doing in customary fashion through the closing months of my last seasons at Shilshole Bay, before breaking or ripping myself away just a day ago.

I look from this safe harbor to rough seas with anticipation, recalling many storms I’ve pulled through to survive by toughening, grateful that I’ve well learned how to sail them, sometimes in winds and waters knowingly churned up by me alone. There will be another port, but before that I’m to be tossed about by great dark depths, but not go down.

I call to my inward self as is my habit, “Prepare to come about! Loosen the jib, hard lean to the wind”… The mainsail takes care of itself, grabbing gusts coming over my starboard, then to my port side as I’ve made the saving revolution, cutting farther along into another safe slippage to take respite until time comes to face once more the eventual fight of open waters. From port to port, harbor to harbor, a capable Mariner could weather the whole world.

In a certain similar way, maybe more like foxhole to foxhole, I trudge through seaside rituals I’d settled down upon me as the consequence of my darkest, most destructive years. I’ve been long more in the immediate terrors of battle than the tenable cautions of the sea. With this I drift into second sleep.

“Nothing else in nature behaves so consistently and rigidly as a human being in pursuit of hell.”

Pete Townshend, Horse’s Neck

In the first year and a half of my three year return to this corner of the world that stays as wet as I have, being a terror myself, worse than ever I’d been, courting death in a well learned dance with demon forces I gave apparent entry back into the house, and the run of it further than ever before. I no longer feared them, consciously. Mayhem ensued and settled in quite comfortably, dancing me through deeper gateways, more volatile, violent, manipulating, scheming, selfish, thieving, cheating, lying and not bothering much to conceal these from anyone, except when it would pay me something to do so. I had my head clocked and knocked out in crack deals for my smart ass arrogance berating beasts of any size without a thought of it. Ended myself up in jails and hospital beds with a defiance beyond any I had before, printed fake money to stick a fuck back to the likes of dealers known to short, give bunk shit, or take money and split, charting a chosen course to run, a planned circuit around a couple city blocks in the busiest night hours from a point of entry to a point of exit, hitting 5 to 7 of them before any could discover and corroborate with each other who it was or where I’d gone. I continued car driven missions with suspended license, expired tags, pulled over by cops numerous  times and let go, dodging justice for whatever reasons, smugly. My roommate and my girlfriend got to the point of hiding the car key, and keeping me stuck in Lawtonwood, away from downtown, no way to get there, mostly broke, constantly. Drinking whatever I could find containing alcohol, from vanilla extract, to perfume or hair spray, rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, anything. Every road block and dead end was being put up to fight my drives coming to a day there was no more, with a liquor store too far off for my depleted body to walk, nor could I successfully steal away in the car without discovery, to get downtown to trade transport to dealers to re-up their supplies stored in the outer lying neighborhoods

I’d taken on these spirit fiends in dark rituals and reveries in my aging years, in classic pseudo-spiritual arrogance which held that my powers were special and I could act with impunity. I felt immune to their powers, that I was the decider, not they, that I was their controller, tamer and choosy user of their amusements.

For some time I consciously thought I’d banished them methodically enough in a former period of sobriety to have them gone for good, but they simply lay patiently in wait, with the patience of Job, beyond my inmost sight, chipping, slicing and exacting chunks from my fortified wall as my sly but willful ego would silently contract to let them. Via resentment, masked self pity, envy and greed I invited them back in unwitting denial of such, as I practiced too well the social game of looking good, and not looking good, always confident I behaved only in the former, with a deeply cultured mechanism that hid the latter from me, with only a lip service conscience, employing rationalization, justification, martyrdom and entitlement.

When I took them up again in the year 2000 they settled in with heartily satisfied reclamation and ownership. Still keeping deep in the under-shadow, I can tell now in the clarity shattering consequence can bring, that most every inward and outward movement I have enacted was more their call than mine. I have them now portioned to more distinguishable places of separation from “myself” but that’s in a manner of articulating their aspects, they are all me, as the young man’s continuation of creating several selves as coping tools to disassociate from childhood traumas, stepping outside reality, sublimating the feelings in the way, becoming adept at looking good from the very beginning.

Distillation of the last half year and then some, fortified with steady whisky, water of life, to stalk through a dark warrior forest, hunting down my self, my ego, my identity, through my waking screams and night panics regarding my creation, quelling terrors in the skewed state of my craving awareness, of myself as sole witness to my own ravaging of heart, mind, spirit, with a hand more powerful than I visibly pushing and pulling into place the pieces I would need to depart.

A low commanding voice not my own, but in me, invoking the conquering wind to send waves in sets of three, carrying its new spells to my cottage shore, nightly transporting my self through fall and winter’s isolated darkness, away from the lifeless body bedded down like a dreaming seed, un-gripping my soul self to do its lucid summons, and take my unconscious mind’s pathway through the dim wood to beckon my necessary soul companions alive beyond the veil, the cunning Urisk who tracks the Fox who will follow the Owl to the spring hunt. We find rest in clearings we create within, rubbing the peelings of my dry mind together like sticks to spark a friction fire for a blind man to see, in this sublime quest the blind man is me, humming mantras from our deep shadowy woods back to the sea.

Over time, the invocations and alignments overtook mere ceremonious drunkenness that lulled me to let go of my ego’s control, let my shadow self conduct the business with its team of spirit animals, talismans and spells. With the achievement of some resulting conscious clarity and direction, they took me from place to place, societal bureaus where I could pay my debts enough to clean my record, to be a citizen adherent to laws of community and road, like real grownups do.

We pared down, packed up and cut away all but the essential for the coming byways and highways to something other. Something different. Something more.

Now I’m grappling with memory. Contemplating the time gone descending, the plans ahead arising, each step that I’m aware has brought me to the conditions of this day, and each stroke that tolls the bell of brighter undertakings & enterprises, stepping to a ticking clock. I’m called to bring new order out of chaos, sense from senselessness, and growth from reduction & absurdity. Sleep is the one state where I shed these thoughts.

“They are hardy, intrepid, accustomed to a rough country, and no great mischief if they fall.”

-General James Wolfe on Highland Soldiers

I’m up. To shower, dress and attend to my morning ritual, which currently consists of collecting & throwing out the empty cans of whatever alcohol I slipped out to pick up from the little roadside general store across from Sudden Valley golf course to drink in the evening to get me to sleep. I’d been putting the empties on top of a dresser in the closet, so they wouldn’t be out in plain view for my sister Carmen to see. She knows I still drink but doesn’t mention it. I don’t like to do it “in her face”, or anyone’s face at this point, though I think she saw the empties last night when she came downstairs to search all the rooms for her cat. It’s been mostly “controlled drinking” in the day hours of the last months while taking care of all the things necessary for my move and road trip; a daily maintenance keeping the volume of psychological chatter turned down, or off…

I have resolved that if “Brent” must still drink until getting to Los Angeles, that “Brent” just could not drink and drive. It’s been said that one of the early signs of schizophrenia is speaking to or of oneself in 3rd person… it’s been quite a habit of mine for a while. I am Brent’s only consistent witness with nowhere else to go.

I calculate the mental deficit incurred by all the energy required in planning days around drinking, like a meter running, ever reminding myself that it will be ending “soon”. Mornings are a little shaky, so it’s good to have some tasks.

I separate and pack the last traveling pieces from those that will remain here in mom’s garage, puzzle piecing them into my ‘75 Chevy Cheyenne pickup truck bed; my magic carpet. I fire the engine to let it warm, mindful that I can’t let the 350 small-block with headers popping out their combustion song go too long without offending neighbors. I eat a green apple and a slice of oat bread while calling out superficial chitchat with sister, as I wander through the home to soak in its resonance. We’ve lived in many different houses throughout the years and each one’s carried lots of the same items that hold memories and emotions of all that time. No matter where the house is, it’s a familiar home, and a gallery of our history.

Mom left me a nice black and blue Hugo Boss high collared, long sleeve over-shirt for Carmen to give me that I’m carrying around unconsciously like a security blanket while I do the final walk-through. I almost cried at her sweet forethought in knowing I’d want the shirt. I don’t buy nice things anymore.

Hugs and loving exchanges of little words & looks between Carmen and me say more than words would do. Luckily time doesn’t allow what a genuine parting conversation would require for us to have resolution or understanding about everything of my life she has witnessed more closely the last few years. I’m a little “raw” at this point. I put on the long sleeve; armored.

Into my warmed-up truck, I tug the gear shifter down to R, wave to sister on the porch, click on my portable Goodwill $1.99 wind up radio, and back away from this wet wooded setting. As I pull off from the house, tooling up and down narrow avenues, I take account of the tree lined lanes & mossy houses, toys left soaking in front yards, bits of open sky flashing like slide shows above my head, winding down to the main road, bigger, more purposeful, calling up thoughts again of what I have done, what happened, and what pilgrimage I go to do now.

I adjust the blinker switch to indicate a right turn, check for on-comers and pull onto Sudden Valley Road, into its blind turns, past the aforementioned golf course & general store, gripping so tightly to the wheel I could crush it, hands are sweating, my head saying everything it can to get me to pull in and gas up there, and just have one morning tall boy to take the edge off, but no, I can’t break my rule, at least not from the very start. I can’t afford the consequences, so I admonish myself the gas costs a fortune there and I’ll wait to get to the station right near the freeway – catastrophe averted – I may fail my resolve and drink one of these sojourn mornings, but not this morning.

I calm a bit and center again while navigating the back woods road maze that leads to the last chance fuel stop.

Inside I get coffee to go, as the pump draws premium grade from their underground reservoir and walk back to the truck to top it off. Throttling out of the petrol station, over the Freeway to the southward on-ramp . . . I pull off to the dirt shoulder . . . I take a breath, hold, exhale . . . visualize my whole endeavor.

I’ve been working my way to this trip and wrenching on this old Chevy I adore for about four months, aided by numerous friends, loved ones; angels. What remains of my entire life is tucked in the bed under a tarp, where I’ll sleep and camp my way down the coast. She’s road ready and we’ll be off in the wind, from the trouble I’ve got myself in, commanding this chariot from the remote corner of Washington State, to drive, drive & drive, all the way back to Southern California, exiting the emptiness & smallness I’ve deconstructed my life to be, led by a building sense of actual departure and new discovery. I go to reclaim something that lay there. I go by Faith not by sight; the evidence of all I don’t have yet. I roll the window down & turn up the radio with Stevie Nicks landing her own “landslide” directly on or into me –

…Mirror in the sky, what is love? Can the child within my heart rise above? Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing, ‘Cause I’ve built my life around you, But time makes you bolder, Even children get older, and I’m getting older too…

I REV the engine, kiss the inside of my right hand, smack it on the dash, leaving a stamp, drop the shifter down to D, wheels spit gravel & chirp grabbing pavement, I gun it onto the Freeway, laugh & humm…

And so it begins. And so it IS…

Even with recent surrenders bringing blessings, inspiration, determination, fire, some restored confidence, cleaned legal record, my trusty truck, my career experience, and a few dollars more, I feel I’m up against far more highly stacked odds than way back when, but going after it feels to be the only thing to do. If I didn’t go, I’d never know. I don’t know what will happen if I do it, but I know what won’t happen if I don’t. I can’t abide that decision any longer, I just can’t. Throw the runes. Roll the dice. Pitch and toss. The great dealer in the sky still has some cards for you, so shut up and let him deal.

When I went down this road more than twenty years ago, I had no sordid past, just a glowing fire, utterly bold confidence, and a naiveté that always seemed to endear me to the world, not bar me from its blessings. Though only somewhat consciously (and probably poorly) calculated, it was still a pure, decent, great dream… as well as a crafted avoidance of consequences, and a downright, bright light/good night 7/11 crapshoot. I rolled sevens & elevens for a long run, on gut feelings, hunches & intuition alone. Come along on the back-story road with me briefly, about my “boulevard of broken dreams”…


%d bloggers like this: