The Bohemian

As the car turns the corner the new street accessed is in full view . A building of usual structure comes into focus .The design is striking, different in appearance and impression from the usual. As we continue slowly towards what seems like a dead end my focus on driving is shared only with my interest in this building that has caught and held my attention. I was in love with the design .  Up in the air as if stretching not reaching upwards . Two stories high , but not in the iced cake nor castle style architecture my eyes have become used to .
This was reminiscent of a tree house . The upper flat awakened memories of an Eco – friendly home miles into the swampy marsh of a partly uninhabited beach in South America . The quiet and mostly green expanse around the house completed this picture .

In the other parts of this community that we had driven through a little earlier a similar environment prevailed however , at that time my opinion of the area was the same as the thought voiced by another occupant of the car . “Too far away from the city and a little too secluded .” This house had changed my opinion and outlook . The area now held an unexplainable attraction . The environment echoed sweet sounds of good will . The simple elements of nature ; cool breeze, warm earth and its bounties formed a special bond that soothed . A special feeling of freedom in the unspoiled outdoors erupted in me .

Someone’s words drew my attention to two large fierce looking dogs approaching the stairs I was ascending , I quickened my steps with a watchful eye on the dogs who to my relief soon made it clear that they where not interested in a confrontation with our party . I walked through an open door and was again in love .

The inner ambiance was equally or even more arresting . The image and sensations of entering a warm bright log cabin concealed high on a mountain completely wraps your mind . This setting is aroused maybe by the rustic colors of the “old wood”(rough brown color) on large pieces of the wall . The clean smell of green and cool air bounced in and around the room . My mind immediately responded to this forceful imagery with a congruous picture of a large body of water and small paddle boats out back . Walking through the home there is a feeling of some adherence to artistic minimalism.  The simple but adequate furniture blend smoothly into the setting . All pieces seem at ease and made for the space occupied . Nothing jumping into view nor competing for attention, instead they compliment each other , harmonizing to show the gentle beauty produced by simplification of form and color

As evening approaches and the party nestles indoor there is a subtle heightening of sensitivity . As the lights are turned on a pensive air fills the room. A feeling of calm prevails over all else . The lights soft and yellow illuminate just enough leaving some areas with a grey overtone that impels the mind to focus inward. The tones of brown are even more prominent at this time , they come to life enriching the warmth and seamless flow of right energy exuded . The unique staircase amidst this artistic largess is certainly an interesting piece with its twisted treads winding their way up to a Rubik cube intermediate platform . This piece effortlessly draws my gaze over and over , as I struggle to find the fitting memory that it stirs .

I surrender to the moment and my mind is filled with memories influenced by the vibrations of my surroundings. My being slowly relaxes into the special feeling turned on by a late night walk down Manhattan’s East Village (made safe in my mind) black and white shades accompany my every move as I am urged on by the lights from the commercial nameplates and closed store fronts . Stories real and imagined are hatched by these pictures. My eyes moisten as I touch my ears as if to allow more of the crooning voice of a cabaret singer to enter and create the slow pull and soft release rhythm that her music plays with my body.

The memories fade as my mind settles and adjusts to the intense pleasure satiating it from the energy radiating in the room , engulfing my body limb after limb . I am present with the buzz of conversation but my elementary consciousness rest with paints, leaves, words and music . The end of a short creative drought .
The energy is so good , it swells in the atmosphere charging you with sensual delight . Everything, the furnishings the architectural design and the external environment all come together to cocoon the invited in a smoky, musing , free , placid and timeless space. The charges from these walls  take you from a visit to an old Berbice village home , to the loft of a 1970s So Ho artist .

This is a different experience , different from the museum of priceless objects (homes) seen at times . Sometimes tastefully displayed , other times assaulting the senses.
Here is a structure of quiet good taste that not only compliments its environment and enables the surroundings to show off its natural beauty, but also effortlessly changing someone’s outlook and perception of an area . This home with its many charms, has an intoxicating effect . It seamlessly transports you from one experience to another . It wraps you in a blanket of serenity and fills you with a gentle peace. Your senses are ignited and you leave with heightened awareness


Who hasn’t heard of acupuncture? Most persons  have I assume, and I venture to say with various levels of understanding. Some, like me, know fairly little about this procedure but may at sometime have this treatment as an option for an annoying ache or some other ailment. I have for sometime now been plagued with a pesky lower back ache, the type that visits at odd times in your life, like on one of the busiest months of the year, or the day of your great niece’s wedding.

The pain from my latest visit was at its peak and I decided to try, no not acupuncture, but  consultation with a natural medicine practitioner .  This of course was decided on after consultations with a conventional specialist  yielded no relief and no serious findings.  I approached the exercise with caution but at the same time comfortable since the practitioner was recommended by someone I trust with these matters, however a little while into the consultation  some of   this comfort  soon disappeared when acupuncture was suggested . The procedure was painstakingly explained, some  of which I did not hear nor  grasp, since I was distracted by the thought  of having to face the unknown and thinking of my version of the exercise. Of course  my imagination had gone wild, I sat there going through my slide show of pain, torment, screams and moans . I was told to digest the information and then make my decision . I was grateful for that  approach, great I thought to myself I’ll see about that. However the pain itself and the uncomfortable postures that the pain continued to force upon me  caused me to pay urgent attention to my options. I decided to seek out persons with experience of acupuncture. Friends, relatives any  willing informant. The experiences ranged from neutral to wonderful, the absence of any horror stories was very encouraging and I decided to take the plunge .

I arrived for the appointment at the set time, entered the space, sat down and engaged in the usual patient practitioner  exchange all the while doing the same thing  that I had started earlier, not focusing on the task at hand. A few minutes later I was fully prepared for the commencement of the procedure, this is when I started to home in on everything. My mind started running really wild this time. I had clear visions of the ambulance arriving with blaring siren to transport me to the hospital in order to retrieve a get away needle that had disappeared  deep into my body from somewhere in my back and many other similar incidents of acupuncture gone wrong. It seemed that I was (thankfully) so engaged in my images of horror that I forgot the one thing that I would normally do in any such situation, just simply express my discomfort and discontinue the exercise. Instead I  sought to fight my wild imaginations with weak images of life with a better back . It was while struggling in  this battle that I was told that the greater part of the job was done, and I was now only required to lie still and wait the uneventful end of the procedure.

Minutes passed and I had slowly returned from my horror movie, I was at peace with the situation, realizing that all was well, that no drama was forthcoming and that the faint buzzing massage  I was feeling on the target spot on my back was the closest sensation to pain I would experience . I finally relaxed and allowed myself to be still and enjoy the wonderful energy that seems to never escape my awareness when ever I visit this space. The treatment ended, I left fully satisfied. My back felt better,  I had endured no punishment, and there were no extraordinary situations . It has been a little less than a week since the treatment and my back is still progressing. I am now able to do much more without pain or awkward posture.

As my back slowly gets stronger and I enjoy the freedom of movement without pain I find myself looking forward to future treatments with a good level of ease and confidence. I thank everyone,  my sister Norma and  Diane Sinclair whose  endorsement of the practitioner really helped in a big way  and everyone else  who so kindly shared with me their experience of  this wonderful Art, and encouraged me to give it a try.

Danger Mouth

The shrill ring of the phone filled my bedroom, as I struggled to a sitting position I glanced at the caller’s ID, it was Margie my friend of many years. I grabbed the receiver and whispered  “What”  an hour later I was still in the same position on my bed listening  as Margie unburdened herself.  According to Margie, Ana her teenage daughter could not understand the discomfort she felt because of her (Ana) frequent and sometimes long visits to the home of her new friend Marley.  I listened carefully to Margie’s account of the situation, Marley’s mother she described as “unstable” and the home environment as “chaotic” . I understood very well the reason for her fears of conflict in the friendship,even though there was no hard proof to back up the cause of her fears. At the same time I also understood Ana’s position.  Ana at this time lacked the experience that is sometimes needed to understand  complex individuals, she felt safe dealing with such persons, of course this level of confidence was due to her naivety and ignorance regarding the  unusual lifestyle of such  persons and the possibly nasty situations that could erupt when involved with such individuals.

I smiled sadly at Margie’s words and my mind moved quickly into a downwards tumble digging up  what I call “The wrath of misery” . There are some persons to whom I have bestowed such tiles as misery,  spit-liar,  danger mouth and lie machine . Why these titles ?  Because of their amazing ability to strike big blows of terror, torment , hurt and sadness using their extraordinary ability to compose and tell ridiculous lies, and to tell these lies  without an iota of guilt, with a straight face and  all the theatrics and drama of a Hollywood classic. I have no doubt in my mind that these persons are not normal, it is my firm belief that such persons are sick individuals who were perhaps deeply scarred  at some point in their lives, but as is said the scarred  go on to scar, unfortunately this I think is just seen by them as a normal process in life. I am always amazed at their need and  natural ability to create what seems to be the exact environment of their past, their place on the social ladder makes no difference, they strive to create an environment of strife, accusations and verbal bashing, in other words household war.

I recalled a home where  the  maternal head of this household was the trend setter, her  raised voice was a constant along with her many complaints and dramatic episodes of household losses perpetrated by different individuals, including relatives and close friends . Her reports of friction and discord with relatives, friends and neighbors were frequent. This individual seemed to thrive on conflict and misery, looking back she  seemed quite at ease and satisfied when engaged in recapping one of her sordid episodes, but on the contrary she seemed somewhat listless when things seemed calm. That home seemed  always to carry a characteristic energy of discord and a somewhat grey shadow even though its occupants were mainly young persons of that happy and carefree age. The person in question seemed always bent on having a current issue of   “someone stealing something”  or “someone said something about a member of her family”  or  “someone had done something to offend her” or she would just engage a family member in all out verbal war. But each day she wielded her hammer and it appeared as if no one knew nor cared where her hammer struck . Most of the persons surrounding her seemed quite at ease with her style, no one seemed stressed or bothered by her, everyone seemed quite prepared and able to match her verbal outbursts, or they just dismissed her and life went on.

A picture of Ana amidst this type of confusion appeared in my mind, and I wondered about her reaction. I felt somehow that like many young persons her observation of this lifestyle would not amount to much in her mind. She probably would conclude that the daily matters of the household did not concern her, and would probably not give it much thought, as her mother said, she explained that in her mind she was there to visit her friend and her friend’s mom just seemed somewhat excessive in her behavior, but she did not think that this was really any of her business . My mind moved to a story that Margie recapped to me in our conversation earlier, she said that this incident had caused her some alarm, but I dismissed it as hearsay, I told Margie not to bother with baseless gossip, but now reflecting, I hear a bell of warning being rung. According to my friend, Ana was chatting away with a group of friends when a member of the group of friends, who is also a relative of Marley’s family did mention in a sort of joking manner that Marley’s mom was not such a nice person, another member of the group questioned in what way, and the person volunteered that she is “miserable” and is always hatching a problem . Those words failed to evoke any insecurity or concern in Ana, nor did she seek to muse on them, she just heard, laughed like everyone else and moved on. Margie expressed the fear that some day Ana would regret her flippant attitude, she  burst out “How can she be so stupid, so mindless of such behavior, and continue to be a part of such an environment.” Older and wiser you realize many things, I agreed with Margie, I could see clearly the reasons for Margie’s fears, but I could also understand Ana’s reaction knowing her to be ill-equipped to process, to understand and to deal with such matters.

Many years ago a young lady was employed  to assist me at home, during the first few days of her employment she kept repeating stories about  her previous employer making her unhappy by constantly talking about her when she was not around, I allowed her to speak even though it bothered me . One day after being on the job for a few weeks  she asked for a few minutes of my time, she then proceeded to tell me with out a hint of doubt that my four-year old and his friend, another four-year old were constantly talking about her and laughing. This of course did upset me quite some, and I decided not to allow her to continue to lend her service.  I could not understand two four-year old children locked in gossip and making fun of anyone. I then fully understood the tales  about her previous employers and I  realized that according to her stories there was always a case of someone spying on her , talking about her or some such behavior. This type of situation is apparently pretty normal and acceptable to her, and simply explaining to her that not all persons find this type of activity interesting and rewarding did not change her outlook in any way . This is normal and very much acceptable in her community and her mind probably tells her that it must exist in all spheres, it just simply must be there, and so she must look and find it even if the only available perpetrators are just two four-year old children.

I am no Psychologist nor Psychiatrist but  based on my experience with these persons I am of the opinion that some persons coming out of certain types of  background have a difficulty or perhaps in some cases find it impossible to leave behind certain practices. Practices that may be acceptable and probably in some cases a normal part of everyday life in their former environment, this type of environment is not peculiar to any particular class in society, this type of behavior exists in different ways at all levels.  These persons  go on to live in perhaps different environments and interact with persons with different standards and values, but they continue to see certain things in the same old way, their expectations of certain scenarios in their daily life remain colored by their past, this type of mental attitude it seems creates the danger that fester in these confused environments. They set to work I think mindlessly creating their environment , heedless of pain and hurt caused to others. They set the mood, create the scenarios and confidently live their lives as they know it to be, blaming, accusing, harassing, hurting ,lying, tearing, and belittling anyone  they choose without an iota of pity, without guilt or any such consideration . The web of lies they spin  becomes their  truth, this is life as they know it, so naturally for them it must be the correct way, and they continue merrily to satisfy their hunger for confusion and corruption.

I hung up the phone and continued to sit in the same position on my bed. My mind reeling, my heart heavy . I had listened carefully to Margie without interrupting, and when she was through I said “Yes Margie I’ll speak with Ana, but not as a second voice of reason as you are suggesting, but as a voice shaped by experience, maybe, this will make a difference.”