I began learning at an early age about our energies and how they mix, clash, change relationships, or even environments. I learned by watching my Mother at work. There were times when I went to my Mother’s job after school because she needed to take me with her on a field session or a social obligation. Sometimes I would be in her office watching her with clients. Initially, these visits were painfully boring. Then I began to noticed how the clients would change once they sat in front of her. Shoulders would relax a bit. They would put their bags down in the empty seat next to them. Arms would come uncrossed. They would even listen longer before speaking. There was something about my Mother’s gentle eye contact and casual, but caring tone that created an energy bubble around her and the client. My observation tower was a small wooden chair in the corner of her office. I was flanked by a file cabinet and a stack of papers, with my homework on my lap, and sucking on a piece root beer barrel candy I got from this sweet lady on the bus every morning. I could see and feel that energy bubble from my tower. I could also feel my Mother’s protection from the bubble.
Fast forward to my early to my mid twenties. I had come from NYC to spend the weekend with my Mother and her man in Philly. His name was Earl Augustus Theodore Wilkie. I had known him for about six years by now. Earl had a special place in my heart for a few reasons. It was the first time I had seen a man properly respect my Mother, and engage her most beautiful and magical sides. He was also a full blown Renaissance Man…the first man I was able to identify myself with. We could talk about music, religion, cooking, visual arts, new age philosophies, psychology, family, women, books, racism, dance…. It was inexhaustible what we could bounce between our brains over home cooked meals and port wine. I am tempted to share more about both my Mother and Earl, but this particular entry is about a special piece of jewelry. One that has a lovely story all its own.
Another reason Earl had a special place in my heart is that he had experienced many of the same “colors of Elements” that I mention in my “Model Citizen” entry https://actordavidraine.com/2017/06/19/model-citizen . At times, we literally spoke in code. He or I could simply glance at the other, and we would burst into laughter. Sometimes two words would spin us into ponderous dialogue. In the middle of a lively exchange about balancing light and dark energies on a day to day level, Earl reached into a drawer and pulled out a large ring. I immediately felt a heat coming off of it. I almost thought I heard a note emitting from it. The base is a thick piece of solid silver in a triangle shape with rounded edges. It also has an inlay of another strip of solid silver following the base shape. The center of the ring is a third inlay of a thinner, more delicately carved silver that holds a piece of raw Morenci Turquoise. Its named after the copper mine that it is extracted from in Morenci, Arizona. It had a shine so brilliant that the only thing to snap me out of its hold was Earl’s serious and steady voice saying, “A Mystic Artist named Mary Saint Marie made this for me a long time ago. I’m giving it to you because I know you need it. It protects you by deflecting or absorbing negative energy around you. However, this stone is going to leave you, because you’re still too wild!” Earl then let out one of his epic laughs. Imagine a jolly giant being tickled by dozens of elves. I laughed along with him, knowing he was right. In my mind I was taking it as a challenge, though. I would never kill this beautiful stone! I mean come on…I’m not THAT wild………am I?
About a year later I wake up in a bed on the 12th floor of the Paramount Hotel. I slowly turn to see the smiling face of a British fashion model I had been ripping through Manhattan with for the last three or four days. We met after I played a show at CBGB’s Gallery. The Gallery was a toned down version of the harder edged, iconic CBGB’s. The coolest part is that they were right next door to each other. My music can morph from acoustic to heavy, so we enjoyed bouncing between the two clubs often. Now that I think about it, not too many bands at the time could do that, and still draw a large, enthusiastic crowd.
The British model heads out to get coffee and bagels. I make my way, with a slight stumble into the oversized, overly bright bathroom. I was still at the age when a brisk face washing and some deep breathing was enough to recover me from a hangover. My head is full with the melody of a new song I’m working on called “Trinity”. The vibration from my humming is like a facial massage as my hands slide past my eyes. I was in the new habit of staring into the mirror every morning until a natural, self loving smile appeared on my face. This day, something was wrong. What it is doesn’t register immediately, but it feels like a hole in my heart. Staying very still, I begin to take slow inventory of my face in the mirror. My controlled gaze makes its way down to my hands…still gently gripping my cheeks. There it is…fuck. Fuck! The Turqouise stone is gone from the ring! I mean clean gone. No chips. No residue. Not even trapped dust. It literally left…just like Earl said it would. I search the hotel room and bed sheets, but inside I know. I know that I overloaded that protective stone. I quickly became over come by a mix of emotions. I was hurt because I felt like I had lost a dear friend. I was embarrassed because I failed my one way mental challenge with Earl. Then, I was excited. This meant that all that I have learned and believed about the power of energy was true! We are amazing, and powerful beings. Of course learning how to harmonies with that power is something else entirely.
For the next few weeks I kept the wounded ring on my night stand, surrounded by crystals that my Mother had given me when I originally moved to NY. My plan was to wait, and allow Life….the Universe to mend this. Not that I was super “New Age”, but somehow I knew that practical thinking would have no effect here. I became more introspective, opened myself up to more organic life experiences, wrote in my journal more… One day I received a call from a friend of mine who was studying at the Academy of Art University in San Fransisco. She was finished with school, and instead of flying and shipping her things back to New York, she wanted to drive across country. She didn’t want to do it alone, so she called the friend that was just as much of a spontaneous explorer as she was. I also happened to be on the lookout for a new adventure!
I fly to SF to meet her and we spend three days planning routes, gathering provisions, and inhaling the kaleidoscopic vibes running through the veins of the wealthy art student underworld. She had even booked me to play a solo acoustic set at a loft party filled with hundreds of artists and art groupies. When the time came to hit the road, I wasn’t quite ready to go. It was the second time in my life that I had visited a place that my heart really felt comfortable in…that I could see myself living in. Just like before, I had to leave because of loyalties to prior commitments. The first time was Muttenz, Switzerland.
She and I were platonic friends, so the only expectation on this trip is that we have each others back. We decided to start out toward Nevada, of course to see Vegas. It was simply for the spectacle, as we both could be blindly self righteous and judgmental about people who enjoyed this kind of atmosphere. As a matter of fact, I was so self righteous that I mentally acted out the scene in Jesus Christ Superstar, when he enters a temple that is now a bustling market, and begins to tear shit up. Seriously, go search “Jesus Christ Superstar Temple Scene” on Youtube, then put my face on the skinny blond guy raging. The next morning, we set out for the desert, but not before I get a ticket for crossing traffic illegally to make a left turn. By now I was featured in fashion billboards across the US, and was somewhat recognizable. Unfortunately, before leaving New York, I thought it was a smart idea to have my stylist friend corn row my hair, so it would be a non issue for the long road trip. However, a routine traffic violation by a mixed race guy in his twenties, with tattoos, corn rows, and a caucasian girl in the passenger seat can quickly turn into, “Sir, do I smell marijuana on you? Do you have any weapons?” Luckily, I was able to verbally defuse the situation and get the cop back on track with writing a ticket for a traffic violation, and not making up things to escalate the situation. (Yes. These deadly traffic stops are not a new thing. They’re just on tv now.) When we pull off, my friend says, “I can’t believe he tried to say we had pot. You handled that so well.” I brushed it off, to her, but I was steaming for another hour because of the fact that I had to “handle” the situation in order to leave freely, instead of simply getting a ticket for making a mistake, then being on my way.
Once we entered the Nevada desert, the red rocks immediately calmed me. I was breathing in an air that I have never experienced before. The air had a presence as tangible as the rocks themselves. I always had the idea that deserts were dead land, but it felt more alive than a Manhattan street. It was live land. After several miles in, we came across what looked like a small, tattered trading post. From a distanced it looked to be unoccupied leftover ruins of ancient American culture. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, when we pull in closer, we see a Native America woman of about fifty with long black hair. She is wearing a short cut tunic with blue jeans, standing behind a wooden table that sat under the shade of a wooden awning. To us, this was literally the middle of nowhere. The woman and I caught eyes, and with a gentle smile, she waved us over to her table. She greeted us both, then welcomed us to peruse her collection of jewels, teeth, leather bands, and rings. My friend begins to ask questions about the design of the crafts. There is a ring that is shaped like a warrior shield that catches my eye. Its too small for my ring finger, but it fits my pinky. I take stock of the moment….realizing how fiercely unique it is that I am in the middle this live land…this desert, with a table full of handmade spiritual objects, my ride or die travel buddy, and a mysterious merchant. I felt completely safe and right. It was like one of my Mom’s energy bubbles.
I decide to buy the pinky ring. The merchant tells me that its special because its a Hopi warrior ring. The Hopi were a peaceful tribe until they were forced to fight for their territory against the Navajo, who had been uprooted by the Europeans. So Hopi warrior art is relatively rare. Feeling proud about my instincts with the ring choice, I pay her and thank her. She holds my eye contact a few seconds longer, then says with a knowing smile, “You need Turquoise.” By now I have shared my ring story with my travel friend. We can’t avoid staring at each other with our mouths practically hanging open. I excitedly rush through my story of the gifted ring and the loss of the Turquoise back in New York. The Native American woman reaches under the table and pulls out a beautiful slab of Black Widow Turquoise. It was this gleaming baby blue, with black webbing all throughout it…just amazing to look at in that raw slab form. I mentioned that the slab was almost twice the size of the holder in my ring. She said, “Find some sand paper in the next town you stop in, and everyday for the rest of the journey home, sand the slab down, but always picture the ring in your mind. When you get home it should fit right in place.” She gave me a loving smile. I thanked her again and we headed to the car. I asked my friend to drive, because I was feeling some emotions coming up. The mysterious merchant waved as we pulled off and I watched the red desert pass by the passenger window through my raining tears of immense love and joy for Life.
For the next 11 days, when it was my partner’s turn to drive, I would alternate between carving my Black Widow and writing a wedding song for some friends who would be married when I arrived back on the east coast. The meditation of carving that beautiful stone while riding across America, was just as rewarding as the nightly song writing sessions outside our camping tent. This was exactly the experience I needed. I was so thankful to have been open to it, and ready to do it.
A day outside of New York, the stone was ready. With no glue or tools, it slid perfectly into place. I was now going to ride back into New York with new energy on so many levels. By no means had I mastered full control of my “wild side”…then or even now. I did however learn to refresh, and reset myself, which allows for the longevity I hold to this day. My Black Widow has stayed with me for 23 years now. As you can see above, she has been through battle, but she still looks good! I credit her longevity to the webbing. I believe energy gets caught in the webs instead of being absorbed fully by the stone.
That is just what I chose to believe, as Lord of This Ring. See in the below picture, the Hopi Warrior ring on my right pinky finger. This one left me in 2011. That’s upcoming entry as well.
If you are so inclined, please take a listen to the song, “Trinity” that I was humming in that Paramount Hotel bathroom many years ago. This is an acoustic, stripped down version I found in my archives.