Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hand of God Productions

Meanwhile back in Mass- where we somehow kept a toehold on the blue house - our good friend Ann Carter - no not M'Cord was having a strange time. Here is the story in full.

She arrived one day in tears and told a strange story. She lived in a rather isolated house at the edge of a wood. She had a dog called Loki, an Alsation - big one - he alerted her to someone outside - but she saw no-one - next night same thing and on looking a little further saw a pale figure standing at the edge of the wood. Panic - next night he came in to her little house and told her to take the dog and start driving - where to? She would be guided. Oh whew - when we heard all this alarm set in, Ann - who was so sweet and Ossians godmother - had she gone nuts?
She was redheaded and rich - her grandfather who had made millions in lumber - had left everything to her and she had always felt this a burden and wanted to save trees. So - believe it or not, off she went with a bearer cheque and her dog - she left the U.S into Canada and reached Vancouver without knowing how or why and - well where to now? She saw a ferry and boarded it - got out and took a small ferry ride and across a smallish island and there she stopped and looked across a strip of sea to another island. Right in front of her was a stretch of fields leading to wooded cliffs and to her astonishment - arched by a splendid rainbow. Being Ann she found an estate agent on what was called Denman Island, and enquired about land, especially that set of fields. She was told it belonged to an eccentric old boy who had refused many an offer for the land. Underterred, Ann boarded an even smaller ferry and landed on Hornby Island.
She drove along the coast road and came to a cluster of wooden buildings. There she met the man - y'know I have forgotten his name - but remember his rep - alledgedly had chained his daughter like a dog - charming. He also did nothing with the land except to mutilate and wound trees. He accepted her first offer - said he was tired of the place and wanted to go to Vancouver and play the market! In a very short time the land was Anns, all 380 acres of it. She returned to Mass and on leaving of her plans for a small commune, we asked our probation officer if we could go? We were at the end of our three year suspended sentence from Olkahoma. She was kind and as there had been no infringement it meant full steam ahead next summer. Ann took off for Nepal and we laboured on between Mass and New York. One friend called Michael elected to spend the winter there and try to get it sort of ready for the few of us who were going to try and live together on the magical land which got called'The Shire' - no big surprise there! He had an amazing experience. He was following the map of the land and climbed the tree covered cliff to find, at the top, more trees and a carpet of truly thick emerald green moss. Standing staring at him was a short man in a big hat shaped like the hat of the magician in the Tarot - the Marseilles pack.
He demanded "what are you doing on my land?" - well politely Michael tried to explain Anns boundaries. "Get off my land", and Michael found himself at the foot of the cliff unhurt. Being stubborn he climbed back up and the man was gone but the moss where he had been standing as scorched. You may not believe this tale - but i lived there and anything about that island could be true.

Yes, we went there - we took the tiny ferry to Hornby manned by tiny brothers who were mildly drunk all the time but there were no mishaps - in fact an eagle swept the water in front of the boat, skimming the surface with outspread wings. A good omen.
We found the cluster of wooden buildings now transformed into a kitchen with a woodstove and a big table - a walkway led to a large room and opposite this an area for chopping wood etc. Another walkway led to the outhouse. These had been the old mans dwellings but now they were bright and cheery. People were building their houses, all kinds, our next door was a neat A frame. Angus began a Gaudiesque construction in wood. It began with a capacious army tent. He made a wood floor for it and built the one room round it and we had a small cosy kitchen built as an extension - it was slow because the only wood came from the local saw mill manned and owned by another drunk. He only worked the machinery when sober (thank the Lord!) and it was not often, but we persevered. I had a stove-pipe stove out under the trees in the small clearing at the foot of the cliff which we had chosen, all that glorious summer we lived outside, slept in tent - house all cosy. There was a song on the crackly radio about 'Our house with two cats in the yard' - that was us.
Jason came after a visit with a San Fran friend - they had been down the grand canyon. We also acquired a big brown dog called Jackson whom Angus bought from a penniless passing hippy, the dog was very friendly.

We were a convivial bunch of quite hard working young people. There was lint white haired Michelle - the A frame couple - he was really enthusiastic about our winter field, the summer garden was blooming under the care of his knowledgeable older lady - how we laboured over the field - big rocks removed with our tractor which had killed its farmer owner - then stoning - followed by farrowing and putting down lime. A ten foot high fence ereced, our kindly farmer neighbours told us that deer could not jump that height. They were wrong - one night our newly planted veggie shoots were decimated. After all that hard work - poor blonde Michelle had collapsed with heat stroke once - his chain gang mentality collapsed when he saw what those deer had done. We laughed ourselves silly and went on relying on the summer garden and soy beans, Anne had bought two sacks of this windy commodity. Her land ran to the shore which was all oyster beds - our chowder was delicious - also the hedges were laden with blackberries as large as mulberries - I made wine from them - best I ever made. So it was a magical summer - we had 26 chickens and a cockrel so young his tail feathers were not fully grown but that did not stop him with the hens and we had double yokers to enjoy. To crack them we had to take a hatchet as their grit - collected from the beach - was mostly ground oyster shell! We were told by some Native Americans from an island to the north that the island sometimes floated away - did a Mary Rose? Lordy me where would we be! Also that in the good old days those native folk never lived on Hornby but went there to pray. Not so many people lived there - another small group of communers - some farmers and several potters. One, who was chinese, made the most exquisite pots - gold and silver glazes. We had a flat bed truck which Angus hitched to the killer tractor - piled it with rugs and cushions and drove me round the island on the one road with Jackson running by - to picnics and beach parties.

Poem by Angus Maclise

Poem by Hetty

Sadly, after a time all this bliss became too much for Angus and he went back to N.Y.C. I was very sad but two children and the dog had to be fed and kept happy. Angus was gleefully forgetful of those things he collected - nurtured or discovered - his walkout from the Velvates just as they were about to make a record and have ordered rehearsals etc, a prime example! All that naming - ideas - keeping them together dropped - because he only wanted spontaneous events. The shire loosly organised as it was even too much for him. The night he left a crow ordered me out - by now cold weather had set in - "come outside" he croaked - no way - on and on like 'Nevermore' - so on with the coat and out into the freezing night and in a small clearing stood a tall figure. I marched up to it - 'what is this' I demanded, and I saw his silver eyes, grey garment and lapish hat and quailed. This was a person like the one Anne had described back in Mass and told her to drive etc. What he told me was amazing because it all came true later on. Who were they? Never knew.
After Angus left it snowed so hard we were buried - only the stove pipe protruding so we moved down to the cabin next to the kitchen. Very snug with a bark bruning stove. It was then that the really weird things began to happen. Ossian aged two started them off by vanishing. It was like this - Jason in my bed with a cold. Ossian playing at its foot. I go out to collect thick bark for the stove and let the door latch close - to keep out Jackson and his muddy paws (he loved to snuggle up on my bed.) Anne went into the room before me and exclaimed "what is going on here?." She said that there was a very strange atmosphere- well Jason white and crying kind of added just that touch of normality - I arrive - what is the matter? 'I lost the baby' "WHAT?!" It seemed that he vanished and there was really nowhere to hide - the cabin was sparsly furnished and no cupboards. Jason got out of bed and looked around the bare room - no ossian 'Oh mum will kill me' he moaned and just then Ossian was there. Hmm. I asked Ossian if he went somewhere and he looked old fashioned. 'Don't frighten your brother please' admonished Hetty - totally unsure of anything at that point. Several days later busy with my leather work, I heard a humming sound and looking up saw Ossian starting to spin around. 'Stop that at once' I ordered, and he did. Whew.
Then one afternoon I found myself totally alone on the land - some vital shopping on Vancouver Island had taken the entire view - so I was in charge. I heard footsteps on the boardwalk outside and went out. There was a man standing. Yes? No reply - Oh - who was this - did he speak english - was he from of the other island tribes - was he maybe looking for the chinese painter because he looked Asian. Silently he smiled and just walked in and sat down at the table. He was wearing a wrap around rough tweed coat and from it he brought a bag from which he purchased three objects. A small decorative kriss (a knife), a silk embroidered slipper for a chinese bound foot, and a clay tablet. Bother this he wants to sell them - must be a trader. So - no thanks not today - he smiled and went on sitting there and a voice from somewhere bade me choose I was annoyed - taking up precious alone time and I had no money- this I told him. Choose - oh alright if it will make you go away. The kriss, obviously Indian, was sort of tourist trash and the shoe - though pretty - obviously useless - so I chose the tablet - it was just a clay tablet so it meant nothing to me. He then collected them up and there was a very high pitched sound which made me close my eyes and jump and when I opened them a second later I was alone. Now it was my turn to search the empty room - I even looked under the little carpet!! Ran out - no-one on the straight road in either direction - so I went down to the ferry and described him but they had seen no-one like that.
I will take a jump into the future for a moment to when I met my first Tibetan Lama Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche. We had gone with a couple of new friends and they told me to ask him something. Like what I thought. After we had sat there for a bit drinking tea I remembered the man with the objects and told the story. He consulted some large seedlike prayer beads and told me I had a visit from Chenresig in the guise of the genuine Tibetan people and I had India, China or Tibet to choose from and the tablet was Tibet. You know I recall his face very clearly and I saw bits of it in every Tibetan I subsequently met. So maybe it was that 'compassion' came to me that day and i certainly chose Tibet didn't I.

Back to Hornby we must return now - Alas the immigration said 'no more time', it had been six months and as we had entered via the USA they checked and LO! Behold! Olkamona raised its ugly head again. I still had a valid green card so to us we would have to go - as Jason had enjoyed the school so much I said it was his turn to choose where we should go and he said Aspen Colorado, where he had spent a previous summer with a friend in a tipi and had made some friends. This was lucky because we stayed with these nice people who also had a son called Jason. Snow thick as christmas cake icing and a filmset cowboy town with raised wooden walks. Skiing everywhere - lovely for Jason who started like a veteran right off and was in the Junior Ski Team before long going upside down round 'the bowl' as I smiled with gritted teeth.
Skiing is not my sport - just the thought of going downhill at fifty miles an hour turns my innards to mush.

Then we moved up to dear Pat's cabin on Ajax Mountain to share with a vast white dog and a huge cat, black as coal. Pat lived up there year round grew her veggies and cut and hauled her own fire wood, she was also on the ski rescue team - watta girl - everything I was not. I was good at finding schools and this one was the best with a moog synthathiser and vidio - quite unique at that time and Jason loved it so what with this and skiing he was totally happy. He tried to engage Ossians interest by buying him little red ski's but Ossian slid into a snow drift and would only out them on his hands and once I went down into adruft with a 100lb bag of dog food on my back - it's not fun in a drift. So I was getting itchy and missing Angus desperately, so desperate was I, I phoned him on new years eve and he had stayed in waiting for my call which he knew would come. So I had to go to him, but this meant leaving Jason - that lovely school - Pat - skiing - friends. None of that in NYC for him - oh what to do?
Pat stepped in - she wanted Jason to stay with her so we signed guardian papers and he did not seem to mind. I told him I would be back in the summer and I meant it. Only three months away - but in those short months my life changed forever. Now, when I think of it somehow I feel heavy hearted and almost tearful. Did I abandon my eldest boy? no I don't think so really - because I begged him to come to India and twice to Nepal, to no avail, he seemed quite determined to stay in America and do his own thing. He was fourteen when we left - but I degress.
I did fly to New York and Angus came to meet me - ah love! It makes the world go round. I did have one moment of panic of the plane - what if Ossian vanished again? would he return to where I was or would he just return to where he was as he had before, and go plummeting down. Never mind - he didn't and we were in a tent together in a corner of Iras Soho loft - the dear old Jefferson Street home gone to Jill, this tragedy had occured during our absense and Ira was inviting the whole of Max's Kansas City (a big club) every night to party, and Vali was tatooing everyone (mine did not take of course), so we moved to a rather nice flat called a railway flat because one room lef to another - I had a really big kitchen with an unimpeded view of the Crysler building right in the window. There I pursued my Aspen cooking skills - baking bread and all.This was gratifying up to a point but Angus - in spite of being in NYC was obviously restless. Billy Name left Andys Factory and cme to stay but the flat was small so he went back - but Andy had changed and so it seemed had everything else. Suddenly once again our luck changed. Sheldon Rochlin came with the offer of a film in India! Maybe you have read all this before - but remember the funny bits please - because I do not want to bore you with repititions.

Going up town to Jean Houstons flat to escape what had become tedious. Her shout of excitement "y've hit an Alpha!" - goodness what was that! Enough to convince her that I should be in India and that she would help me to be there - at the time mearly bizarre - but - when sheldons offer arose - and back to Jean I went and good to her word she paid my fare and Ossians also - Angus sold her some tapes and we were ready to go.
Unfortunately there were a few hurdles yet to come - the probation over at last, no not that but a nice in the flat below went dangerously mad and was intent on preventing us - even going to the length of nearly throwing herself from the front window - as the cop shop was nearly next door this would have proved to be an impediment - but our luck held and she was restrained. Blow me down the wheel came off the car driving us to the airport - luckily near the runway and we ran for it gasping last up the gang plank.


Blogger Lady Lavona: said...

I just came across your amazing blog! I look forward to reading through the archives here!

love & magick!
xo Lavona

July 19, 2009 at 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Hetty

I was thrilled to find your blog late last year and enthralled to read your exotic tales from the seventies - long before I knew you in Nepal. You really had the full hippie experience, across several continents! It was a time that really meshed with your artistic talents. But then you moved on, as we all did.

Hope you feel inclined to give us another instalment in the not too distant future. Seems like there's really a book in your blogs. So maybe you could make some $$$ out of it, though i know that's not your purpose.
love kerrie

August 21, 2009 at 5:17 AM  
OpenID dorjex said...

Hi Hetty,

More than likely you do not know me but quite possibly you know of me and might have even met me once upon a time. I was born, Dorje, in Kathmandu in July of 1971 to Regan Heavey and John Chick.
Imagine my surprise when I stumbled on your blog with all its stories of hippy days of yore.
I met Ossian in New York, Greenwich Village, sometime in the 90's and have the photo to prove it. I was actually with Ira Cohen at the time. Do you have a regular email address so that I may send it to you?
I have written briefly about my hippy days in my blog so feel free to go have a look.
I also have a pic of Angus and my pops in the Spirit Catcher bookshop in Kathmandu.
Anyway get in touch if you wanna know more or just chew the fat.
Bom Blessings

January 18, 2010 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Hetty said...

Dear Dorjex could you please leave your email so that i could email you personally,

thank you all for your great feedback,


February 2, 2010 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger jacqueline said...

Dear Hetty,

I would like to get in touch with you regarding an Aleister Crowley art exhibition in Los Angeles.

Please get in touch with me so that I may provide further details.

Thank you,

February 19, 2010 at 11:32 PM  

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