A PRECURSOR TO MAGIC
At seven, I dream about the next day's hockey game -
a bulky, slow-skating kid retreats for a loose puck
near his blue line, and with his back turned,
I speed from our side of centre, steal the puck,
deke the goalie, and score a goal.
Saturday at Ted Reeve Arena, the scenario unfolds
right down to my exquisite deke and goal.
I recognize the gestalt; discern what to do.
It was not mental practise - but a precursor to
psychic events later in life when I vacated
my body twice to shape swift reactions
to the Angel of Death, once when I fell off our
two-storey roof while shingling and again,
out of control on an icy viaduct, my car
spinning towards disaster.
Edward Henry "Ted" Reeve (January 6, 1902 - August 27, 1983) was a multi-sport Canadian athlete and sports journalist. He was on two Grey Cup winning teams as a football player, a Mann Cup championship as a lacrosse player and three Yates Cup championships as a coach for Queen's University. He is a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. As an athlete Reeve was noted for determination and inspiring team-mates. He acquired the nickname "The Moaner" in later years after one of the characters in his newspaper columns, Moaner McGruffery.|
Reeve was a lifelong Toronto Beaches resident. A rink in east Toronto is named in his honour. From 1929 to 1932 Reeve coached football at Malvern Collegiate, a local area high school. They won so many championships under his guidance that the school board passed a ruling requiring that only teachers could coach.
MY FIRST SHAMANISTIC EXPERIENCE|
A DESCENT INTO THE UNDERWORLD
My head pokes through the quinzee,
an igloo-like chamber, icy-cold, bluish-white,
shimmering inside like a bronchiole tube,
shaped with boney cartilage rings.
Prior to descent, invasive darkness with
anticipation of strength - preconscious,
transfixed as in staring intently at
The Source in Buffalo's Albright-Knox.
Bodily present in one of the heart's four
chambers - listening to thunder roar,
a huge vessel's engine room;
a valve opens, blood bursts inside.
I descend an inclined tunnel
into a pyramid - cut-away, a sliced
museum display, inside open to reveal
I pass an Egyptian figure sprouting
a hawk's head with a steady eye
and razor beak, static, suspended as in frieze,
the magical death scene in Blue Velvet.
Basking in bright light,
two metallic doors slowly unfold,
yawning at street level -
the sort used for truck deliveries
Yet suddenly, I'm in a sulphurous swamp with
dinosaurs - long necks, tiny heads.
Light shines with the head of Lady Guinevere -
Luminescent; her fine features contrast
With dark cloth that tightly fits her face like a nun.
She wears a multi-tiered crown; I sense I am
her knight; I sit at a table - large, oval, oak.
Abruptly, I return from my first shamanistic
descent into the underworld.