Saturday, November 24, 2007


Alexander Alexandrowich Deineka was born in Krakow in 1899 and died in Moskov in 1969.





Friday, November 16, 2007


Purry is of the age of consent, he is just small. He showed up here one day and I have no idea where he came from.
Pooh was living with a bunch of other teddybears not far from here. I came by when his house-lady had a yardsale. Pooh and I took to each other and the lady said, take him with you.
Now we all three share the bed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


What brought you to the drum?

It was definitely smoking pot that inspired me. When I grew up everybody seemed to think that I had no musical abilities whatsoever. In school, on the first day of song class, we were tested. I was told to sing a patriotic song and, without knowing it, I went a half tone up in the middle of the song. The teacher took this as a personal insult, like I had done it on purpose, and I was classified as ‘brummer’ (growler), which meant someone who could not be taught to sing.
There was not much music in my childhood. Morning song in school was about all and I never gave it much attention. When I was twelve we got a record player. My first record was one out of a set of four with the beginning and the end of Beethoven’s fifth symphony. It made me realize that at least I could appreciate music. Later I got into jazz: Chick Webb with Ella Fitzgerald, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, and from there to Charlie Parker, be-bob and so forth. But I was convinced that playing was beyond me. I have told before how I drummed the first time shortly after I started smoked pot.

What was the next step?

Oh, drumming was an obsession among the hippies and I loved to be immersed in the trance of drumming. It was all improv and the problem was that nobody really knew what he was doing, and it would often end in confusion. Thunder-drumming we now call it!

So, when did you begin to study drumming?

In 82 someone at Vajrapani Retreat Center arranged a drum class with Arthur Hull. It was an eye opener and inspiration for me. I mentioned it to Gabriel, my Haitian friend in Berkeley, who had once engaged a Haitian drummer at one of his parties. He is a great arranger of parties and the next time I visited him there was another party in his home Saturday night. I retired while the dancing was still going, and I had just left the shower when Gabriel asked me to come back in, so I went as I was: completely naked. The reason he had called me was that he was giving me a Haitian drum, and it was quite symbolic that I received it in my birth suit.
The drum was carved out of one piece but had split in three pieces. It took me three years before I got it fixed. The first two were very rainy and the situation at Vajrapani didn’t leave me time to work on the drum, but the third year I finally got to it, gluing it together, painting it and putting skin on it.
Now I thought of Arthur Hull and decided to show him the drum. He was enthusiastic and asked me to bring it to his Haitian class, so they could see a genuine Haitian drum. At the class they asked me to play with them and I discovered that I could do most of the parts. I realized that I could learn traditional drumming and Arthur knew how to make it fun. He had a mountain class and I started going once a week.

When did you start to perform?

I kept going to class with Arthur and when the class became his advanced class he wanted us to “graduate” and become a performing group. So we became The Rhythmonauts, the explorers of rhythm-space. Arthur had many contacts to local venues and groups, and he got us gigs as warm-up band and such.
Our most challenging engagement was opening for King Sonny Adé, a real African band. They were so nice and encouraging; as I have found that all Africans are when they see that you are interested in their culture. Always very positive!

Did you do “graduate” studies?

With drumming study never ends. My second teacher was an African-American drummer named Simbo. He said that he would teach if I could get a group together, and that ended up being the Rhythmonauts. Simbo was strong on Afro-Caribbean and Senegalese drumming and for over a year we studied every Saturday afternoon with him. He also had a dance company, Ghost Productions, and we performed with them too.

How did you become a teacher?

It began with Mabiba Beagne who settled down in Santa Cruz to teach dance and drumming. She is Congolese but has studied in Guinea and she started a dunun class. I liked that so much that I concentrated more and more on West Africa, especially Guinea. They play three dununs with djembes.

Dununs? Djembes?

Sorry! Dununs are barrel drums with cowskin at both ends and they are played horizontal with a stick in the one hand and the other hand plays a bell attached to the drum. They come in three sizes: the small one is called Kenkeni, the middle one is Sangban and the big one Dununba, meaning big dunun. With them plays several djembes. The djembe has a bowl with goatskin connected to a hollow foot and is played with the hands.
So, through Mabiba I met Lamine Dibo Camara who did workshops in Africa and I signed up for that winter. I came back from Africa with a lot of stuff and in order to practise it, I had to teach it to my friends. That was the beginning, but I really like teaching and I mostly do it for free just to spread the good vibe. The more people know the more fun to play.

You are still playing at the age of 82?

Yes, I play, but I don’t play for dance classes much anymore. I tire more easily and you can’t just stop in a dance class. Simbo once said to me: “I should have met you ten years earlier and I would have made you a master drummer.” That was a nice compliment, but it also points out the truth that you have to begin early if you want to reach the highest level. I was about 60 when I started. Many of the young ones who studied with me has now by far surpassed me, but I’m still good at teaching beginners and I have two classes a week that I enjoy very much.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


From Guinea.


Area Scatter was a shaman. After a seven months and seven days retreat he came back as a female entertainer. Here he/she is singing for a local king in Nigeria.
Thanks to Likembe.

Friday, November 09, 2007


With blogging I ventured into virtual reality, the land of fantasy and the miracle of world wide communication, and it opened up a new world, whose existence I had had no idea about.
It also takes a lot of time! I am impressed with the amount of work my blogger-friends are putting in and I love the openness and kindness, the sharing and giving, that I have met on the net.
Being retired (from what?) and living in good health on an adequate pension, I have lots of time - but still not enough time for everything: visiting the whole line of links, commenting, hunting for, or creating, new material. I am so slow.

I have two blogs; this one, with less than 100 hits per day, and BOYS I LIKE, which is of special interest to gay men and has 3800-4200 daily hits. I am sometimes tempted to try to manipulate the visitors from BOYS I LIKE and send them here where the theme is more eclectic in order to connect on a deeper level. On the other hand, I believe that connections come about naturally by the force of who we are and where we are. Because the internet is a net, each point will naturally connect to a point nearby, and in the virtual realm ‘nearby’ means of similar mind, of similar purpose, united in spirit.
I don’t believe in coincidence.

My view of the world is not original, but it is confirmed by experience, and as far as expressing it, it is done with logic so universal that it embraces the seemingly illogical.
Anything is possible!
My belief is the opposite of fanatic, and it reconciles all conflicts in the unity of Spirit. It is simply the belief that everything IS Spirit, the belief that the primal stuff, that science is pursuing with a unified theory, IS Spirit.
Science calls it energy, but the ultimate question is: what is the character of this energy? Is it blind or is it ‘Being, Awareness, Bliss’ as the Hindus say? I cannot see how awareness and consciousness could arise out of simple multiplication of blind energies. Awareness must be inherent in the primal energy and that’s the reason I name it Spirit.

This is really Animism, the earliest man’s knowledge and belief. Millions of years they lived and handled the world from this knowledge and only for a fraction of humanity’s stay on earth has the growth of greed transformed the earth and now threatens to destroy it. The only thing that can save us now is love, pure love that is equal for all creation, because love is the actualization of our unity in Spirit.

This is my hobbyhorse! In Denmark we say ‘ride sin kæphest’, ride one’s stick-horse; I don’t know if ‘hobbyhorse’ calls up that same image. Anyway, I digress; I don’t believe that happenings are fortuitous. I think that what we get in life is what we need and what we deserve. The only sin is to forget the pure love due to unity.

“When you are happy I am happy; that’s the formula. First you, then me! That’s all happiness is; it’s just the heart being free.” Said Sakyong Mipham Rimpoche.

Did I get off the subject of blogging?
Not really.
For me blogging means putting the cards on the table, show who you are and connect with those of the same mind.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


This classic picture was taken in Kathmandu in 1971. It's me sitting on the right in my Tibetan chuba. It is made of homespun yak wool and all hand made. The moths finally got it this year, but I haven't had the heart to throw it out yet.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Among my mother’s friends was an older couple that lived in the small town of Nykøbing on Falster. Their grandchildren, Birgitte and Poul Reimer, were close to my age. Our first meeting I don’t remember, but a now lost photo showed Birgitte and me as toddlers talking, while Poul is looking on from behind the bars of his playpen. Later, when I was twelve and big enough to be on my own, I lodged with the Reimers when we visited in Nykøbing. The three of us teemed up well, with Birgitte as the moving spirit. She was a spunky redhead and a graceful dancer. Poul was a sweet kid, but overlooked by the grown ups since he had no obvious talents and did not excel in school like his sister. We did performances for the parents and their friends with Birgitte as both director and star.

At my first visit Poul and I were put in the same bed at night and Birgitte on a cot next to us. While she was asleep Poul and I fooled around with each other, and for the first time, being not alone, I came, while Poul at ten was still too young to have an orgasm.
Ancher, their father, was a bitter man. He had expected to follow his father as head of one of Denmark’s great banks, but because of a scandal involving the Minister of Justice, who was Jewish, he ended up as manager of the local branch in Nykøbing. This was his reason for being anti-Semite, but his mother-in-law was Jewish. Naturally there was no love lost between them. Ingse, his wife, was about 15 years younger than he and suffered from this constant war in her family. In everyday life it was glossed over, but at parties the alcohol brought it to the surface. Ancher would loosen up, I think that was the only times I saw him smile, but Ingse would be in the bedroom crying and complaining about her unhappy marriage. This happened a couple of years later when we were old enough to participate in the parties.

We also had our own illegal parties where we competed with the grown-ups in consuming vast amounts of alcohol. Ingse and Ancher were gone for the weekend and the word was put out. At this time Birgitte had a boyfriend. At the party they got into an argument and Poul threw himself down the stairs to divert their attention from the fight; he deeply loved his sister and was never jealous of her status as the preferred sibling.
In the early morning everybody helped clean up, but since they didn’t know where everything went, it all got jumbled, the glasses were where the plates should have been, the forks were mixed with the spoons, the person who rolled up the window shades tied some special Gordian knots, and at the last moment, when the keg was rolled out of the living room a remnant of beer ran out on the carpet and made the room smell strongly. We were found out right away, Ancher tried to catch Poul who had a narrow escape. In the end the tempers were calmed and we were punished only with a lecture.
This time I slept with Poul in his room in the attic. He had a huge old bed that had belonged to his grandfather. Here we took our innocent pleasures together every night, taking turns caressing and masturbating each other. Next time I returned we went at it with even more zeal. When I arrived, I asked for Poul and was told he was in his room. I ran up and found the door locked. I guessed what was going on in there, and kept knocking, saying: “Let me in, let me in, it’s me!” The door was opened, and there was Poul with a friend whom I had met before, when he was a very fat little kid. He had changed into a young Adonis, and I was pleased to find him included in our lusty play.
Poul came to visit me for Easter when I was 17 and living by myself in a pension. As soon as we were in my room we fell on each other with passion, and those four days we were as close as we would ever get, both best friends and hot lovers.
A year later, Poul came again and I was of course all fired up with expectations, but when I suggested that we take up where we had left, he turned me down with no other reason than he didn’t want to. I did not insist, for I knew that I was in the ‘wrong’.

Easter 43

So, I swallowed my sorrow and we remained best friends, and when Poul later moved to Copenhagen we saw a lot of each other, long nights of talk and drinking. Poul had quit his job as an apprentice in a grocery store and started at the Royal Academy of Arts and when I came out and changed my life, I chose to study art and be a painter in part because that was what Poul did. When I told him of being gay, he said: “If I ever said anything that hurt you, please forgive me.”
Poul married a strange American woman who drove him to drinking and on to his first mental breakdown. He divorced, but the alcoholism stayed with him, the first many years not too heavily, but later alternating between being on the wagon and taking a yearly binge of excessive drinking.

Early morning after a night of drinking

When I had begun to smoke pot I traveled to Paris and from there further south with a boy I had met. We paid a visit to Poul who was passing the winter painting in Nerja on the south coast of Spain. The visit was not a success. There was a definite split between the potheads and the alcoholic, between the gays and the straight that made communication impossible. It seemed to be the end of my closeness with Poul.
I traveled a lot until I moved to California in 77, and then in 84, after 22 years of silence, I wrote him a letter that became the first in a correspondence lasting till we met one last time. In long letters we recaptured memories from our childhood and youth together and exchanged the stories of our lives, and it felt as if our friendship was intact, but it was nourished by the past; in the present we were far apart.

In 89 I came to Denmark after twelve years absence. Poul was living in Roskilde, a small town about an hour from Copenhagen. I went there to visit with some friends and naturally also to see Poul. My friends took me to lunch in a restaurant owned by Poul’s second wife and she immediately grasped the phone and called him. He invited me over and I had a shock when I saw him. He had changed into the spitting image of his father, Ancher, whom I had feared and loathed when I was young. I was presented to his third wife and their daughter but I could not stay long because I was engaged for the evening. I think the haphazard character and shortness of our meeting hurt him, for after that he didn’t answer my letter and our correspondence died out.
Four years later he was found dead in his studio, sitting in his chair with the morning paper and a cup of coffee.

Friday, November 02, 2007


A drawing from our hotel room in Marrakesh 1966. In the foreground Lone lying, behind Anja and a German boy, Wolfgang.