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Jimi's Message

by Maureen Kellar-Kirby 8 months ago in pop culture
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From Beyond the Grave ( Part One)

"When I opened my eyes, oh baby no one ever dies."

"Acid in my bones, I saw the air flash. When I opened my eyes - oh baby, nobody ever dies."

This profound flow of words were interrupted by raw regret floating up from a lonely soul in introspection.

"I see so clearly now, what I should have been."

These words hadn't surfaced from the depths of my memory for decades so why should they slip into my thoughts now? It had been years since those spoken words had haunted my mind.

I grabbed the remote for the Bose, slipped in an "Electric Ladyland" CD and drifted back in time, letting Jimi take me there.

"Have you ever been to Electric Ladyland?"

I smiled to myself secretly in affirmation. Time didn't seem to matter. Today, tomorrow, yesterday. How long had it been since I last saw him in a dream?

"I'll always touch you."

How could he have known? Like a puppet at the end of a string. "I'll do anything for you darling, jump through hoops, travel the world."

"Please place flowers on my grave, my sweet lady of life" - even if Seattle was a world away.

I sat there, tears streaming down my face and once again wondered, how could someone I'd never met before have such a hold on me? In the silence of the night, there were miracles that could not be forgotten.

September 21st, 1972

It was bedlam in the Kellar household. Stan and Bea and their grandchildren, Butch and Don - a couple of hormone driven teenagers champing at the bit, wild and restless, were playing rowdy ball games on the front lawn with my equally crazy sister Kate.

The falling leaves outside seemed to mingle with the scent of wood smoke drifting from the chimney and the damp earth of autumn. Winter was rapidly approaching and the waves of Mud Lake slapped the shores. In the close distance, our rambling country home at the end of a deserted dirt road seemed strategically vulnerable in its isolation.

I'd just had an argument with my still married but legally separated boyfriend and was mending a broken heart. After two years of struggling with my conscience, I'd surrendered to the fact that he really belonged with his wife and child. I was an unholy interference that never should have been.

Giggles, laughter and a cloud of cigarette smoke drifted down the hallway. Everyone was along for the ride except for me. Escaping to the sunporch on the isolated south side of the house, facing the back lawn, I paused and curled up on the couch with my silver tabby to watch a bit of TV, alone with my thoughts.

Turning it on, my eyes caught sight of a book, "A World Beyond" by Ruth Mongomery. She was a fascinating author to me in her attempts to pierce the veil and communicate with the invisible world. Why couldn't I follow in her footsteps then? After all, I was the white witch of the family, fascinated with all things invisible.

Thumping in through the front entrance, loud and full of boisterous hyperactivity, heading for the sunporch, my sister Kate and the boys shattered my moment of privacy. I looked up as they entered.

"Hey guys why don't we have a se'ance here tonight." I suggested.

Kate was enthusiastic - the boys less so, being more the jock type than paranormal seekers, but anything for a lark - why not?

I turned on my old cassette tape recorder that was already plugged in - my constant companion that I carried with me everywhere.

We gathered in a circle, sitting down on the linoleum floor, sandwiched in between the sandstone inner wall and the picture windows lining the length of the sun porch and I adjusted the blinds for darkness. Still a bit of dusty sunlight filtered thorugh the wooden slats, but it was quiet out there now - beyond a view of trees and lawn sloping down to the horse pasture. I heard strains of "Witchy Woman" drifting from the radio in the dining room.

Tousle-haired blonde Don, who always looked like he was half asleep, took his position at the head of the circle. Butch, who might have been more comfortable in a change room slipping on hockey gear right about now, retreated to the side, looking vaguely ill at ease.

"I'll be the medium," Don volunteered.

"Sure, you're a Cancer," I muttered, "they're always mediumistic but let me be the guide. I'm Scorpio and I dig the world of the dead.

"Whatever you say."

The boys threw weird glances at each other and nodded in unison.

"Okay, light the incense and candles."

I lit a match and touched it to a stick of patchouli incense and a tall, white candle in the middle of the circle. We settled back to gaze at the flickering flame. I heard the cawing of crows outside and the deer hounds in the kennel, howling after invisible prey. The wind rattled the windows and I shivered a bit uneasily in anticipation. The temperature seemed to have taken a nosedive.

"Well, who should we call?" I asked.

Kate giggled, "Well, why not call Jimi Hendrix? He's only been dead two years!"

"ONLY!"

I wasn't keen on Jimi Hendrix and didn't have any of his records, although his songs were all over the hit parade. This was rural Ontario, Canada - Perth Road, nowhere land, a teenager's nightmare - total social isolation. Without a car you were stranded. Even if you did have one, you had to be home in time to milk the cows.

We had been left in the dust as far as the hippie scene was concerned. It had passed us by, leaving a few scattered headliness in the newspapers about LSD, protests and rock festivals in the U.S.A. but the August before Jimi died, I ran away to the Strawberry Fields Rock Festival in Mosport, Ontario.

There, at the ultimate height of a high on Purple Microdot, I briefly caught a glimpse of what it was really all about. So as a result, I was ostracized by the rest of the family, grounded for a week and my car keys were taken away. That was as close to Jimi's world that I got but I would never forget my brush with Heaven and Hell. It would become an inspiration and a permanent influence over the rest of my life.

"Okay," I began, "first we all need to breathe slowly and concentrate on the candle flame. Empty your minds." I flicked on the tape recorder on the floor beside me.

Don was already breathing heavily with his eyes closed, his head dropped. I glanced worriedly at him. He didn't seem to be with us.

I began with The Lord's Prayer as I always did, trusting in the sacred power of its holy protection.

"Our Father ...

Who art in Heaven..."

The prayer was followed by a series of inhales, exhales and more focus on the flickering flame.

The rest of the group joined me. Everyone except Don, that was. He was murmuring something that I couldn't understand.

"Purple, purple."

"What are you saying Don?"

"Purple waves... so many purple waves."

Don's voice caught in a choking sob. "It's dark in here ... so dark."

His voice faltered. We were losing him.

My heart thumping in my chest, my voice shaking, I spoke directly at Don in a voice that I didn't recognize as my own.

"Who are you?"

"Juh juh ..." Don wet his lips and swallowed hard, pushing the words out one at a time - JIMI HENDRIX."

"So Jimi, where are you?" This whole thing had taken me for a loop. I was struggling to regroup. This wasn't what I had expected.

"I don't know. Please help me."

If he didn't know where he was then I didn't either but this sounded genuine and something about it touched me in a way that I couldn't explain.

"I'll help you Jimi." I volunteered bravely, "How can I help you?"

Don's voice was barely a whisper, "Look for a black hat with a feather in it... what I should have been." And with that he faded away and was silent.

"What should you have been?" I asked, puzzled. You were a famous rock star. Wasn't that enough? Jimi. Are you still there?"

But he wasn't and Don wasn't either. Kate and Butch jumped up, shaking his shoulder and trying to bring him out of it.

I blew out the candle and the smoke mingled with patchouli and sundust floating in the air. I flicked on the lights.

Don's eyes finally fluttered open, glancing around in fear and uncertainty, as if he'd been on a long journey , only to find himself in a strange and foreign land. He stood up, a little dizzy and leaned against the wall for support.

"What happened?"

"I don't know," I replied, "but I'm going to find out." I'd get to the bottom of this.

"Do you know anything about Jimi Hendrix?" I grilled Don? "Do you have any of his albums?"

Don shook his head. "We're into the Rolling Stones."

"Sure." I was skeptical.

Kate and Butch couldn't leave fast enough, stumbling over each other in a quick exit. Don was the last one to leave. I turned out the light and closed the door, but it was all on tape. I had a record of it at least.

Not much was said about the session after the fact. Whenever I tried to bring up the topic Kate would shy away from it and Butch and Don went home the next day. Nobody seemed the least bit interested in prolonging the memory or investigating any further, nobody that was, except me.

This enounter with Jimi pushed out all of the sad thoughts that I had of my married boyfriend and took a comforting place main stage, where I could nurture and probe the events that had taken place and continued to haunt me.

"Help me, help me get out of here."

What was this dark place that Jimi needed to get out of and where was the black hat with the feather in it,

I wan't sure where to begin but one day after I'd finished for the day, typing legal documents into a computer for Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, I made a side trip to a record store in the mall to look for clues.

I ambled down the aisle, touching album covers idly and examing the latest, until my fingers stopped to rest on the section filled with Hendrix and a surge of electric shock coursed through me. Staring boldly at me was Jimi, on the front cover of "Smash Hits". He was wearing a floppy black hat with a feather in it.

"Holy smoke!"

I stood there for what seemed like an eternity, my heart hammering in my chest and struggled to catch my breath.

"Is this for real?"

Of course, it had to be a gag. Don probably had this album at home and was having a royal laugh at me by now, back home now in Hamilton. Skepticism replaced awe and I dug a little further, reading the song titles on the back.

Another surge of adrenalin hit as my shaking fingers held up the album cover, The song title."Purple Haze, jumped up at me."

"Purple, purple... so many purple waves... could that be "Purple Haze?" Could Don have been so clever that day that he also remembered to inject a preplanned song title into his mumblings?

It would have been a bit of a stretch, but it could have been possible. Now I wasn't sure anymore. I'd need more proof to know if this Jimi thing was for real.

I drove back home with trembling legs, lost in thought.

In Ruth Mongomery's books I'd read of an occult technique called automatic handwriting, whereby spirits could communicate through written notes on paper and I thought I'd give it a try. Strangely, by now, the feelings that I'd had for my ex were fastly fading, replaced by a new emotion that was capturing my heart. You know the feeling, girl meets a new boy - shyness and fascination. I wanted to know Jimi better.

I sat alone at the kitchen table in an empty house that day and let the pen wander its way across the table.

I began with writing down the words, Jimi's words... "I see so clearly now what I should have been. Die daily, we die like the dishes are done. Wash them away. Wash them everyday."

"Well, that's true," I responded to the air, "but does that emphasize the futility of living then or are you simply stating a fact of life?"

The pen was silent but I felt the sadness, the regret, the finality of it all. No more choices, no more opportunities to make amends. Jacob Marley, bemoaning his fate.

"Well then, what CAN I do for you?" I asked. There was something I knew but I wasn't sure yet what it might be.

The pen jumped to life once more and spoke, "Dawn streaks red across the sands of time and I cry, follow me. Let me show you the wonders of the Heavenly Worlds baby. You were never meant for this world and neither was I.

I dropped the pen, pushing myself away from the table. How could someone invade my privacy like that, peer into my soul and flirt with me, for pete sakes!

I argued with myself. I must be insane, thinking thoughts like that but I missed loving and being loved. I was lonely and I couldn't shut it down. I'd bought the album I'd seen in Kingston so I could listen to the rest of Jimi's songs. It gave me some measure of comfort.

Another day found me sitting again at the table again with pen in hand and I wrote a poem.

There is another world beyond this dimension

They move within realms we cannot see, invisible people who are free

There is a place where music dwells and nourishes the soul

and love and generosity are the only goals

It is a prison within which we dwell

the bottom of the well, a world close to Hell

we've each our mission to complete

before we can go there

our Home, where hearts are innocent and skies are always fair.

"I've had a rough childhood Jimi," I admitted, "my dad and I have never seen eye to eye and I've never felt comfortable as a member of this family."

Jimi sympathized with me and sent me "Turntable Trousers" through automatic handwriting, a snapshot of his own childhood that probably was worse than mine had been.

"Mama, you heard me knocking. What you say? Your hearing aid ain't plugged in. Oh mama, I'm so sad you've gone away. I cried and cried all day until the sun went down. Daddy heard me crying and he busted into my room and spanked me hard. He said, "Mama is bad." But he forgets she used to bring me peppermint, even when it wasn't Christmas. I hope she comes back soon."

There were clues here in these scribblings but it would difficult for me prove evidence. This spoke of an abusive and misunderstood childhood with an absent mother and an unsympathetic father. At that point in time I had no knowledge of Jimi's early home life and had no way of verifying "she used to bring me peppermint, even when it wasn't Christmas." The only one who could verify this would be Jimi's brother Leon and good luck with making contact with him. The world is full of weirdos and surely I would be branded as one of them.

What was I doing and where was I in September 1970, the month after Strawberry Fields rock festival when Purple microdot had dissolved the veil and transported me me to Heaven and Hell. I was still coming down, melting crayons into multi-colored candles and sewing old bedspreads into shawls in some sort of a hippie daze. While I was in the process of returning to this world Jimi was leaving it. I had been exactly ten years younger than Jimi by only a few weeks. I was seventeen to Jimi's twenty-seven when he died.

Little miss strange, white witch talking to unlikely ghosts and following the stars in a Venus/Neptune fascination. My obsession with Jimi only grew stronger.

"Jimi" I asked one day, tell me about the world where you live. Are you still in darkness?"

"No baby, your love has been helping me."

"Is that what it takes Jimi - love?"

"Faith and love, that's all it takes and someone who believes in me. I'm on the ninth plane now."

"What's the ninth plane?"

"Well, I'll show you."

And as I sat, pencil in hand on paper, slowly a drawing emerged; a triangle upright and a triangle upside down, together forming a diamond shape which was enclosed within a larger circle.

In the middle of the diamond a smaller circle and within this one, an even smaller one. On top of the large circle on the point of the triangle right side up and at the bottom of the larger circle on the bottom of the triangle upside down.

"Wow!" I exclaimed as the design emerged. "What's this?"

"This is The Spiritual Diamond" Jimi explained. There are nine planes ascending to Heaven on the upright triangle. These are the positive planes of the good souls and the nine descending on the upside down triangle leading to Hell are the negative planes of the bad souls. You gravitate to the plane that is occupied by souls like you.

"You know," he paused reflectively, "birds of a feather flock together, as the old saying goes."

And of course, that made total sense. His hand guided mine, drawing on paper a diagram that years later I would have made into a silver pendant that still hangs around my neck.

I'd never paid much attention to Jimi's music when I heard it on the radio in the 1960's but now, after buying a few of his albums I took the time to sit down and understand the meaning behind the lyrics. I gradually came to understand that Jimi had a very mystical and psychic side that had probably been misunderstood while he was alive.

Was I the only one who understood that when Jimi recorded "Belly Button Window" at his studio Electric Ladyland in New York City, he was talking about being in a womb before birth and when he spoke about the commotion going on, he was referring to a decision that had to be made about the mother aborting. Was he fortelling a pending reincarnation under less than ideal circumstances?

It was obvious to me that when he sang about "spinning around" it meant that if an abortion was performed, he wouldn't resist returning to the Spiritual Worlds because wasn't the world "still talking about him" as it was?

The more I listened the more I realized that, in his own way, Jimi had infiltrated all of his music with profound messages, much like Jesus had spoken in parables so that only the earnest seekers could find The Truth. The messages that he was sending were all about the Spiritual Worlds and circumstances that await us after death and before birth. Yet, search as I did, I could not find evidence that close friends of Jimi's were aware of how keenly he was tuned into these mysteries, or if they knew, they weren't admitting to it.

And then, I fell in love with the spirit of Jimi Hendrix

Oh my Saturn, I salute Thee as I lie in loneliness listening to the music of a dead man

I love a ghost, one I can never touch or feel warm arms around me

love so true - soul love

I catch a lingering impression when he slips into my mind and smiles at me

he knows he's won my heart

I can't love the real man standing by my side

I can only ponder after dreams and love this man who died.

The notebook of automatic writings grew thicker day by day as words and phrases were jotted down at random times, recorded, read and reflected upon.

"Min, what are you doing?" my sister Kate would ask, hovering over me as my fingers flew across the page, delivering messages.

"Automatic handwriting. You know, like when a spirit who has died and crossed over, wants to speak to you about unfinished business." I explained.

Kate grinned wryly, "Well, if you get a message about where some buried treasure is located let me know first."

I laughed. Kate always made me laugh.

"Who are you speaking with?"

"Remember the se`ance we had last month?"

"Sure." Kate fell silent.

"Well, it's Jimi Hendrix again."

"What does he want?"

"I'm not sure yet, but I'll find out." I didn't want to elaborate. Kate would really think I was nuts if I babbled on about how I'd fallen in love with a ghost.

"Well Min, let me know when you find out."

Kate grinned in pre-teen "Don't give a damn" innocence and bounced away to talk for hours on the phone with her forever friend Wendy. It was good to have a sister like Kate who could keep me well grounded.

Before I knew it, it was was winter and I was occupied with driving up and down slippery country roads to commute to Kingston to my job as a copy typist, but Jimi was never very far from my thoughts or my heart.

My boyfriend called a few times, always getting Kate and I'd given her instructions to tell him that I was out - unavailable forever.

"Well ask her to call me when she gets back."

But of course, I never did. I had another man on my mind now.

Jimi continued to flirt with my mind and followed me into my dreams. It seemed as it he was everywhere and only I could see him. He controlled my pen, turning everyday grocery lists into messages left for me to decipher.

Jimi's Last Poem

Acid in my bones

I saw the air flash

When I opened my eyes

Oh baby, nobody ever dies

Cosmic watermelon, salad bowl supreme

you dream and you dream about being all there ever has been

Comin' on strong, comin' on wrong

I'm trying to break free but I don't know which way to go

Tornado cloud funnel black upon the sky

whip me up a bowl of mayonnaise so I can go swimming

catch my coattail

ride along Jiminy Cricket

Pinocchio wants to sing you a song

marmarlade horses dancing

on a kalaidescope merry go round

before the toy box comes alive as it used to on Looney Tunes

Heavenly messengers arrive on a night coated with ice

knock on my door

this one shall die

But why? I was only singin'

Jiminy Cricket, dig it

Has jumped the wicket and is gone.

Automatic Handwriting 1972

"This is a message for you to deliver." Jimi wrote one day.

"Deliver to who?"

Isolated country girl that I was, stuck in the back woods of Ontario, Canada. I was lucky if I could deliver my mail to the post office in the village of Perth Road. Aside from my daily treks to my typist job in Kingston, and my adventure at the Strawberry Fields Rock Festival two years earlier, my whole world was rather boring.

"When the time comes"... the scribbling continued, "deliver this to my friends. Let them know that I survived death. Jimi Hendrix is alive in spirit!

"Oh sure, " I mumbled despondently to the air, "I mingle in your circle of friends every day... and I've never been out of Canada."

"You will," Jimi reassured me.

I gasped in disbelief and felt like Dorothy must have when the Wizard of Oz asked her to bring him the broomstick of the wicked witch of the West.

"Whatever you say Jimi ... just tell me what to do."

In 1972 we were in the age before the internet and instant communication. If you wanted to send a message you wrote a letter and hoped it would arrive at the proper destination or you could phone if you were able to locate the proper phone number and hope that the person at the other end had a sympathetic and listening ear.

I didn't know the mailing addresses or phone numbers of Eric Clapton, Eric Burdon or Buddy Guy who were close friends of Jimi's and I'm sure that Jimi's recording studio, Electric Ladyland Studios would either hang up on me or toss my letter into the garbage.

"Don't fight the flow, just flow with it." All I had to do was cast my fate to the wind and trust that Jimi and his angels were by my side.

pop culture

About the author

Maureen Kellar-Kirby

Maureen Kellar-Kirby, author of "Go Back Jack" Total Recall Press (2018) and "The Leprechaun Who Was Not a Mouse" (2021). https://www.maureenkellar.com.

Music - https://soundcloud.com/maureen-kellar-kirby

https://www.maureenkellar.com

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