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Sunday, December 01, 2002 

Chance Encounters

On my way home last night I stopped, as I often do, to sit at one of my favorite overlooks in Portland. This place is the hill above a wildlife refuge along the dark, muddy, mighty Willamette River. This alcove of water and the sliver of forest on its rim are home to many different kinds of birds including bald eagles, blue herons, hawks, geese, and osprey. A place still charged with much magic. It was around dusk when I arrived there last night, just in time to see bats fluttering by at eye level on the prowl for their breakfast of bugs. I continued home and got out my deck of animal medicine cards and my pendulum. I lit a candle, spread out the cards and held my pendulum an inch above the fifty-two animals represented in the deck. When the pendulum began to make the motions, which I consider to mean yes, over a certain card that is the one I chose to draw. It was the bat card! Tonight at the surrealist meeting, a girl about eight-years-old approached me at the table we were sitting at outside the cafe and said, “Do you know that bats have huge fangs?” I was floored by her comment for it came out of the blue and I had never seen her before. It turns out she is Morgan’s daughter, Maren, as he walked up shortly after that exchange and introduced her.

Honey Mud

While at a video store, I looked at or held in my hand Westworld with Yul Brynner and Zardoz with Sean Connery. Intuition told me to read a book or find something else to do instead. About three hours later I absently flipped TV channels. A dramatic looking introduction—a close up of an eye—caught my attention. I watched only to find it was Westworld. The next day, my roommate had a movie that caught my attention. Despite some camp elements, the film was engrossing and highly imaginative, with many fascinating scenes. I didn’t recognize the title when he told me. After watching I looked at the carton only to see the second video I’d looked at in the store. Zardoz was a movie with moments of aesthetic power and macabre eroticism despite the clichéd looking cover. I laughed! The chance realm allowed me to watch two movies I was curious about at no cost to myself, within a two-day period, completely through the actions of others peripheral or unconnected to me.

MK Shibek

In early February, while browsing through a book on Hans Bellmer, I discovered a photograph of Bellmer with Nora Mitrani, who bore a curious resemblance to a friend of mine I hadn’t spoken to in over six months, but whom I had seen only weeks before in a dream. The next week, as I was walking through the Portland State campus, I fortuitously ran into this individual near the new streetcar tracks. On Sunday, February 24th, I went to a location just off Hawthorne to watch the performance of a dancer that specializes in ecstatic dance and styles with non-western foundations (Sufi, African, Middle-Eastern, and so on). I had been harboring a passion for the movements of this particular dancer for some time, so naturally I was disappointed to find that on that evening they had replaced her with another dancer. That following Tuesday at the library, while looking at books on Voodoo, I noticed that the dancer I failed to see two nights before was standing in the next isle. On April 6th, during my lunch break at work, I fell into a half-sleep and had a vision of Fantomas’ head (complete with a black mask, and an extremely long top hat), growing from the side of an orange. Less than an hour later, after returning to work, an individual walked by me wearing a t-shirt for Mike Patton’s band Fantomas.

Brandon Freels

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