Jesus in the Garden of Bees
Jesus is walking
in a garden of bees
Mother is talking with the voice of the sea
Soft is the wind making sweet love to me
Siddartha is out planting trees
While above the sunlight sings
a song of ten thousand wings
The grazing hare, a shining snake
i'm vanishing i'm vanishing
I float awake in the garden
Jesus is walking in a garden of bees
Here in the blossoms and the hills by the sea
Songs of melissae, the hum of essenes
are calling me back to my queen
Two-spirits dance their sadhana
Vesica piscis - mandorla
Lovers of lovers, god and ma!
Composed, Arranged, and Produced by J S Kingfisher. EWI: Steve Tavaglione. Percussion: Steve Forman. Bass: David Sutton. Pedal Steel: Doug Livingston, Chas Smith. Harp: Gayle Levant. Backing vocals: Pamela Neal. Keyboards, vocals: J S Kingfisher. Two-Spirit Chant Singers and Drummers: Roger Burn, Bruno Coon, Adam Jackson, J S Kingfisher, Fritz Lewak, Dani Lunn, Paula Mandros, Pamela Neal, Angel Sheppard, David Sutton, Vida Vierra. Recorded by Greg Townley at Sunset Sound, Mad Hatter, and Conway Studios; mixed by Greg Townley at Conway. Mastered by Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab.
The percussion on the “Two-Spirit Chant” at the end of this piece, in addition to the charted parts played by Steve Forman, was performed by the singers; Steve’s enormous array of gear had yet to be picked up, and included some giant wooden storage boxes that made for excellent pounding. After the excitement, I split the singers into small groups, told them the dream of “A Forest of Apples,“ and had them imagine themselves sculpting creekside – those are the quiet voices that appear in the Forest of Apples track.
The “Garden of Bees,” as I named it, is actually a narrow canyon leading to a beach just south of Bodega Bay, California. —jsk
Source Material for "Jesus in the Garden of Bees"
Journal, April 1984, North Hollywood. Tom began to loll his head and his eyes began to flutter, apparently falling into a trance even as he sat down at the table next to me. "The sign of the fish," he said. "I keep seeing the sign of the fish on your shoulder."
More mumbling, then some drawings of harps and a few Hebrew letters on a legal pad. "Around the time the spirit was saying, 'today I become a man...'" He lolls his head some more and writes "river," "Christ," "fog."
"Are you asking me about a vision?"
Dream Diary, July 1971, Sacramento. I was down by the river at night near our house. The tule fog hung low to the ground – silent, opaque, and pale from the moon. I was moving hurriedly, a little nervous at being alone. I walked like this for a long while.
Suddenly it all ended, the river, the fog, the dark, cut as if by a knife and bordering a distinctly different landscape: rolling hills and morning light, and clouds and dewy grass, like Sonoma County in early spring, or... England.
The first thing I saw was his feet. And then his hand calmly outstretched, then his face, his eyes. Neither of us spoke, though we were both at ease. Unthinkingly I took his hand, and we began to walk.
We had met at the edge of a small valley. From there we climbed over some low hills and into a vale, where there was a long tablecloth surrounded by a dozen or so people just settling down to eat. There was laughter and good vibes. The sea was nearby. He sat down at one end of the table cloth, and I sat at his right.
I woke up. I was scared. I went into the kitchen where my mom was up and about, and made nervous conversation. My bar-mitzvah was in two days.
Journal, January 1983, Hollywood. I called on the ad in the Recycler, and we met there the next afternoon: the day was cloudy and cool. I had never been to Echo Park, and got a bit lost in the winding streets. My prospective landlord had a heavy moustache and roundish wire frames - he looked like Gene Shallit.
I've always been a pushover for bohemian funk, and moved in a couple of days later. I called a few friends - friends indeed at such times - to help with the piano: a hundred and one chipped and crumbling stairs, all down. The day after piano day I arrived officially, the rest of my schmettles boxed and bagged and packed in my truck. I made my first trip down the stairs, groceries in arms.
The sun, hidden for days in the dreary June haze, had at last broken through, and brought out my new neighbors, whom I had not yet had the pleasure of meeting. I cautiously set down the bags at the foot of the stairs. Dozens of them darted in and out of a crack in the shingles above my front door, dozens more taxied erratically in front of me. I was terrified - had been terrified of them ever since I was a child, though I was stung only once, on my big toe. I picked up my groceries, keys ready, and dashed to the door as fast as I dared. I stabbed at the deadbolt and got it unlocked, hopped into the kitchen and slammed the door behind me. I turned and watched their rage through the doorglass. I called a fumigator immediately.
The next afternoon I was racked with guilt. I had come home again - having left when it was still chilly and they were not yet awake - and found hundreds, maybe thousands dead, my small stone landing a silent carpet of gold and black. One of my neighbors - there were two households off the stairs on the way down to mine - muttered testily about the pesticide dust inside his house as I passed. Under the door was the fumigator's bill - and a note to call him.
"No, nope. I couldn't get 'em all. The main entrance is clear 'round back. Mmm hmm. Yeah, that bamboo is too thick back there, I couldn't get in there. I probably wouldna' got the queen, you gotta get the queen. That whole back wall is probably honeycombed." I hung up and walked through the carnage on the landing, and peeked around the hedge into the bamboo forest beneath the house. He was right: the corner at the far end of my apartment was blazing with activity. I went back in and softly closed the door.
I sidled up to the living room wall and pressed my ear against the plaster. The low hum was everywhere. My new home was a hive.
Over time the bees got used to me. At night when it was quiet I liked to put my ear to the wall near the dining table, where the humming was the loudest, imagining the massive queen being groomed and fed, pumping scores of larvae from her womb. There were other peculiarities about the apartment. The rough-sawn beams in the living room formed a Celtic cross on the ceiling, and the bathroom was like a cave: you walked through an arch into a cramped, crumbling shower room which also contained the sink, and the toilet was through another archway beyond that; there were no windows, and the walls and ceilings were always wet.
One day (on a cloudy afternoon while the bees were asleep) I went exploring in the bamboo behind the apartment. I discovered another room underneath my apartment, a sort of basement's basement where I thought there was only foundation. I pushed the bamboo aside and peered through a filthy window. I tried the door - it was unlocked.
I found junk, mostly: some hastily stacked dilapidated rattan furniture with water damage, and several decaying boxes filled with stained papers and odd bits. The only real light in the room entered through one window on the far wall, and underneath it something caught my eye: a green and blue porcelain lamp in the shape of a fish, with no shade. It was high camp, probably early fifties. I took it upstairs and tried a bulb in it – it worked! I spoke to the landlord a few days later - Gene Shallit - and thinking to amuse him told of my findings. He became very angry with me for rummaging through his stuff. I apologized – I thought all that junk had been left behind by some long-ago tenant. I had no idea he had ever lived there, or even owned the house.
A few months later I escaped Echo Park, and found my way back to Hollywood. I called my comrades again for piano duty: the price of having musician friends. I liked my new place, but I missed the bees.
But I didn’t miss the fish lamp. It somehow managed to find its way to Hollywood, too.