A Trip to Spain, Pt.5: Gods in Squares

7/23 I’ve been searching for higher ground. I’ve been too heavy for the wind to lift me, and now I want nothing more than to be light. This week in Spain, this forced vacation away from my own music, my schedule, my band, my city – I’ve had to “hang out” with myself. Something I don’t really do. But I found out, I’m an ok kid.

I’m an insomniac, but only for short stints. I can, in fact, speak decent Spanish sometimes. I make friends with dirty little stray Spanish cats, just like pampered LA cats. Sometimes, my heart will not slow down unless I talk to it at night. I love good olive oil. I am not a drinker, though I sometimes try - folly. I love to sing more than anything.



Yesterday, impromptu, during Bears Q&A session with fans, he asked me to come up and sing “Apocalypse,” featuring the Gayatri Mantra, the opening music from Battlestar Galactica. I haven’t sung this song for over a year. Do I remember the words? A brown, stone, Spanish church full of Battlestar fans was waiting.

I sat on some steps near the pulpit, while Bear finished up a long answer to a multi-part question. The Q&A continued while I huddled in a small microclimate of my own sharpie fumes and note-pad sketch noises. I jotted down half of the mantra, but I could not remember the beginning.

How did it begin? I tried to visualize the opening credits to no avail. I looked up at the church ceiling – geometric religious symbolism, Gods in squares. Circles in squares. Petals in circles. Angels around petals. Reds and blues meticulously placed to form a greater geometry, a larger vision - a mandala, an infinite lotus blooming on the ceiling of an ancient Catholic edifice. I was possessed with a sense of oneness.

The dark Catholic infinitude opened to the light of The Now. Sanscrit verse devined through the ceiling in shafts of light like vaporous dove’s wings. The Vedic and the medieval spoke in unison. And I remembered.

By the time Bear called me up to the stage I didn’t need the words. I began the mantra a cappella. The spirit moved through me and out against the arc of the rectory. I felt the presence of the people in the audience and I loved them. I heard Bear play piano, and I wove my melody around him. It was a holy moment.

A blessing. A mitzvah. So say we all...

me and bear singing

me and bear singing

...And then we went to lunch

Raya Yarbrough

Singer, Composer, writer of absurd stories about LA, chanteuse on Outlander, BSG, DaVinci's Demons, & I used to date Dick Grayson.