histamine halo

Atwood Magazine says our newest song is “a hypnotic blend of the natural and ethereal.”
Right now I’m feeling hypnotized by natural histamines. A typical overreaction my body has to insect bites or rashes of any kind ever since I was attacked by bedbugs 13 years ago in Westport, New Zealand. These are pictures from the next day, when we’d finally arrived to the oasis of Jade Beach in Hokitika. I was buzzing on anti-histamines and Tui beer while a Japanese family hunted for jade like I used to hunt for sea glass when I was a child. I could care less about hunting for jade. I was hunting for peace, for tranquility, for all the hairs on my body to stop standing on end, for the histamine humming to stop. So I sat cross legged on a wool blanket in the sand, trying to overwhelm my senses with anything other than itching -watching this family squeal with delight each time they picked up a piece of jade. After a couple of beers I was cheering from my blanket. Every time they found a piece they held it up over their heads to show us. Eric pumped his fists. I clapped my hands in genuine delight. Eric ran down to the water -it looked like we were at the edge of the universe- and jumped waves with his corduroy pants still on. The family came over and held out their hands. They were filled with tiny green pebbles. We bowed at them, waiing and smiling -we had been living in Thailand for a year and even though we’d been travelling and WOOFFing around New Zealand for almost two months we still felt like we didn’t fit here in this Western land of the East. We didn’t know Japanese but we understood them better than any of the Kiwis we were meeting.

Eric and I drove around the North and South Islands of New Zealand for two months, but there are few stops I remember as vividly as when I got bedbugs from the Trip Inn (seriously). The heightened sensations of my body led to heightened sensations of mind and memory. I still recall how black the sand was. I remember the big glass windows of the pharmacy where I bought anti-itch cream. I remember the dark wooden banister and hospital-green tiled kitchen. The clothesline hanging outside our window. I remember the joy of walking into the guest house in Hokitika, with its wide plank wooden floors and big soft bedbug-less bed. I remember walking down to the beach -the sun shining, the breeze whispering, the beer and the histamines making a halo of light energy around everything. The feeling of being able to sense now not just bites, but the energy of every living creature -from the ocean, to the family collecting jade, to Eric laughing in the sunlight at me.

Even though we wrote this song 13 years later, the feeling it captures is similar. Being in a space of disorientation and confusion, but being there with someone who you are connected to deeply. Seeing their love and their energy like a histamine aura.

Or maybe I just haven’t slept in three days and I’m delirious. Either way…here you go:

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