Bon Fire Madigan, a triptych:

July 14, 2018

Punk Mystic




The balance of wild in nature has never been a controlled effort; it needs the freedom to unfold its wonder and beauty into the world, like a wildflower. Energy shifts and moves like water, like life. Who balances the sun every morning so that it engages our planetary system and shines on each planet, enfolding all into glowing arms? How do we measure pleasure in space? How do we measure the magic of the rising sun and the falling moon? Their cycles are simple, yet complex.


In this case, Madigan Shive, is that wildflower. Her music is always changing but holds together in sheets, sometimes directly, as improv from her mind. We are moving along endless pathways, each path unique as the walk. Reaching out into the swirling space of sound she has created for us. We are led by a cello, like “amulet,” she says. Bonfire Madigan Shive opens gates, doors, and passageways we never knew existed. These realities exist only in my mind, as I know her, hug her, and listen to her precious voice and the sounds she shares with the world. She has let all of us know that it is okay to be who we truly are, for you have an army of hands wrapped around your spirit, holding you in place, and soft voices that whisper ‘play as loud as you can so everyone can hear it.’ Can you hear it?


Madigan sets fire to stigmas that live around the ecosystems of mental disorders. From the beginning, I have admired her kind approach and her loving clarity. I value her so much for taking time to create and support groups for those with bi-polar disorder, and those with partners who do. At the time, my partner, who I loved dearly, had bi-polar disorder, and it was new to me. To understand it, I joined the Icarus Project, where I met Madigan and was able to support my partner.

As a seer, I see. While I paint, I listen and see wildflowers inside of wildflowers.

I ask again: Put your hand up, and let me know if you can stop the ocean. This is how I feel about great artists like Madigan. She is a true force of nature. I have seen her perform in public on New York streets, in art galleries in Hells Kitchen, at the Guggenheim in New York City and recently at her movie release in Mendocino. There really is no way to hold your hand out and capture a thousand butterflies, or to round up some silly hummingbirds singing their way to honey. But if you can allow yourself





to set aside the social constructs that are made up like fairy tales, do yourself a favor: close your eyes, make a wish, and listen. In that moment, you might just hear the fluttering of hummingbird wings and open your eyes to find a butterfly has just landed on your nose.


We all have challenges in life. The channel chosen from the cosmos for Madigan Shive has been a gift for thousands of people. We are blessed to know her and to have access to such a talent.


Author: Maria Schechter



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