Strolling and Jamming with the Gods
It was a bit after noon on August 8th when I decided to go for it. It had been quite a while since I had flown shroom airlines and the last flight had too much turbulence for my taste. My wife S and I had decided to stay around the cabin all day- a chillout day on our week vacation in Vermont. Our trip had started on an amazing note. A year ago I put together a memorial video for a woman who's husband was dying of Lou Gherig's disease. He died in September. When we arrived at the cabins we noticed a small wooden plaque by a tree a few feet from our door. It was a tribute to the man I had made the video for. WOW. The Universe is stranger than you can possibly imagine. This filled me with a wonderful sense of wellness. Of balance. I felt the set and setting were perfect for a psychedelic trip.
Now, I was not looking for a pinned to the ground, balls to the wall heroic dose so I ate just about 1.5 dried grams of the little guys. I am a lightweight (both in body weight and physiological sensitivity) with this stuff. How potent were these little guys?
That would be the question.
I wandered off from the cabin and took a seat on the grass in this beautiful, rolling field sprayed with purple and yellow wildflowers. I was sitting there in a half lotus, awaiting the colors to intensify or something. I wondered if I had taken a large enough dose. I checked the time stamp on a photo I had taken seconds after eating the last cap. The time on my digital 35mm camera read 12:17. I figured it would take thirty minutes or so for any effects to be felt. I texted a friend at 12:27 and I reported a nice feeling. I suspected it was a placebo effect as ten minutes was not enough for real shroomy feelings. The plane was taxiing on the runway. The flight attendants were about to go over safety procedures. Which is what I did. I came up with a ritual to protect my consciousness from any unfriendly energies. I cloak myself in an impenetrable shield of love - built by the forces of all those in my life that love me. They stood around me and would only allow good energies in. It is very effective. Powerful.
I got up and strolled off down the gently winding, soft grassy path. I spotted a red squirrel, sitting up on his hind legs staring at me from across the field. He hopped off into the tree line. I sat down again and gazed across the stunning beautiful stretch of Earth before me. The engine was revving and the wheels were rolling down the runway. Trays in upright position, seat belt fastened. The landscape- the curves and soft turns of the grassy hills and the lines of pines and maples that rode atop them suddenly seemed inflated- as if a giant had blown air into the world. The sky seemed to have closed in some and the dramatic bands of clouds seemed - well - closer to the tree lines. And the trees themselves seemed to be calling my attention. This is how it is when there are no droughts or man made interferences - we flow- easy breezy - harmony. This is how it is suppose to be. I felt somewhat dissolved as if I were blending in to all around me.
We had take-off.
I took a couple of photos and was not too surprised the next day to see the landscape I captured lacked the inflatedness I saw through my own eyes.
I did not want to become locked into a place for the entire journey - I got up and headed back down the grassy, snaking trail back towards the pond. Yep, I thought to myself (or maybe said aloud) I get what Lewis Carroll meant. I was growing. Like a giant towering over millions of grass blade sequoias. I was Alice who just nibbled the cake. It's an odd feeling but quite real- as if God is lifting you up from the top of the skull.
Up ahead I spotted a man and his son drifting on a row boat. I gathered myself back to my very sub-six 100 feet height and sent out a "High fellas!" hoping there was not too much giggle mixed with my words. They waved back and I continued on the pond loop trail. The blending feeling continued and grew stronger. I sort of felt like my head was put through one of those photo effects where all the pixels are smeared outward 360 degrees from the center. I entered a stretch of the path (a path I knew very well and was quite at ease) that was darker - more overgrown with arching trees that blocked most of the sky. I felt a bit creeped-out but I refused to let this slip into some kind of bad trip. I booted myself in the beshroomed butt and just marched on. Up ahead the opening to a clearing sat like a landscape painting framed in a fancy, wooden frame one might find lying in a garage sale. In actuality it was an opening made by hanging trees but my tunnel vision and blending really made it appear like a framed painting. It was a pretty rendering but cheesy. Was this the path to follow or was it the less picturesque trail that veered off to my left a bit. This can't be the trail- its too obvious. I looked at the alternate. No. The cheesy nature painting was correct. Don't overcomplicate life, the shrooms seemed to be saying. Sometimes the obvious path is correct!
Keeping this philosophy in mind I made my way out to a pretty clearing where a picnic table and rowboat sat on the little beach of the pond. Beyond that was an alley mowed through a field of grass where the trail continued. It seemed longer than I had recalled it (although this was a false feeling as the next day I noted the same thing). Here all the plants and trees were vying for my attention. So I addressed many noting subtle personality traits amongst them. A tall pair of trees that had certainly grown up together projected a true friendship. Buddies! Another darker tree seemed disturbed and its poorly neglected mate who stood back a few yards. I told the dark tree to love her. She needed him. I hoped he listened. I greeted flowers and plants with little compliments. Looking forward- the trail flowed on for what looked like an eternity. I texted my wife "I am in Oz."
Onward I traveled until again I was faced with a fork although this one not as innocuous. One path was cleared by a bulldozer and was marked with upturned stones and deep-treaded tire imprints. I could feel - almost see- a huge sphere of destruction that had rolled through. The other was a bit flooded by recent rains, although grassier and less ominous. Oddly, I chose the ugly path feeling a weird sense that was the obvious one- my lesson from earlier. Maybe the water deterred me? I quickly found that a rumbling of panic was bubbling in my belly as I scanned for recognizable landmarks. There were none. I knew the area well and even a wrong choice would eventually get me back to my cabin. But I did not want a longer detour than was necessary. I fought off the negative feelings and continued on. Finally I spotted the top of an old shed peeking out through the brush. I knew it lay along the other, more familiar trail line so I simply bush-whacked through the brush and found myself back on familiar roads. I felt better. Down the ways I could see the large fancy cabin that sits on one end of the pond. Earlier that day there were three woman on the porch preparing food and I hoped they would not be there. All was clear though I could hear them talking from within. Good. Like the happy wanderer I walked past the grounds of the pretty house and stepped back on the trail.
The sound of a stream that runs down from the mountains grew louder. I knew it ran parallel to the trail at this point and looking through the tree line I could see the white foam of water breaking on rocks. A little flesh colored figure bounded across the stones. A shaved squirrel? I figured maybe a naked gnome. I stepped back and looked again. It was gone. Nothing but rocks and babbling water. I%u2019ll hold firm it was a streaking elf. What the hell- it was my trip.
My cell phone alerted me of a text. It was from my wife. "Where are you?" I could sense the concern. She was undoubtedly seeking her husband - undoubtedly bounding naked across the wildflowers on some Alice in Wonderland meets Dorothy wackiness. I was only a few yards from the cabin so I decided not to attempt a text back. I was sensing we had reached peak altitude. I was blending even more. I scanned the grassy end of the pond and her blue shirt popped out from the Earthly greens. I felt the security of her closeness. I made my way past the cabin, down the incline of the landscape- past a couple of more cabins and then into a small woodened span that opened onto the narrow grassy path alongside one end of the pond. She was glad to see me and looked me in the eyes (through my sunglasses) and her concern was clear "Are you ok?" she asked without saying a word. I smiled and looked around. Everything looked 3D - but not 3D in the regular reality way - but 3D like a 3D movie or one of those old baseball cards that came on the back of cereal boxes in the 70s. I babbled something about the potency of the shrooms and how beautiful it all was. She asked if I was hungry. Sort of. I said ok and we headed back to the cabin. I was ready to go inside. I was ready and excited to do a Mckenna.
I never understand people who doubt the bards advice. His simple recipe for a wonderful psychedelic experience. No concerts, no Floyd or Shpongle Cds and no I-tunes with the cool visualizer graphics.
Having experimented with darkness and cannabis- and its amazing results %u2013 I had no doubt about darkness and pscyilocibin. I but will admit I did feel tempted to put on the Ipod and listen to The Flower King%u2019s Garden of Dreams. I was glad I resisted.
I laid on the bed and slipped on a sleep mask. No I-pod. The visuals were instant. I was flying through a tube constructed of elongated leaves weaved together seamlessly. It then opened into an ever-changing, vocabulary eluding truly psychedelic (making anything seen on I Tunes visualizer seem like an etch-a sketch) landscape. There were many flyovers of thick, electrical cables, super compelx and utterly gorgeous scenes that would be perfect on Omni magazine covers. But what was standing out from it all was the music. I thought for a moment a radio was on in the room. It was not. Tones. Notes. Drum hits. It was morphing the imagery but more amazingly the music was language. I was interpreting it as a conversation from a definite intelligence communicating with me. THIS was what Terrence meant by the mushroom speaks to you. The reason and importance of the SILENT. I thought this vocal aspect of psylocibin was just a fanciful string of garland hung on the Christmas tree of Mckenna's wonderful bardsmanship skills. I found myself listening to what it had to say and was surprised by the message. It told me that humans have a tendency to always recognize what is lacking in their lives but rarely, if ever, recognize the dangers of surplus, Even just a touch of surplus. We scold the rich for their excesses but never look within. It pointed out to me that I had had a bit too much affection growing up. I argued that this was a good thing- born from love- but the mushroom stood firm and said BALANCE. It seemed it may be to blame for some of my fears and neurosis. Hmm. I had never ever considered that.
Then I heard two tones. I do not exaggerate - in fact words elude me to properly describe them- yet I will say they were the most beautiful, utterly feminine, sweetest two tones I had ever heard. My entire body was bathed head to toe in pure love. I sighed and wanted to cry from the beauty. I wanted to hear them again. They never repeated. I guess there was no need. The other music continued. It was a male voice and I decided that rather than just listening I would try to join the conversation musically. I imagined what I would play if I had a guitar with me. I began JAMMING with the mushroom gods! Oddly, my notes seemed to play BEFORE I actually thought of what to play!
I drifted off into this jam- for days or years or minutes or seconds. A voice interrupted it- the make voice. "Michael- pay attention again!" I felt a touch of amused annoyance- as if the mushroom god was standing by, arms folded while I jammed with his son. I felt this part of the trip was over. I heard a voice say "Stay in your seat until the ride comes to a complete halt." I saw the voice shake its head- one of those odd synestesia things and I took the mask off. I could have gone on in the silent darkness for hours but something said get up and go back outside. So I did.
Outside I ate lunch with the shitiest eatingest grin on my face as I ate a great sandwich and watched the grassy field around me flow like sinuous water. I babbled on and on to my wife about what I had just experienced. She smiled and enjoyed my enjoyment.
I wondered if Doug, the man who's memorial lay by the tree near the cabin, had somehow helped guide the trip. A nice, happy buzz lingered for a couple of more hours and felt, even until today, a great sense of having experienced something wonderful.