The Bard and Jester

Welcome Readers! Here you will find some real life experiences and musings that I'd like to share with you. So, come on in, if you have the time and I'll do my best to be entertaining... Please click on my sponsors' links!!! Established March 12, 2005.

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Location: New York, United States

I can be a clown, a poet, a fool, a romantic, a diplomat, a beast...it all depends upon the timing and circumstance.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Jim Morrison, Magic Mushrooms and the Howl


Howling Wolves
Originally uploaded by vraven.
After the Doors movie came out in 1991, my friends and I made a pact to try magic mushrooms...because we couldn't get our hands on Peyote.

So one spring weekend we drove out to the Catskill Mountains, where the father of one of my friends owned an acre of land in the woods beside a lovely stream. There we tripped on 'shrooms.

It was a defining moment for me. I was still struggling to free myself of the last of my Catholic indoctrination. I was in the midst of exploring art and spirituality and had been studying with a medicine woman who had come to the USA from South America. I had also discovered the literary works of Jim Morrison the year before and had been inspired to write a lot of poetry.

Though I was disappointed that tripping was not at all like it appeared in the desert scene in the Doors movie, with solar eclipses, shifting hallucinary terrain and totem spirits, it was still an amazing and spirtual experience and I had never before seen the world with such clarity.

Picture your perception increased by at least ten fold and you get the barest idea of what I mean.

I marveled at the rich silky detail of glistening web strands that were strung along branches. I was mesmerized by a sun-dappled clearing and its dance of shadow and light as choreographed by gentle breezes. The green seemed so vibrant, so charged with life that it appeared to glow. The dazzle of sunlight on the rippling water was like a religious experience. And through it all the wind stirring trees and bushes served as soft background music.

Actually, all of it was a religious experience and I can't really explain why; religious experiences, I believe, are very personal and lose a lot in the translation. But suffice to say that in those moments, those miraculous transcendent moments, I saw, for the first time, with my own senses, felt with my being proof of some greater mystery. It was quite different than having faith in something so neatly packaged that I was programmed to believe in since a very early age.

At some point, after spending a long time alone communing with nature, I grew lonely. Instead of calling out to my friends, however, I decided to howl like a wolf (and I can do a pretty good imitation).

All of sudden, dogs in the distance started to howl along with me. There was such a wonderful feeling of unity in that that I had never felt among my fellow humans and tears rolled down my cheeks...not the tears of sadness, but those of joy, of being deeply moved.

I got caught up in the moment and started running and yelling at the top of my lungs, "Take back the forests!"

I came back to camp, with the dogs still howling throughout the woods. My friend, Joe, whose father owned the land, was alarmed at the racket I had made and quickly hushed me.

But it was too late; at that moment, a battered old red pickup truck pulled up to our camp and the neighbor from the nearest plot of land got out.

And he was armed with a rifle.

"What the hell is going on here?" he asked, scowling at each of us with our long hair and tye dyed shirts. "Got my goddamn dogs going crazy!"

Joe approached the neighbor and apologized. It couldn't have been easy for him, high on 'shrooms and trying to appear normal, to appease an angry man with a gun. But he did it and the man in the red pickup drove away.

But the dogs howled for a while longer and I couldn't help but smile at that.

When I returned to work that Monday morning and took in the gray, soiled streets of Manhattan and moved among the press of indifferent faces and joined the long, shuffling ranks of people entering the cheerless marble lobby of my office building, I knew that all of this wasn't for me.

Tripping up in the mountains and the unity of that howling had changed me forever. It introduced me to my mind, as Black Sabbath once sang. I embarked on a new path, one filled with enlightenment, foolishness and danger...but those are stories for another day.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

awesome story. i plan on shroomin, this was a great read. you are one of those people who explore their mind

November 01, 2008 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE MUSHROOMS! WISDOM PEACE LOVE AND THE MUSIC MAN.

March 19, 2013 10:36 AM  

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