Monday, January 22, 2018

Brief accounts of the inner self - Oaxaca

San Jose del Pacifico is a small town south of Oaxaca, in Mexico. Getting here is quite the journey. Almost four hours drive from Oaxaca city, most of the route is going up and down the mountains. The views are as beautiful as they are dizzying. This is not a journey for anyone suffering from vertigo, not for the faint of heart.

Vertigo cam, in fact, result from exposure to heights; but also the consumption of substances that alter the cognitive ability of the brain. The latter can be frightening and disorienting for the occasional participant of artificially induced experiences, like the ones elicited by the consumption of psilocybe-containing mushrooms.

Depiction of an ancient mushroom ceremony

Intake with a small red apple, in the afternoon takes place.

5:55 pm - Ingestion of Psilocybe Caerulescens, locally known as "Derrumbes" took place on a rainy afternoon, accompanied with a small red apple to manage the disgusting earthy taste. On their own, it's like putting muddy dried celery and banana skin on your mouth. The aftertaste is just as bad, if not worse.

6:09 - Because the ingestion was solid units of the mushroom, the vision already started to become blurry. The process is slow, but more noticeable with each passing unit of time.

6:13 - Auditive ability improves, with increased capacity to isolate sounds and overall perception of distant sounds. Blurring vision process stabilizes.

6:24 - Slight chills start to take place on the neck and back. Legs start to feel week, uncoordinated. Future walking will be compromised very soon. Oxygen feels scarcer. Deeper breathing is now in order.

6:28 - Sudden shaking starts. Vision blurred further. Strange metallic taste surrounds the mouth and starts expanding to the nose. The senses start to melt, with the nose growing taste buds and sounds starting to smell.

6:38 - Nausea takes over. It's now impossible to shake it off.

6:40 - Some fluid starts to drop from the nose. The body is confused. The disorienting feeling that started with the senses has expanded to the mind and is taking over.

Ability to continue journaling the experience is greatly diminished after this. The remaining entries are added in a disorderly fashion, and depart from the objective, chronological coverage up until now. It is now time to enter the house of the mushroom.

The house of the mushroom

Undeserving. Unworthy. Funny how clouding the body can often clarify the mind and open the soul.

Just live, man.

Maybe I brought the rain to your life. Maybe you liked it a little bit. Maybe you still miss it, sometimes.

Come back to NY! Come to LA! See you in Mexico! Yet, here I am, hiding from myself, escaping what you call reality. That's why I'm so patient with people that do this to me.

Praise! A lifetime of seeking one bottle after the next, stepping on anyone in the process. 

Storms everywhere I go. They I leave, and they flood.

It took me a while and a lot of courage to finally turn the page.

I'm supposed to be the charmer, but I've had some pretty incredibly affectionate things said to me by the women I was supposed to conquer. It's disarming, and against the rules. 

How full can the stomach be, and still feel?

How much of your past defines you, how much just breaks you?

I guess I always admired funghi's ability to bring beauty out of some of the most vile of things. I mean, how cool is it that the word goes from "fungus" to "funghi" to denote the plural?

Somos los que nos rehusamos a echar raíces donde nacimos los que luego luchamos más duro para enraizarnos a lo que queremos.

Always wondering "what do I need?", when we should be also asking "to do what?!".

They grow in the dark? Yes! And see what they make of it.

Mosquero, one of the most recognized mushrooms

Original sketches. There is no hope of capturing everything that transpired those six hours, an eternity of sorts.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

40 Exceptions

This is 40. And it doesn’t feel a day over 30.

Except, left shoulder and right knee complain at the first unusual twist while exercising, or bending to pick up something heavy.

Except, I can no longer devour my food. It needs to be taken in smaller portions throughout the day, or I will feel bloated and my pants will feel uncomfortably tight.

Except, I now have to squint my eyes in order to read the next street’s sign or recognize the face of the person waiving at me from the other end of the sidewalk.

Except, I now need at least a full eight hours of sleep after a night of drinks, when I used to be able to just shower quickly and get on with my day the next morning.

Except, drinking on planes will now leave me groggy and with a headache, forcing me to resort to water or tea instead.

Except, food that is too spicy will have me postpone morning meetings in order to tend to an upset stomach.

Except, it now takes all my mental and physical strength not to abandon long distance races halfway, when I used to just work to improve my time every year.

Except, there are now signs of hair retrieval that keep making my forehead look larger. And it’s doing it unevenly, just to make things more fun.

Except, the things I used to like (movies, videogames, songs) keep turning 25, 30, 40 years old... They are all now considered retro, rare.

Except, the prospect of even mild success in a high performance sport continues to approach zero, while players keep looking more like kids each year.

Except, I can no longer afford the luxury of cheap liquor drinkage without getting my insides fried and losing most of the productivity of the next day.

Except, the best is no longer ahead. The days of unlimited potential keep turning into days of “just do what you’re supposed to do”. Someone else is the new wonder kid at the office.

Except, dance clubs with 80s music keep getting scarcer. It’s almost impossible to find a 70s disco club, and 90s music sounds more and more distant.

Except, my music heroes keep dying, and there are less potential replacements to choose from that remain alive.

Except, relationships keep getting more and more complex. The checklist grows longer, and my patience more limited.

Except, friends that would have done anything for you have reset their priorities. They are now family men and women. Their unconditional friendship is a relic now, remembered with nostalgia.

Except, love is no longer as deep and passionate. It is now colder, more calculated. I’m now jaded, and more practical.

Except, love is no longer expected to last forever, and there are less hard feelings for those that –unwillingly or otherwise – manage to break our heart.

Except, life just got noticeably shorter and less relevant. You finally collected the properties of the same color in your monopoly, but everyone is already playing a different game.

Yet, being alive is still better than the alternative.