Saturday July 20, 2019

Distant thunder accompanies a bird calling from the trees beside my home during a light afternoon shower. I struggle to part with belongings, items I’ve gleaned over the decades. I scavenge, I collect. Clearly there’s some part of me resistant to change. There’s some deep-seated fear in me that I won’t be able to find my way home. I’ll go off on a weird walk, a long strange trip. The heroic answer, I suppose, is to reframe the derivé as a “mythic journey” where, unsatisfied with the old stories, we unfold our own. The question I find myself asking, however, is “Who is the hero? How do we make the journey transpersonal, collective, communal?” In order to gain a degree of autonomy from established ways, I need to begin a process of sorting through what I’ve been given. This process of rejecting and discarding, though, terrifies me in its implications. All things seem freighted with meaning: occult disco LPs, implicate orders, standing reserves of belief and unbelief. How am I to act given my uncertainty and distrust? What is it at bottom that I fear will happen? I fear I’m being tested by invisible forces aiming to trick or deceive me — forces that threaten an apocalyptic finale. This fear sometimes grips me in ways that cause me to rethink my relationship to psychedelics — including my use of cannabis. I hem and haw indecisively about the cumulative effects of these substances, uncertain of whether they help or hinder being. A friend chimes in here over social media: “To beat the heat,” he says, “one must become it.”

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