Pyramids, Hideaways, and Hollows

It rains through the night, but we stay dry in our tent. I sleep comfortably and wake to a world of sound. Daddy long-legs spiders gather in the dry space between the breathable net of the tent’s roof and the tarp above. Breakfast is delicious: pancakes, sausage, Canadian bacon, maple syrup, bread made with cardamom and dates, purchased the morning prior by the author’s aunt and uncle from a farmer’s market in Bolton Landing. Tent goes tie-dye with the addition of a blue tarp. I reflect for a time on the pyramidal symbology of my surroundings: zippers, seams, poles all tending toward apex as we await windows of sunlight. Respite from the rain. Camping educates desire. In my case, it teaches me the value of nooks, coves, hideaways. My nephews lead me to a hollow formed beneath the roots of a tree, down near the edge of the lake. “Bookmark it, note it down, save it for later,” thinks the time traveler. “The image may be of use to us elsewhere in our journey.” News arrives soon thereafter: another inch or two of rain expected in the night ahead.

Indra’s Net

An itchy, hairy, melancholy spider tiptoes along threads of text. Time is to the one who travels a bit like Indra’s Net. At each “eye” in this net of infinite dimension, one is told, lies a jewel set there by the net’s artificer to please the tastes of the great god Indra. Inspect any one jewel and one will discover reflected there in its polished surface all of the others. Alan Watts described it thus: “Imagine a multidimensional spider’s web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so on ad infinitum. That is the Buddhist conception of the universe in an image.”

Wednesday October 4, 2017

Plug in to Experimental Lakes by Peripheral Living.

And while doing so, look up the story of Swiss pharmacologist Peter N. Witt, who, beginning in the late 1940s and continuing throughout his career, researched the effects of drugs on spiders. Witt dosed his test subjects with delicious treats like Benzedrine, marijuana, mescaline, and LSD, and then recorded in turn each drug’s effects on web production. Despite my limited scientific literacy (and by “limited,” I mean “minimal”), I remain fascinated, eyes rapt in experimental observation of insects, birds, dirt, greenery. Aspects of my immediate environment. I sit in my backyard riding the ululations of a siren from a nearby fire engine. I am “growing in a certain direction,” as Alan Watts would say: growing tired of a certain kind of game. No more superior and inferior classification. Just flowings and becomings. “An oak,” he chuckles, “is an acorn’s way of becoming other acorns.” Despite however many hit-points it delivers in damage to my hipster street cred for me to say so, say it I must. I have great admiration for early Randy Newman records. I mean, I get it: who wants to admit to liking a songwriter best known for scoring a bunch of Disney-Pixar films? But I do. Tracks like “Political Science” and “Sail Away” are among the most bitter, damning portraits of this country ever set to music. The dominant ideology captured with its pants down. Then again, I also really dig the Butthole Surfers. Psychedelia comes in many forms, contains many sub-species. Is my presentation of all of this a bit too Pacman-consumerist? Would it bug you, for instance, if I flipped to Angel 1’s Terra Nova, a new tape out on Constellation Tatsu?

This is what my ideal warehouse rave scene would be pumping now, if life wasn’t such shit. In honor of our fallen arachnid comrades “utilized” in the above Dr. Witt’s experiments, I gift unto consciousness Andreas Brandal’s The Work of the Spider.

A sonic neck muscle relaxant. Psychonautics is alright, but I’d much prefer to be an oneironaut, like April Larson. That’s about where I wind up by day’s end. It’s about perceiving the concealed, reasserting control of a voided reality.