...half a dozen on the other. Any one place was as good as another ('good' meaning 'on a par with'), as far as I was concerned last year when choosing a place to travel to. India tipped the balance because it was cheap, exotic, and I found a permaculture and natural building workshop to attend, giving me the focus I wanted and fulfilling a desire to learn more about (and participate in) sustainability.
If I had been able to examine my needs more closely, I would have chosen a full-on vacation in, say, the north of Thailand. The visual beauty and tourist infrastructure and accompanying friendliness, I hear, is practically unbeatable. But that was then and this is now and hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. India was a trial. Okay, it was many things, some beautiful. On balance it served to amplify every insecurity, doubt and question that's been brewing up inside of me for months. Could be a good thing, and it probably is, but the experiences need to probably ferment a bit longer for the fruit to be fully born.
It's not just India, of course it's not....I have meltdowns independent of which country or continent I'm in! In fact, I had one yesterday, and I'm back home in Eugene. The difference is...today I am feeling so much more at peace and rest than I have for millennia. Maybe it's the aftereffects of the THC I inadvertently ingested yesterday. I was royally out of my mind all day, with a white-knuckled peak in the mid-afternoon, but today I feel very certain that all is full of love, man. Every little thing is gonna be alright!
So let me break it down for you. I was packing up my stuff after staying with some friends overnight and suddenly I felt
and my heart started racing to beat the devil. I couldn't imagine what the PHREAK was going on. I raced into the kitchen for some assistence, surprised I didn't have a straightjacket on. I was feeling very loony but not in a fun Roger Rabbit sort of way. One of my friends asked me what I ate for breakfast. I thought hard about this.
"Did you eat any brownies?!"
Well I guess you all know the answer to this one.
"How many did you eat?"
In a small voice I manage, "Two."
And my friends were all laughing, but they were really concerned too, and saying I'd best just go along for the ride because there's nothing to do for it except maybe try and go throw up. Since that wasn't going to happen (my insides are already on my outsides, people! I'm tripping hard!), I concentrated on breathing, slowly and evenly, and reminding myself that at least it's not acid and people don't die from eating two brownies.
One other of my friends said, "You just can't go eating stuff out of people's fridges!" and he's shaking his head. I scraped together my linguistics and logistics and countered, "But you guys said to make myself at home and eat whatever!"
"Didn't the container alert you?" they chorused.
"Yeah, well, no! It's a Trader Joe's caramel dessert container!"
"But they're not caramel!"
Again with the scraping: "Well yeah but I when I have leftovers, I put pasta in old salsa containers, say...."
"But they're brownies....."
"But it's not on my radar....."
They were all really cool though. One Friend even offered to twist one up and smoke it so I wouldn't be alone in my highness even though she hadn't planned on doing that so early in the day...I accepted her offer for company. I did choose to ignore the, "You're gonna be so high all day," comment by Another Friend and instead concentrated on biofeedback: I will metabolize this quickly. And really, I was laughing along with them, when I wasn't focused on how freaked out I was feeling.
Some of you might be scratching your heads. Why wouldn't I want a free ride to the moon and back? The answer is: set and setting, baby, set and setting. My mental set and my emotional setting is not such that the bud works kindly on me any more. Oh, no. No no no. It's all anxiety and feeling even more unmoored than I already have been feeling. I want very much to remain present, it's very difficult, and with spiked brownies, I feel so removed from everything and everyone. For me anymore, it's a barrier instead of a gate. I do not like being stoned.
It was a really long strange day yesterday. It's okay, you can laugh! I did when one of my friends grabbed stool to sit on since there were no more chairs around the kitchen table to occupy. Here is the stool and she really did sit on it for quite some time and quite comfortably, too:
Nothing like putting your feet up after a post-breakfast snack! Can you believe I actually managed to operate the camera, and point and shoot it? Ha ha! I was such a wreck!
After the worst was over, I left with Jacque who had come to pick me up, and we spent the rest of the day working in her yard, planting things that grow and are not of the cannabis family. It was really good to put my hands in the soil. I just felt so bad that not only was I wasted on brownies, but the brownies were wasted on me.
An added comedic twist: yesterday evening I was looking at the David Minor theatre lineup (locally owned theatre with more off the beaten track films, the theatre was built in honor of David Minor's life before he was killed in a bicycle accident) and what do you know, at least three stoner films (Dazed and Confused, Reefer Madness, Up in Smoke...) were being shown for free. The date yesterday? April the twentieth: 420. Har dee har har! No really! That is some funny shit!!!
So yes! I am back in Eugene, and how sweet it is!!! Everything is coming on strong, the blooms and the buds, the trees are fletching out in green, and it's warm and sunny. It smells so good here. I arrived saturday evening...today is tuesday, right? Yeah, tuesday. A stellar homecooked brunch with reunited friends on sunday, and yardwork, and today I just rode all over the place on Megan's purple bike running errands and visiting people. So good to be back among familiar surroundings, and on the bike paths along the river. With the trains sounding off at regular intervals...didn't realize how much I missed the sound of the trains and the horns.
Here's a little bit of Eugene:
We stopped to look at this house because Jacque pointed out that the paint job/colors are really nice (they are - peach and hues of burgundy) and the tree coming into bloom out front really brings all the colors together. We'll be painting the exterior of Jacque's house this summer! The picture doesn't do much justice I'm afraid.
I'm looking for a place to live. I still want to travel, but for now, I need to stay put for awhile. I don't know how long this will be. I'm open to ideas, eventualities, potential and intervention. The next time I travel, my sense is that the set and setting will be different.
As for Tucson! It's too dry for the likes of me. If you are an astrologer or think that your zodiac signs have anything to do with what kind of climate you'd feel kindred to, you'd know that this Pisces double Cancer likes a little more water in my diet. Too humid in India, too arid in Arizona, but juuuust right in Eugene (at least outside of the heavy winter rain months, water affinity notwithstanding!). But, I made some good friends and reconnected with family and folks were mighty kind to me. I'll be uploading the remainder of the Tucson pictures to the album (link at top on right) tonight hopefully.
One of the nights while staying with Ricia and Rocky, we went to some of their friends' place to see a documentary on Robert Johnson. Did I get that right? Legendary blues musician, the founding father I'd wager (sorry, I'm not up on my blues history). Met some really great people there. Rocky teaches music and Guido is taking some lessons from Rocky. Damn I wasn't even stoned, and what was Guido learning to play?? It was a reeded wind instrument, and I sketched this while they did their thing before the show: Ummmm it doesn't really look like Guido, but he unwittingly provided me with the springboard for Guido In B Minor.
Myra, Guido's wife (close enough?), told us about the International Film Festival starting tomorrow (that would have been thursday last) and the first show was for free, at an outside venue. Rocky and I went, it was unseasonably cool, but I didn't mind so very much after the intense heat of India - and the movie was Veer, which chronicled three seasons' worth of bicycle culture/club/community in Portland Oregon and Multnomah County!! It was one of the best films I've ever seen.
I mean, did you guys know about The Sprockettes?? Or Zoobombing? Or the Ben Hurt chariot wars? Bicycle activists and educators abound! Right here at home, of course. Oooh I can't wait to find and purchase a bike for myself.
Oh my god you guys. I was just reading the Sprockettes website and one of their members, Holli, was in a motorcycle accident in Pondicherry on my birthday (late Feb)resulting in a coma. I was in Pondicherry just a few days before that. Looks like she is back in the US now and regaining use of mind and body. Long slow recovery. We can donate through Help Holli Heal blog.
I'll close now with a picture or two from the Coronado State Park where Ricia took me on saturday, before she drove me to the airport. It was a beautiful day. We hiked down into the gully where there is always at least some measure of water, and therefore, a bit more of the green foliage and coolness.