near & far

I don’t feel madness in my wish to bite stars, but the earth still exists. And because the first truth is in the earth and the body. If the twinkling of the stars pains me, if this distant communication is possible, it is because something almost like a star quivers within me. Here I am back at the body. Return to my body. {…} Where does music go when it’s not playing? — she asked herself. And disarmed she would answer: may they make a harp of my nerves when I die.”

 

-Clarice Lispector
Near to the Wild Heart

Question

Can psychedelic use alter the expression of our DNA? Is there an epigenetic alteration passed onto future generations? If meditation practice, regular exercise, stress, diet, adequate nurture, and other ways/behaviors may alter genetic expression, then why wouldn’t psychedelic use? Aren’t psychological states in constant interaction with genetic expression? Have any researchers looked into the epigenetic impact of psychedelic use?

Psychologists should learn about psychedelics

Published in Human Parts

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The Ghost in the Machine by Amy Hiley

Fluorescent lights. Plastic cups with pointed bottoms dangle from the water machine. A Top 40 hit blasts, the kind that could never be background music. It demands your full attention, consumes all senses, and shuffles all thought. There’s a flat-screen TV on the wall, but thankfully it’s off. Magazines stacked between me and other patients. Psychology Today. Frankie. LivingNow. Better Homes and Gardens. Tightly woven grey carpet. Neon flyers that read “On relationships,” “Let’s talk about drinking,” “Anger management,” and “Building emotional resistance.” A hand sanitizer pump next to the scented tissues. The soft sound of fingers on a keyboard underneath the still-blaring tune. All of it contributing to a heavy static in the air.

I’m at Melbourne Psychology to get a full mental health assessment. Continue reading “Psychologists should learn about psychedelics”

heart of glass

A teary night. Heartbroken morning. Put on some tea and sat. Forced myself out the apartment. Biked to the studio. On my way, I noticed a smashed vase in the gutter. Like broken bubbles. The sun hit those curves and even the sharp edges reflected softness into my eyes. It was just a brief glimpse. Thought about stopping to take a photo, to capture the feeling—shattered. With puffy eyes that glistened like all those pieces. But I was late, so I sped past and thought I’d return later. I practiced. Got coffee with some others. Listened to them. We spoke in and out the night before. Removed myself from it. That thisness. And then, as I smiled and waved goodbye, I decided to bike back to that glossy mess and take a photograph, but by the time I returned, it had been swept away. Only one shard remained.

Grandmother

GloriaBaseballmom.jpg

This is my grandma Gloria in a photoshoot for the Daily Breeze newspaper in Redondo. A Little League story. She was born in South Central LA in 1922 as Gladys Esther Tremain, but later changed her name to Gloria and added the ‘e’ to Tremaine, a Cornish, French-given name meaning ‘Three Hands.’ She altered many things, apparently she even fibbed about her age to slice a few years. I like to imagine her reshaping reality in all sorts of little ways, in an LA still pouring its concrete. An LA that too was reimagining its vision of the future. I see her driving a rectangle along the Esplanade, a car like a boat, wearing cat-eye sunglasses, feeding her pet tarantula, skinny-dipping in Big Bear, eating eclairs my grandpa brought for her office breaks in Malaga Cove, taking the ferry to Catalina, spiraling around the kitchen in big skirts, calling in her boys for dinner, collecting deliveries of fresh Wonder Bread at the door. Her nephew drove that polka-dotted van all his life. Wonder what they’d think about my sourdough-eating ass. I never met her, she died in 1974 of ovarian cancer. My dad and uncle were just teenagers. But her forward outlook remains. I think about her all the time—especially when I see my cousin Amber—and like to imagine, as she would’ve, that we are very close.

Question

Could the examination of psychedelic interpretations across women and men aid understanding of biological/developmental/cultural sex differences? Could it empower both sexes to know more about this?