( )

Sometimes old Spotify playlists do it. Replay stories, queue my mind through a loop. We had a time, I wish we could stay in. Shuffle. Breathe in the cold black space with the glistening edges. Shuffle. Every little lie in this world comes from dividing. Say you’re my lover. Say you’re my homie. Tilt my chin back, slit my throat, take a bath in my blood, get to know me. Shuffle. En tus ojos me desvelo y tus labios me buscan en la oscuridad como relaciones de la noche. Shuffle. These songs make me want to reach for you. Pause. Strangers’ smiles remind me: I used to push and pull, but I can be still. Self-induced-lovelessness doesn’t last forever. Neither do rings on fingers or ink on paper. We can recreate how we relate. The simplicity of a daily choice. You’ve got it for one day, man. I used to search for the letters of his name, wait for his footsteps, buy time with food and wine, come and go as he pleased, but now we’re free from that parentheses.

Outside in

Even here, even now your letter tempts us to shut our ears to these little facts, these trivial details, to listen not to the bark of the guns and the bray of the gramophones but to the voices of the poets, answering each other, assuring us of a unity that rubs out divisions as if they were chalk marks only; to discuss with you the capacity of the human spirit to overflow boundaries and make unity out of multiplicity.”

-Virginia Woolf
Three Guineas

Off to Oz

The tension before taking off. How do you pack it all and go? Zippers inside zippers. A tetris of objects playing tricks of easiness. Summer clothes. THC tea, a blotter sheet, Dr. Bronner’s soap, Goo Gone for sticky messes. Rhodiola and yerba mate. 37 books. I’m ready. Flying into another season. The farthest I’ve ever been from home. My cells shake, anticipate. Preparing for a whole new world. New rules, new government, new order. No more sativa mornings. Walks through redwoods. No more Bart rides to 16th. Delayed by people jumping. New transit, new accent, new coffee shops. Wondering what will be. A place that seems mythical. A place also fucked by foundations of colonization, but somehow seems to function in a streamlined smoothness of well-being that gleams from many Aussies I meet. Generally okay. No worries. And that’s what scares me. The main thing I’ll miss and maybe even crave in Australia is friction to rub against. Something to be bothered about. An itch. Something that makes me watch out. Something that makes me critical. All the chaos home provides. The subsequent yearning to make, to do, to deconstruct, to transform. What will I do in a land called Oz? The same as anywhere: think, feel, read, write. Burn and rebuild energy. But will Australia irk me the same way? Will the people agitate towards change like they do in the Bay? Will there be access to the same niches of information and conversation? Talks on Tuesdays. Will the people care about what’s happening around them? Or are they too far removed, hearing yesterday’s news? Will the flag be half-mast everyday there too? Lifted into the air by migrants on minimum wage while those who pay to have it risen stay inside, scheming. The American Dream. If everything is relatively sane and easy-going down under, then what is there to reach? (Isn’t simply being there wrong?) Where’s the dirt? (Paved by Victorians seeking gold. Stolen generations.) Maybe it’s fertile soil for groovy music and laid-back design of neon pinks and blues. Quality gastronomy. I’m not sure how far I’ll go slipping into pleasure. A new place to consume. You can’t compare the two, but you can feel them differently. When you mix all the paint the color turns brown. Once at a bar in Paris, drinking my favorite color green, I overheard a table of Aussies saying they’ll never go to the United States. Because of the ignorance, the obesity. All the shit. The competition, the stress, the drugs, the mess, the machine. But I’ll miss the mud that springs lotuses of reform the world watches and replicates. The tallest trees and the dry breeze. I’ll miss California. Not the border, but what happens within. Channels of hope to grasp in the dark. The ones that pull you through and push you forward. This is just a time capsule of thoughts. A photograph. Maybe in a year I’ll have some answers to these questions. Maybe I’ll be wrong, again. And look, I’m outside of myself. Already there, wondering how next will be.

*

Here. Made it. First impression: love.

Migrate

3 am, can’t sleep. Don’t want to think about it anymore. Him, her. Is it possible to care and be happy? Considering place. I don’t want to label and critique every moving object. Get into debates in a digital web of 1s and 0s. So reactive by surroundings. Neurons scanning a screen won’t fix the anthropocene. Maybe I shouldn’t talk about what I think on that podcast. Me, me, me. I, I, I on the byline. Why even put it in a book? Thoughts keep coming anyway. Maybe someday I’ll write them away. Mental predispositions mix with chemical compounds. Exposing patterns in unseen conditions. Role play the foreplay ‘til climax; the end. A crisis, the meeting point. Rather read and listen. Get high and take notes. Entering a stealth mode to heal head and heart. Still migrating physically and mentally. Something I don’t take for granted. Something all humans should be able to do. Freely.

Tell me how to feel

One of the issues surrounding patriarchy is not just control over people’s bodies, people’s minds, how they’re supposed to respond, what’s going to be an acceptable adventure in this arena, but they also control and prioritize what is an acceptable feeling. And especially in the consciousness community, and it’s been in the religious communities as well, as bearers of moral import, love is put at the top. That’s the high vibration. At the bottom, that’s the low vibration. That’s anger or something like that. And then you have variances in between. What they have done is take a whole spectrum of feelings, and they have said that some are good and some are bad. They’ve turned them into moral qualities, and not just feelings. So what happens is that when people who are not acceptable as equal to the patriarchy, and I’m talking about women, when they have feelings, they are put on a lower spectrum as to what is acceptable for a woman to express. It’s the same thing for men, for those who, like myself, have been sexually molested as children, and raped. When we want to say these things, we are told, oh, well that’s in the past. That’s a patriarchal attitude which wants to control how people can relate within the culture. And that is directly a patriarchal attitude… that’s the place where hierarchy is telling you how to be as a human being.”

-A voice from the audience at Psychedelic Patriarchy
February 7, 2018 in NYC

The road

But to look from the stony plain along the road which led one to that place is not at all the same thing as walking on the road; the perspective, to say the very least, changes only with the journey; only when the road has, all abruptly and treacherously, and with an absoluteness that permits no argument, turned or dropped or risen is one able to see all that one could not have seen from any other place.”

-James Baldwin
Go Tell It on the Mountain

Profound banality

Our brains are tuned for novelty. And for good reason. It’s adaptive to be responsive to new things in the environment. Changes, threats in the environment. We’re tuned to disregard the familiar or take it for granted, which is indeed what most of us do. One of the things that happens on psychedelics and on cannabis is that the familiar suddenly takes on greater weight. And there’s an appreciation of the familiar. I think a lot of familiar things are profound if looked at in the proper way. The feelings of love I have for people in my family are profound, but I don’t always feel that profundity. Psychedelics change that balance… The line between profundity and banality is a lot finer than we think.”

-Micheal Pollan

Ambivalent attachment

Her powerlessness to communicate is apparent in the dialogue she writes: the people talk along lines that never cross; each has his own language, which the other does not understand. Even in love, especially in love, any exchange is impossible, because Violette Leduc cannot accept a duality in which she sees lurking the threat of separation.”

 

– Simone de Beauvoir
La Bâtarde preface