ma

And the question began to arise: What if I don’t have kids? Maybe this record is everything I want to say to my child whether I have them or not. And then, Who am I a parent to if I have no child? And maybe the point of what it really means — expanding, or working on yourself — is to begin with this one specific person you call “Mother.” And as you grow, you see Mother everywhere. You have a nonspecific feeling you call Mother. And it becomes very animistic — it becomes the ocean, it becomes the Sun, and it becomes other people. And for me, without a doubt literature has been a Mother, music has been a Mother. And art has been a Mother.”

-Devendra Banhart on Ma in the LA Review of Books

Is Australia ready for psychedelic progress?

Notes from the Mind Medicine Australia launch, originally published on Medium

My only photo that night
Only photo I took that night

Psychedelic researchers, advocates, and skeptics alike met on February 13th, 2019 in Melbourne for the Mind Medicine Australia launch. Fresh from San Francisco and eager to meet people in this city also interested in psychedelic medicine, I bought an early-bird ticket.

***

February 13th, 2019, 5:30 PM. At this point in life getting ready to go out involves more time bopping around with acid under my tongue than looking in the mirror. Microdosing quells my zapping nerves and oftentimes overactive mind, especially before larger gatherings.

So I took a small dose before biking to the University of Melbourne for the Mind Medicine launch. The bats weren’t out yet, but they would be soon, and the air was a perfect 23°C. I locked my bike, tried to tame my helmet hair, and entered the Sidney Myer Asia Centre. Immediately greeted, thick lashes ushered me to the left. More smiling eyes appeared around the corner, showing the way upstairs. I entered the full, bustling theater.

There were only a few seats left. Everyone was finding their space, finding their friends. I sat down in the back and observed the crowd. No matter if it’s in Melbourne, London, Berlin, or San Francisco, the general attitude and sense of psychedelic conferences remains the same: compassionate, curious, positive, and present. There’s this shared understanding, communicated with kind and sometimes cheeky glances that say: “We’ve seen a glimpse of the possible. That’s why we’re all here.” It’s usually a clash of characters, buttoned-up scientists, artists. The kind of people you might bond with at a music festival and never see again are there, anticipating a lineup of lectures.

Sound cultish? It really shouldn’t. People from all edges of the earth have been interested in psychedelic medicine and its potential for millennia. Many aboriginal people wonder what took us so long to make the connection. This goes beyond a Reddit thread.

“Hi neighbor,” the man next to me introduced himself. He was wearing a sheen suit and said he wanted a job.

Continue reading “Is Australia ready for psychedelic progress?”

2018 input

Books read:

  • Devotion by Patti Smith
  • Dreams of a Spirit-Seer by Immanuel Kant
  • Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna
  • Ongoingness: The End of a Diary by Sarah Manguso
  • Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit
  • Anecdotal Theory by Jane Gallop
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  • Island by Aldous Huxley
  • The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won’t Give Women a Future by Cynthia Eller
  • Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
  • The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda
  • The Woman Destroyed by Simone de Beauvoir
  • The White Album by Joan Didion
  • The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer
  • Anthropocene Feminism edited by Richard Grusin
  • Our Right To Drugs by Thomas Szasz
  • Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag
  • A Wave in the Mind by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman
  • A Musical Hell by Alejandra Pizarnik

P.S. I didn’t do this last year, so here’s my books read in 2017. All still adore.

2017 list:

  • Blindness by Jose Saramago
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
  • The Age of Reason by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • The Cosmic Serpent by Jeremy Narby
  • Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • The Meek One by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
  • White Girls by Hilton Als
  • The Art of Losing Control by Jules Evans
  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • You Found a Beating Heart by Nisha Bhakaa
  • Supernatural by Graham Hancock
  • The Psychedelic Experience by Leary, Metzner, and Alpert (Dass)
  • Be Here Now by Ram Dass
  • Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
  • The Divine Art of Dying by Karen Speerstra and Herbert Anderson
  • Infectious Madness by Harriet Washington
  • A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
  • Future Sex by Emily Witt
  • The Joyous Cosmology by Alan Watts
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • Just Kids by Patti Smith