Wednesday, February 22, 2023

What A Long Strange Trip it's Been

I just caught up with the season premire of "Last Week Tonight" with John Oliver. Much to my surprise, his main story was about psychadelic assisted therapy. If you have not seen Michael Polan's series on the same subject, "How to Change Your Mind," I highly recommend it. Humans have lived with, and benefitted from, mind alerting substance since...well, time began. When the U.S. government put the brakes on LSD and Mushroom therapy in the 1970s (FU Richard Nixon) , all the reseach was halted. Now, many veterans of war are benifitting from this therapy in order to cure their PTSD symptoms. Last election cycle in Colorado, we voted to end the criminalization of these substances and the therapudic community is now using various kinds of drugs to assist in therapy for PTSD, depression, alcohoism and the like. I've been participating this assisted therapy for a few sessions now. Each session is very different from the other, and each time there are new insights and surprises. I trust my doctor very much, which is essential when you are this vulnerable. And vulneraable you are during these 'trips.' I used pyschadelics as an older teen, and used them in a conscious way to explore my mind and spirit, to great effect. That's one of the reasons I feel comfortable revisiting this kind of experience. I can't imagine doing this without my prior experiece. What do you do when you find yourself floating in the blackness of space? You go with it, and it leads you to a different space; maybe a tunnel or a series of shapes and colors. Most times I don't know if I'm upside down or still in the reclining chair in my doc's office. It's a true out of body experience. Much more powerful than any LSD I ever took. I'm hoping these sessions will help me shake my persistant depression, which has become much worse in the Covid world, and after the deaths of loved ones. Time will tell I suppose.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Of Children and Parents

I love David Sedaris.  I've seen him read three times, and have read most of his books.  There's a good interview with him in Tricycle.  His father died in 2021.  Mine in 2022.  David and I are six months apart in age.  We both had fathers who were assholes, and devotees of Fox so-called News.  The programming on that channel taped into and amplified their natural tendency to rage against the world.  When David's father became ill with Alzheimers, he didn't watch t.v. anymore.  He also became a sweet, chipper old dude.  Alzheimers can really change a person's personality (either good or bad).  My mother had Parkinson's dementia, which changed her into a very sweet and demonstrative person.  She had never been that way to her children before.  I know she was with various friends, but never with us.

David's father wrote him out of his will.  What a rotten thing to do.  My grandparents wrote my mother out of their will and left her a small token amount so that the will could not be contested.  She never cashed the check.  She signed it over to my sister and asked that it be donated to charity.  Not one of her four siblings stepped forward to make it right.  God knows David needs no additional money; he's plenty rich.  But I hope his siblings made things right.  

My parents were generous and even-handed in their will.  Split three ways between their three children.  Easy peasy.  Those of us who had loans with my parents had the balance deducted from our share.  My mother was a genius at penny pinching, saving money and investments.  Left to his own devices, my father would have bought a new sports car every year.  Thank you, mom.  You left your children well taken care of.  Financially.

I wonder if the hurts we held onto during their lives will ever leave us?  Dad's narcissism  and mom's coldness.  None of us felt the love and support that we craved.  We had food in our bellies and shoes o our feet, and always a nice home to live in.  Never, however, parental involvement in the things we did and wanted to do.  Self-involved, they were.  There are worse things, of course.  But these were the deficits we lived with and still sometimes grapple with.

With the interment of their ashes last month, we completed the circle of their lives and of our duty to them.  Now it's onward to figure out how we want the rest of our years to be.  I find this whole business of living to be very strange.

Yellow Cottage, Part 2

I have a dear friend who I met in my Creative Writing class my freshman year in college.  I sent the poem to her for her comments and edits ...