Sunday, April 2, 2023

Drug Stories, Entry One? Maybe

I remember last year when I got about four mulberries, I reassured myself that this year would be a better year for the berries and I was so right. I thought I picked a bunch yesterday and the day before but today's pickings were even more generous. And they are big! I probably spent over an hour picking and that's only the ones I can reach. There are so many more way up, higher than I could possibly reach. Higher than even Mr. Moon can reach. I got almost two gallon bags full. I believe I will be making more jam tomorrow. 
With TWO packets of pectin. We opened a jar of the batch I made yesterday to go with our Sunday biscuits this morning and it was syrupy for sure. But my god! The color! I should have taken a picture of that. And you know- syrup, jam- whatever. 

While I was picking I was listening to a very good Mormon Stories podcast (how many years have I been addicted to this podcast?) entitled, "A Mormon Mom Tries Mushrooms." 
I was fascinated. 
Funny, I've been thinking I should start a series here on Blessourhearts called "Drug Stories" about my experiences with various substances but it's been just a seed of a concept rolling around in my brain. I know I have talked about the first time I ever did mushrooms here. I was eighteen, still in Winter Haven, and somehow, someone had discovered that the mushrooms growing in the surrounding fields where cows grazed were "magic mushrooms." Psilocybin to be specific. And suddenly, everyone was doing them. 
Thus was the culture in the early seventies- things just spread whether music or concepts or drugs. And we didn't even have the internet, of course. I'm sure that TV had a lot to do with certain things. I mean, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were both on Ed Sullivan but everyone already knew about them by the time that happened. 
And mushrooms that grew out of cowshit definitely were NOT on TV. 

Anyway, I was a very good girl at that point. Well. Sort of. As applies to ingesting mind-altering substances at least. I had gotten tipsy on Boone's Farm apple wine once and had never even smoked any weed. I had friends who tried to talk me into trying mushrooms but I kept saying, "No, no, no." I was cautious. 
Okay. I was scared. The media was so full of stories about what happened to kids who took psychedelics. Either you were going to think you could fly and jump off a building or else your DNA was going to get scrambled, making your future babies freaks and monsters. 

I had a friend though...
Brian Everhart. B-Boy, we called him. Or Balboa. He was the instigator of so much and a trumpet player and a drummer and a descendent of Winston Churchill and the son of a deceased pastor and he knew no fear. I adored him. 
And one day when I got off work from McDonald's (seriously) and got home, friends came over to pick me up to go driving around or something and B-Boy was one of them. I was starving because I hadn't eaten at work and as I changed out of my puke-colored polyester pants suit uniform, I heated up some chili on the stove. Unbeknownst to me, Brian dosed it with mushrooms and I and my friend David unknowingly ate some. 
I know this sounds like a horrible thing to do to someone but honestly, I will never be able to express how grateful I am that he did that. 
We were driving around and Brian told David and me that we'd eaten mushrooms and we did not believe him. 
For awhile.
And then...well. There was no way to deny it. David and I both began to trip and what I mostly remember is a feeling of utter belonging and peace unlike anything I'd ever experienced before. 
As most of you know, my life at that point was a fucked-up mess due to the utter horror and dysfunction of my family. I lived in fear and anger and worry and my friends were my salvation. And then suddenly, in the back of a car driving around the lakes of Winter Haven, I had a small taste of what and who I truly was without all of the rotten, stinking garbage baggage I carried around with me all of the time. 

It was an eye-opener. It was a heart-opener. It was a soul-opener.

And it freed me just the tiniest bit from that burden I carried and that was enough for right then. 

Whoa! I think I've just written the first in the Drug Stories series! And who knows? There may be no more entries. Or, there may be. 
But all of this was triggered by my own idea and then listening to that podcast today. The Mormon Mom who tried the mushrooms was not the only person on the podcast who has done psychedelics. One of the sometimes-cohosts has also done them. The main host, John Dehlin, has been out of the church for years and to this day has still never even tried a beer but I think he is intrigued by the idea of doing mushrooms. And as he interviewed this woman who had been the perfect, pure Mormon girl her entire life, coming from pioneer stock, born in the Covenant, as they say, raised in a beautiful, loving family, who did mushrooms originally to try and help herself with her anxiety and depression which had been unalleviated by therapy and medication and praying and reading of the scriptures and going to the Temple, I listened to her relate her experience with mushrooms and it completely described my own first experience. And the cohost who has also done psychedelics chimed in with her experiences, they, too, resonated with me perfectly. 
In fact, I think that every story I've ever heard about people doing mushrooms or LSD or mescaline have always included the absolute realization while tripping that all is one. 

Not in a woo-woo sort of way or a new age sort of way but in a deep and real understanding of the interconnection between all of us and everything around us from the ground we walk on to the stars we gaze at in awe of and everything between and beyond. 

It is a startling realization. I don't even want to call it an epiphany because that somehow denotes something that was beyond our ken but which has now entered our consciousness. I prefer the word "realization" because that is more accurate- we were born knowing this because it is perhaps the most basic truth although religions and cultures and educations and society interfere with that knowledge to the point where we have forgotten it. 

Love thy neighbor as thyself. That's what good ol' Jesus said. Because our neighbor IS ourself. 
So simple. 
So difficult. 

I've gone on long enough. I will just tell you that within four months of this Mormon Mom doing mushrooms, she was out of the church and divorced. 
It was an excellent discussion. 

According to her and to the co-host, there are many Mormons who are trying mushrooms these days. The church's Word of Wisdom forbids the drinking of alcohol and tea and coffee, but it does not mention mushrooms. The question was bandied about on the interview as to how many Mormons who have tried mushrooms have left the church. 

So that's what I did today. Picked mulberries and listened to a podcast and thought a lot. Also, there was sweetness in the form of biscuits and mulberry syrup and also love. 

I want to add here that Brian died eight years ago, almost to the day. I wrote about that HERE. 
I still can't believe he's gone. He was so human and had so many difficulties but he was majestic. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. WOW! So much here today. I believe I equalled you in *experimentation* in my youth...all with the same realizations.....and truly incredible. Never had a bad experience except for my one cocaine experience....which I did NOT repeat! I think of those times periodically now and smile. bless Brian........ and RIP. Like my Panamanian friend Lucian (who was MY Brian)......who disappeared off the face of the earth....but not before gently guiding me to realization through mushrooms and acid. I can only hope that using 2 packages of pectin will actually jam up your mulberries....cripes- what are they.....super anti-gel berries?
    Susan M

    1. Did you ever live on the back of a cow pasture? Haha. I did. Lots of mushrooms.
      You are so right. Cocaine is evil.
      I am glad you had Lucian. I hope that somewhere he is alive and very well.

  2. Interesting reading here today. Have you read "The Doors of Perception"? It's about Huxley's trying mescaline, I think. Long time since I read it. He had wonderful new perceptions that seemed suddenly obvious. I understood s lot more about why people fo it. But I haven't. Life seems good enough to me as it comes!

    1. I think I have read "Doors of Perception" as all good hippies were supposed to.
      I remember the "I get high on life" campaigns and they always creeped me out. The purpose of doing psychedelics wasn't so much to "get high" as to become aware. I absolutely do not believe that everyone needed or needs them.

  3. I remember the original post about him. As Boud says, life is good without that for me. Sending hugs.

    1. Then you are one of those who should not trip!

  4. I did some lsd at a Grateful Dead concert with Tom Petty opening. It swelled through me as Petty played and I experienced a quadriphonic sound system for the first time! So fun to finally understand what trippy meant.

    1. It was something combined with music, wasn't it? It was like you could absolutely feel the music.

  5. A book that I highly recommend is My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolt Taylor. It is explores that "oneness" she she experienced as a result of a stroke. It is a fascinating read/listen and changed the way I relate to my brain, my body and the world.

    1. I will look for that book. Thank you!
      I feel certain that you could get your hands on some mushrooms! And then your mind to follow.

  6. I'm hoping the mulberry tree here starts producing fruit again this year, it's been three years now since it got pruned so harshly.

  7. I never tried mushrooms but I did acid once when I was 19. It was a lot of fun, at first. After about 12 hours I was ready to be back to normal! Haha.

    I'll bet your mulberry syrup is divine.

    1. LSD lasts a long time for sure. Mushrooms are shorter, gentler.

  8. yes, yes, and yes, just like that. all is one and one is all. I did a lot of LSD and less of psilocybin because it was harder to get but psilocybin was my favorite. it was like seeing 'god' and took away any fear of death I may have harbored. acid was fun.

    1. We think alike so much and a lot of that, I'm sure, is due to our mutual psychedelic experiences.

  9. I prefer the word "realization" because that is more accurate- we were born knowing this because it is perhaps the most basic truth although religions and cultures and educations and society interfere with that knowledge to the point where we have forgotten it.
    Beautiful Mary, spot on.

  10. Your post brings to mind all of Michael Pollan's writing about psychedelics and the benefits they can bring to some people. (Which I know you've mentioned before, too.)


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