Did I say Europe? I meant South America…

So I’m still on the path of psychedelic healing and I’ve had a hell of a time trying to find reasonably priced sources of the substances in question. Somehow, when anything becomes in demand, the merchants set up shop, even in front of the temple. And Jesus has yet to come by, swinging his whip.

It’s allll about the green, no matter where I look. “Want to drink some plant juice we don’t grow ourselves? Just come on over to our plush retreat center with yoga, massage, and organic tempeh barbecue 3x a day for only $400/night!” Yes, yes, capitalism, I get it. Supply, demand, and so on.

There is a definite bias from trying to scope out a place online, however. All of the advertisements are going to be online. And trying to find an experience that’s both within my budget and authentic is nearly impossible from afar.

So I booked a ticket to Peru. At the very end of January, I’ll be arriving in Cusco. I’ll finally be able to check South America off as another continent I’ve visited.

I keep imagining what my life would be like without my emotions cramping constantly. The nagging, racing anxiety sucking away my energy and attention and being able to simply move freely among people again without constantly “planning.”

What would life be like if I could actually use the skills I have in any job, and bring to bear my full intelligence, empathy, and morality without being derailed by simple eye contact? Without needing to create living spaces devoid of people, silent, still, with the cocaine nipple of the Internet, of course. That thing I never truly valued until I lost it, seemingly for good. It brings me to tears to even consider returning from the desert in that way. A single day without feeling irrational fear – how long as it been since I’ve had one of those? Many, many years.

Last night, I watched “la Noria,” a short animated film about a boy running from his grief and despair, only to find that through approaching his demons, they transform into something beautiful. When I had my ayahuasca experience, on the first night, I experienced an immense well of grief surrounding my mother’s death. I can’t begin to imagine what other festering emotional wounds are lying below my awareness yet informing my every action. That’s where the promise of psychedelics is for me. Not in fun, novelty, or excitement. But in integrating disconnected aspects of myself that I’ve reflexively shunted aside.

I’m looking to experience San Pedro as it’s appears to not be terribly difficult to find in Peru. There’s an entire market in Cusco, apparently. And it’s supposed to be a gentle plant that’s especially well suited to solo exploration. So…That’s where I’m headed.

The shaman that ran my last retreat wanted me to reschedule my flights and join him for a ceremony with his teachers in early January. But I don’t have $3K to throw at these things. I wish I did and I wish I knew how others do. But I’m literally scraping by as a writer, just trying to survive despite despising the glow of this computer screen and wishing I could be outside making money planting trees, laughing in the wind, and helping people and society

…I really hate staring at this screen. I hate the blue and white of Facebook, the white and red of Youtube. I hate knowing they choose colors, notifications, and algorithms designed to addict and distract and farm my attention out to advertisers. I hate the distractions that come up during my research. I hate feeling my back twinge from sitting for so long. I hate this keyboard.

But I’ve tried re-integrating enough times to know that I have to accept this phase of my life. For now, I need to be adrift because its allowing me to explore this avenue of healing. And the best way to help others is to help myself. Hopefully, that’s good enough for Serendipity to make something happen in Peru.

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  1. I guess you have a love/hate relationship with the web. Is it ironic that you deride social media for algorithms designed to increase engagement while contemplating ways to increase engagement with this website?

    • Not ironic. Using this website as a means to income isn’t an idea that I’m pursuing anymore. Specifically because of what I now know about the dangers of internet usage. I explored concepts like affiliate marketing and realized I didn’t want to use that because its part of the problem. Also, it’s quite boring – great content should be the primary focus, not keywords and Amazon links.

      And as far as engagement goes, same thing. It takes a focus, attention to content and feedback, and a time and financial investment that I don’t want to pursue. I want to un-plug, not plug in further.

      Lastly, this website has always been my journal. It’s only recently that I explored the photography niche as I’m currently a writer for blogs and websites. I know how to go along that path and its certainly increased engagement because people like gear porn and technique discussions. But I don’t want to narrow my focus in that way; over the 15 years I’ve maintained this site, it’s been my outlet for everything from mental health to travel. Using it for money would mean a completely different approach that I’m not comfortable with.

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