Becoming Human Again: My First Ayahuasca Ceremony (Part 5)
Everything that I loathed about being human, that seemed desperate and hopeless to me, I just had to accept. For everything that depressed me, it was something that made community, the tribe, all the more valuable. I will play many roles in many tribes in just this life alone — villain, asshole, child, buffoon, mother, lover and sweetheart, wise crone, fool. I will be miserable and suffer, but I will also love strongly. The Shaman spoke again.
“Now close your eyes. For the entire time that the harmonica is playing, I want you to see all of the things that you do not want in your life. When the harmonica is done, you release them to the smoke.” Ooh! I prepared for this! I had made a list of my intentions. All of the things I wanted to heal — daddy issues, eating disorders, addictions, sexual guilt and shame… I had accepted that my urges to seduce and have sex with a lot of people were natural, and okay -- I was an animal after all. “Sadness,” I said into the ground. Then, feeling quite randy, “Pooping,” I smiled like a mischievous child. Well, someone had to say it. Why not the toddler in aisle one?
The harmonica snuck up around the corners of my thoughts. He was weaving his magic again. Time and space crapped out on me all over again. “I’m flying! —I’m flying?” My legs launched into the air and I heard people laugh and move over. Somebody caught my legs and lowered them back to me, too late. I was too enchanted by having legs. “Is this your leg or my leg?” the shores of ego had receded and I had a vague notion of the space *out there* that was probably my leg, but my sensations had dissolved into everything *out there*. I say “out there” this way, because I had difficulty identifying what was and wasn’t me. By “out there” I was referring to everything that wasn’t the awareness and the narrative of my thoughts. As far as I could distinguish, my molecules were mixing with the eternal void of *out there*. Being as flexible as I am, I was suddenly snapped back into myself when one of those disintegrated legs rematerialized over my head. I laughed. The sensation of plying my legs apart was amazing and soon I was arching my back and copulating with the universe again. This time, I let the cosmos do the thrusting. I was feeling pretty hot for everything by then.
I was ready to participate in the never ending cycle of life. Restless, I flopped over and collapsed into a twitchy coma. Less of the strange thoughts that popped into my head seemed novel enough to share. My hands were freezing. I clenched and unclenched them. Well, I know about reality now, I thought. I wanna be someplace warm. I figured, Why shouldn’t I be able to hop leaves? Join up with a Katherine in a warm place? Surely one existed.
I felt people removing buckets from near my head. Felt someone pick up each limb — that I could now identify as mine again — and take something out from underneath it. When I finally opened my eyes, I saw the same cold winter grass. I quickly shut them again. I could hear conversations that I was certain were nonsense, for my sake. People were joking with me by speaking things from my psyche, because we all shared the same one. They championed insecurity, jested at competition, were cooperative with each other… Then I heard someone crying. I opened my eyes and sat straight up. It was Marge, an older woman that I’d had a brief conversation about dreams with. She was in the corner with the Shaman, sobbing some trouble to him. I rushed over and threw my arms around her from behind, unsure of how inappropriate it was. She ignored me and continued crying, talking to the Shaman.
I couldn’t comprehend what she could possibly be so sad about - didn’t she understand that everything was love and that we all choose to be exactly where we are, because it is the bliss of being? “Why are you crying?! There’s nothing to ever cry about!” I instantly fell backwards, but stubbornly managed to re-maneuver my arms around her kneeling body. They were discussing some plans to go to Florida. Florida sounded nice. I noticed that Miguel, a man that had forfeited the second night of the ceremony to stay in the warm house, was also standing by. I thought about how good Miguel looked... How good the Shaman looked. How good Marge looked! I hadn’t felt any attraction to any of these people before now, but that seemed less than unimportant; just irrelevant. I wanted to kiss them all but couldn’t regain my footing. Something in the plan had changed. “Why don’t you go next week?” the Shaman asked. “Why don’t you go tomorrow?!” chimed in Miguel. I couldn’t tell if he was being helpful or just kidding. “Let’s go today!” I shouted, half slumped over on myself. “Hell, I go to-day,” echoed Miguel. “You a sexy lady. Lez go to paradise, baby” I couldn’t help but agree. “I wanna make out with her right now!” I snorted, feeling like the village drunk again. Soon enough, Marge and Miguel were gone, and I became aware that whatever I had been leaning against was giving way. My eyes encountered the overcast winter sky. The upper half of my body had slipped underneath the tent and I wriggled a little more out. “What you doing” the Shaman mumbled from where my feet probably were. “We’re going to Florida,” I shouted at the power lines slicing the slate sky. “Florrida?” “Yeah, we’re leaving tomorrow. You, me, Marge, and Miguel.”
On some leaf, we are.