Okay, so you know I've been a bit upended by things that happened this week. Here's the deal, without names. And it goes to the heart of how the spirits I call the Guardians (or Guardian Angels, though I've never seen wings) work.
About 3 days ago I suddenly discovered--and I never knew it before; most of you guys know I'm an admitted Luddite with new fangled gimmickry--that there is a "stats" button on this blog. I don't know if it was always there or not, but I happened on it.
So I pressed it and was surprised to see that I could see the hits this blog got this week; what stories were most viewed on this blog (Mushrooms in India and Swim Team 101 are by far the most looked at and they're freaking old!) and so forth.
And on the stats page, which I didn't think I had ever since google ads cut me off for a burst of ad money about three years ago, it also noted which urls people came from to get here. And which key words were plugged into the computer. And on that list of key words used this week which wound up finding the blog was "peter gorman, c". (I told you, no names, but it was a name.)
Seeing that almost floored me. Utterly unexpected. This was a woman I lived with, was in love with, for a long time a long time ago. We have not been in touch for a long long time. There have been times I've been tempted but she had a family and no matter how drunk I got I never pulled the trigger (that I remember) and called. Doesn't mean I didn't think about her sometimes. She was a wonderful person. And gorgeous. And she never spat at me. Or hit me with a baseball bat. And forgave me my idiocy and emotional cruelty. I loved her for all of that. I hated her for all of that.
And to see our names together, separated only by a comma, meant she was trying to get in touch. So I looked her up--which I have not done for a couple of years, but probably do every couple of years just to see if she's doing okay--and saw--with sadness--that she's recently lost her husband.
She was very true, so I'm sure it was and is hard on her.
So I figured she was feeling rootless and trying to figure out how to get in touch.
I did not call her. Instead, I put a notice up on this blog telling her I'd love her to call if she wanted.
I woke up the next morning feeling like a predator for writing that (I was not being predatory that I knew of when I wrote it). So I took it down and chastised myself for being a prick.
A few hours later I checked the phone messages and saw her name on them. No message, but her name and a number. I looked it up: It was her hometown, or close to it.
I called the number. I got a machine and left a message--which included the fact that if this was who I thought it was I could hardly breathe.
She called and we talked. It was fantastic to hear her voice; sad beyond belief as well because she's so hurt by her loss. Like with my sister, I wish there was something I could do; there is not.
But what was strange was this: She said she had not been the person linking our names on google which wound up finding my blog. And I don't think she's a reader of the blog.
So how did I find the "stats" button and see the linked names, look her up, post a request that she call, have her notice it in the few hours it was up, and then have her call?
If I press the keywords for a month on my site, our linked names don't appear. They've only been used a few times and so only will appear in a "week" worth of stats. Not longer.
So let's go over this: I find the stats button on the specific week in the last 25 years when someone has linked my name with her. I put up a notice to call me and take it down in maybe 10 hours, but she sees it in that time and calls.
Now, when I talk about the guardians, whatever you call them, you have to realize that the odds of any of that happening are zero. Not one in a million, not one in 10 million. Zero.
But it all happened.
The guardians wanted us to recontact. For what, I don't know. But it was arranged so amazingly, so cleverly, that it is beyond description.
For me the difference between an hallucination and a real vision is that a vision is something that you could not have imagined if you'd made a list of 10,000 things that might have happened given a certain set of circumstances.
This is so far past that it's in its own ballpark.
What does it mean? I don't know. Maybe she was just being polite in responding to the blog request. I do know that some spirits somewhere thought it imperative that we speak.
And that's good enough for me.
PS: I loved hearing her voice.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Okay, so you know I've been a bit upended by things that happened this week. Here's the deal, without names. And it goes to the heart of how the spirits I call the Guardians (or Guardian Angels, though I've never seen wings) work.
Okay, on a brighter note, man, Madeleina, Marco and I ate well last night.
I was in the mood for salmon. But I had some left over mussels in the fridge in a nice fresh tomato/garlic/onion sauce and I didn't want them to go to waste.
So I shelled them, strained the sauce and put both mussels and strained sauce aside.
Then I cut up red potatoes--with skins--on to boil.
For veggies I cut broccoli and asparagus and par-boiled them. Then I sliced some daikon radish and red pepper strips to add later, for sauteing with the broc and asparagus.
When those things were all ready, I sauted a piece of salmon in garlic olive oil and when that was mostly done I added the four large sea scallops I remembered I had to the same pan--little salt and pep. While they were cooking I added some sesame seeds. And when the seafood was done I took it out of the pan and added the cold mussels and left over mussel juice to the pan drippings.
The potatoes were mashed nicely by Madeleina and to them we added roasted garlic and fresh basil we'd tossed into the blender.
The fish was served on the garlic-basil mashed potatoes, a bit of sauce and mussels on that, and then those sauted veggies were ringed around the plate.
Man, that was good.
It might have been the first time Marco ever had sea scallops. Madeleina didn't want them so Marco and I had two each. And when he bit into the first he paused then asked what the heck "this round thing is?"
I told him.
"Welll get more of them. Dad, these things are fantastic!"
I thought that was excellent.
Posted by Peter Gorman at 8:43 AM
Don't know what it is, but this week has been hard for me. I feel like I'm moving through molasses and getting nowhere fast. And I have no reason to complain: I have stories, good ones, that I'm working on and several more that I'm beginning to collect information on and my kids are all good and I got to spend some time with Sierra and Alexa this week, along with my granddaughter Taylor Rain, and that was fantastic.
So it's not work, it's not missing the kids. It really isn't money either--there was enough to pay the mortgage for next month last week and I still got enough for a can of paint I need and gas money in my wallet.
No, this is just about me and maybe a reality check. I already wrote about doing the songs and feeling like they lacked oomph. I'm dealing with that and gonna sing my way through it and keep trying to help if I can.
I think maybe it's about myself dragging myself down. I need some soul searching.
I spoke with someone I hadn't spoken with in a long time yesterday. I almost couldn't breathe at first. Whew.... Who the hell was I--am I--to be bumping into someone else's world?
Well, I'm sitting here searching for something to say and my Irish insides are telling me: You feeling sorry for yourself? Are you kidding? Get the hell into the kitchen and mop the floor. Get outside and get that paint and get the work done. Open a new folder and get one of the stories due this week started and finished. But don't just sit here full of vague remorse and self-pity you bum! Live, don't linger!
Okay, well, I'm glad I had that little chat with myself.
My mother used to say things like "You want to feel sorry for yourself? Go volunteer emptying bedpans at an old folks home. Then you'll at least have a reason to feel sorry for yourself."
Posted by Peter Gorman at 8:26 AM
Friday, September 23, 2011
A few weeks ago I was very connected to spirit. It happens when I get to my late teacher Julio's home and am around ayahuasca and sapo and nu-nu and San Pedro. When I came home there were several people who needed me to sing for them. I didn't know what "singing" for someone was until I did it, but I was asked to help people who were sick, and a dog, and so I tried. And what occurred was utilizing--or asking for permission to utilize--some of the gifts that have been lent to me over the years via medicine, particularly ayahuasca.
Now ayahuasca ain't god, no matter how you describe/define that infinite force. But ayahuasca is a very powerful ally of man, a spirit we access by drinking the essence of the vine, banisteriopsis caapi with either chacruna (psychotria viridis) or chaliponga--which I forget in Latin at this exact moment.
So I asked the spirit of ayahuasca and the spirit of the four magics I know--white magic, the light in the known and unknown universe; green magic, the magic that runs through the verdancia, whether rivers, river animals, grasses, trees and so forth on this plane and perhaps elsewhere; red magic, the magic of blood that can cause/correct diseases that runs through us humans and so many other creatures; and black magic, the thick, profound, deep magnetic magic that we call gravity that holds not only the universe but each piece of the universe, in place. And I asked the guardians I know, powerful spirits who have let me be introduced to them, to help. And I asked smoke and perfume and cama langa to help, powerful allies as well.
And so I sang for those friends of mine.
And it was strong. And even those who didn't know I was singing for them got in touch to say things were happening with their ill bodies.
And then this week, it feels like the song has no power. No oomph. Like there are no spirits to call on or if there are I certainly don't know how to call them.
I still sing. I know there is life and force and will in everything and even me just hoping someone might get better is better than nothing. But I think it's more than that, normally. Just this week, it feels weak.
Posted by Peter Gorman at 4:18 PM
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Well, my friend Bo was here last week. I last saw him in Iquitos about 16 months ago. He's the vet who became a US paddleball champion and wrote the Complete Book of Racketball that sold 260,000 hardcover copies a long time ago. And he's the fellow who runs the Executive Tours, taking wealthy people out to ride the rails to see what the other side of things looks like. He's a pal I met in Iquitos, Peru when I had my bar and he walked in with his legs and feet so distended I thought they'd explode. Been a friend ever since. I wrote a story about him called Renaissance on the Rails that helped me win a national journalism award and was one of three that won me a Journalist of the Year in Texas a couple of years ago.
So he was here for a few days, then split for another friend's--one of the original Microsoft guys--and then wrote me a couple of days ago that he had a friend he'd gone to school with at Michigan 40 years ago who wanted to meet me and loved food.
I said okay and then yesterday came and I was thinking of mussels in red wine and tomatoes with cilantro to go with huge sea scallops sauteed in garlic with fresh lime.
Turned out that Bo's friend didn't like scallops or mussels so I switched to my lime chicken, and diverted them with my jungle guacamole. For the guacamole, I cleaned three small Hass avocados--perfectly ripe--and mashed them. Then I sauteed garlic in olive oil, added finely diced red onion and finally finely diced Roma tomatoes. When that was done I added it, hot, to the avocados, put in a bit of salt and a bunch of butcher-ground black pepper, let it marry for 10 minutes, then added juice of two limes.
They liked it.
And while they were eating that I took 3 half chicken breasts and cut them each in half, lengthwise, to make six nice pieces of chicken breast. They were flowered, egged and then dipped in a mix of 1/2 plain--good--breadcrumbs and 1/2 grated parmesan cheese. With some good pepper thrown in for good measure.
Those got sauteed in good olive oil on one side till brown, then removed from the pan and placed in pyrex pans, dusted with freshly shaved parmesan and then embellished with the juice of several limes--and then put into the oven at 350 for about 10-12 minutes.
While they were cooking, the basmati rice, cooked with garlic and olive oil was finishing.
And while they were cooking I took about 1/2 pound of asparagus, par-boiled them, then drained. Then I cut some salt pork jowel bacon--just a little and cut finely--and reduced that in a saute pan. Done, I added a bit of garlic and olive oil and then the asparagus. As the asparagus was finishing, I added a bit of white vinegar.
While that was all cooking I moistened fresh spinach, drained it, then cooked it in the same damned olive oil and garlic with a little balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of butter. With the same darned cracked black pepper.
Then I sauteed up some very fine red pepper slices--long wise--and used that to dress the plates.
Food was great. As always at the Gorman's, no matter who is cooking.
Taste bud sensation.
Bo's friend loved it. Bo loved it. i loved it.
What was startling was making it while someone who loves cooking watch. Normally my kids chip in on cutting garlic and things but they basically eat. And love it. But yesterday I had an audience of one who loves cooking and watching him watch me doing some of the most basic things I do let me see me through his eyes and WOW! I'm freaking fantastic in a kitchen. I do like 20 things at once, have three or four pots and pans on at the same time all coming together at the right moment, including garnishes--which yesterday included cantaloupe along with the red pepper and some cilantro. But to me it's just cooking. To see it from someone else's eyes--someone who likes cooking and who kept saying: What was that? I missed that step. How did you do that?
In all my life I don't remember having had an audience like that. I mean this guy--a smart guy--was interested in what I was doing and how I was doing it and he found it magical. My kids love my food. In all my years at the restaurant thousands of people came into my kitchen to watch me for my magic, but last night there was actually someone who understood the magic and loved it.
I don't mean to be sappy but what a rush that was! I mean, I made jungle guac and I had someone not just saying it was good or great or fantastic but saying, "So when did you add the onions to the garlic? How long before the tomatoes? This is unbelieveable! Go over it again."
And if you're a mom or dad or big sister or brother or aunt or uncle who has made thousands of meals, all with the intent of keeping those in your charge healthy, well, you know that's not a place where ego gets gratified. So to have someone gratify my ego--about my tastes, my movements in the kitchen, my cutting, my seasoning, my cleanup--well, that was one very nice event.
And for all you moms and dads cooking every day, I can only wish that someday this guy, this friend of Bo Keely's, comes to your house and makes you feel like the greatest cook/chef in the world.
Posted by Peter Gorman at 4:34 PM
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Well, it's a beautiful morning here in bucolic Joshua. I'm sitting at my desk ready to start making phone calls. I've got several stories lined up that need to be moved along. Problem is, they're all pretty sad stories. A couple I know who moved into a dream house a few years ago faced almost immediate disappointment when they discovered that a gas well pad was being put along their fence line. There went the view. Worse, whenever it rained all the poisons that accumulated on the padsite went into their yard, killing their garden and flower bed.
Since then they've discovered their house is in a flood plane--it was said not to be--and the rains over the years have made it worthless. Sad story of being raked over the coals.
Then there's the story of a truck cleaner who is now crippled and whose partner is dead. He thought he was washing trucks. He didn't know they carried biohazards. Decent guy screwed by an unscrupulous boss. Damn.
Then there's a story for my column in Skunk magazine about someone in Hawaii going to jail for 11 years over some pot she was growing. Damn.
All those things and others are trying to take the sheen away from this glorious day. I'm gonna try not to let them.
There was one good laugh so far: Taking Madeleina to school this morning she referred to a guy we know who just got married and who already has a child as "pretty good guy. But the girl, dad, please....she's just a chick he picked up and knocked up..."
She tried to catch herself but it was too late. I'd heard it.
This was my baby talking! My baby!
Well, I guess she's still my baby but she's not really a baby anymore, eh?
Have a great one, everyone.
Posted by Peter Gorman at 9:25 AM
Monday, September 19, 2011
Okay everybody: Gloves are off. I need to sell 1,000 copies of my book by the end of the month, 12 days, in order to make enough money to pay the damned mortgage for the next couple of months. So go to Amazon.com, look up Ayahuasca in My Blood 25 Years of Medicine Dreaming and then buy a couple of dozen. Very inexpensive pre-Christmas, Christmas presents for the whole clan. Twelve year old nephew? No sweat. He'll grow into it. He's gonna do drugs one day anyway, so you might as well introduce him to the proper way to meet good medicine, rather than let his 14 year old friends do it. SO BUY THE BOOK!!!!!
Second: I've got two trips coming up in January and February. I think my website is finally up to speed on dates. There is a 21 day trip that includes the jungle and the highlands (cuzco-sacred valley-Machu Picchu). It's expensive at $4400, which comes to $210 a day. Does not include any airfare, but does include most meals, all hotels, trains, entrances, everything but walking around money and any liquor you drink in the cities. There is no liquor while in medicine mode. The medicines will include ayahuasca, magic 'shrooms, sapo, nu-nu and San Pedro. You'll have the best people I know administering it. And you can do either end or the whole trip. Jungle portion, 12 1/2 days is 2400. Mountain portion, 8 1/2 days is $2000. There are no secret extras: some meals and your walking around money are on you, plus your airfare, but the rest is included and it's well done all the way around.
Dates for the January 2012 trip are: Jan 7-Jan 28.
In February I've got a 9 1/2 day Jungle Intensive. It's very good, very intense, and focuses on living in the jungle/ayahuasca/sapo and nu-nu, with some shrooms probably showing up. That trip runs from Feb 4-Feb 13. Cost is $1800 and everything but airfare, walking around money and any alcohol you have during our day and a half in Iquitos is included.
Both of these trips are extraordinary, as former guests will attest. My team is fantastic, the places we go include some places that people who have lived in Iquitos, Peru for years have never gone. My aim is to allow you to change in the most positive way. If you suck, you'll suck less when we're finished with you. If you are already great, we'll just polish you up to a high gleam.
I love doing these trips. And I think the guests do as well. But I need guests to do them. So sign up, change your life, and that's it.
Thanks for listening to this selfish notice. I'll try not to repeat too often.
Posted by Peter Gorman at 4:43 PM
Sunday, September 18, 2011
it was my son Marco's birthday yesterday, so I made a lot of grilled chicken and his favorite dish, Cuban beef--chopped beef in Spanish-seasoned tomato sauce--over rice and got a cake and brought it over to my ex-wife Chepa's where the party was. She had a lot of the extended family there and a good volleyball game that kept up for hours--with people just coming and going as they liked. I played a while, thenI left after cake at 9:30; I was told today the party kept on going till after Madeleina came back from dancing at a friend's quinceañera at about 1 AM. I just can't do those sorts of nights. I'm way too tired. But he had a good time and party--with the one black hole the fact that a girl he adores who was supposed to come by, didn't.
This morning he was fairly in the dumps about it so I told him the story of a beautiful girl who used to hang out with the High Times guys. She was gorgeous and would take a different one of them home to sleep with them once in a while. I was not in that circle so it was never me and that was fine. But one of our guys was really in love with her and I asked him how he held up, knowing she was only going to show up to sleep with him maybe every three weeks or month and that she'd never be his girlfriend.
He told me that at first it killed him. And then he realized she was like Grace from god. You got it and loved getting it when you did, but couldn't ever expect to get it and never dared hope for it. You just basked in it when it unexpectedly arrived. And that's how that guy handled it.
I hope Marco could see something in that story.
I'm off to cook some fish for Madeleina and I and while I'm at it some chicken for Boots. Then I'll water the lawn. Nice evening.
Have a nice evening yourselves, okay?
Posted by Peter Gorman at 3:43 PM
Thursday, September 15, 2011
My baby, don't need no lovin', my baby;
My baby, don't need no kissin', my baby'
My babe, she don't need no lovin'
All she needs is a good time husband, my baby....
And all Madeleina needed today was dad to bring a pot luck dinner to a pot luck dinner for the Joshua HS marching band.
Well, I bought 10 pounds of boneless pork country ribs yesterday and today I seared them, peppered and put a bit of olive oil and garlic on them, then baked them.
And while they were baking I made--cheated--a barbeque sauce. First, I took the pan drippings from the searing. To that I added fresh salt pork bacon bits I cut from a small piece I had. Then garlic in olive oil, a big diced red onion, four good organic roma tomatoes, two celery stalks sliced finely, four good scallions, cleaned and diced, and then, when that was all sort of married, some decent barbeque sauce.
So it wasn't my sauce but it had my intentions and material in it.
And it was fantastic.
And Madeleina called while I was cooking the sauce:
"Dad, did you forget the dinner? Please don't tell me you're drunk and forgot the dinner!!!!"
"I'm not drunk and didn't forget the dinner. I'll be there in 15 minutes."
"But I TOLD YOU to be here between 6:30 and 7 pm!!!!!" she screamed.
"Yes, baby, it's only 6:35. I'll be there before 7."
"Don't embarrass me, dad!"
Ten minutes later I was there and when I opened my dish and people smelled it they ooh'd and aah'd and Madeleina saw that and gave me the thumbs up and smiled broadly and when the person behind the counter took a bite of the soft as cotton ribs and announced: "We have the dish of the night here! Try these ribs!", well Madeleina started to glow.
And then she told me to go home and pick her up later.
So I did.
And she was proud. And that's all that mattered to me.
You need every edge in high school that you can get. I'm glad to help if the kitchen is involved.
Posted by Peter Gorman at 6:29 PM
Monday, September 12, 2011
Well, Sunday started off with me being so alive, and so happy to be alive. And then I started thinking about 9/11, 10 years ago, and I was sad. And then I was doing a song for some people and my brother-in-law, Tom, said thanks but he didn't need it anymore. I'd been singing for his liver to get better and for him to have a bigger straw to breathe through.
And then I got a call from New York and Madeleina said she'd get it and I said "no" because I knew it was my sister telling me Tom had died. It wasn't. It was from my friend Bill, about writing.
But my brother Mike called me at 5 PM to say Regina asked him to tell all the brothers and sisters that Tom had died.
So Sunday didn't end well.
Tom was very cool. He was a good guy. He was a lieutenant in the Navy during Vietnam, went to law school but didn't take the bar because he didn't think it was an honest living. So he worked as a bouncer. i knew of him working in New York City restaurants long before I met him. He was the one guy the mob was afraid of. In New York, all bars pay for protection to the mob. It's a good system and no bar in New York has ever been robbed of receipts, even if they have $50.000 cash, in memory. The mob will eliminate anyone who robs a bar in all five boroughs. It's one of the reasons the mob is loved in NYC: They take care of business.
But the Irish bars don't like paying the tithe. So they used to hire my brother in law, Tom, to protect them. I've no doubt he charged more than the mob did but it was the principle. So the mob would come to an Irish bar and announce that they would be getting a cigarette machine, a juke-box and paying $200-$400 a week for protection on top of those. Then the bar owner would get in touch with Tom. Tom had several brothers in the police department, all big and strong, and, as the story went--though I don't know if it's true or not--when the mob guys came back for first payment, Tom would drag them to the building roof and toss one of them off to his death with the message not to come back.
It might have been just a story, but that's the guy my little sister met and fell in love with.
The toughest guy in New York.
And he probably was.
He was 6'1". but when he was a bouncer for tough clubs he liked to slouch. He wore glasses and a stingy brim hat and would come to a table of rowdy people and say something like: "Listen, fellas, you're getting out of hand. How bout we walk around the block for 10 minutes, catch some air, and when you come back I'll buy you a drink?"
When my sister met him he was under indictment for having bit the cheek off a guy who'd just become a doctor who tried to hit him with a 2/X 4 embedded with nails he'd found while taking that walk around the block. Tommy won the case.
So I had to let my sister marry this crazy guy, who turned out to be one of the best good guys. Though not a cop the cops often relied on him: Twice he called me to say he'd been hired by the NYPD to tail a known violent felon they didn't have the manpower to follow. My job, for $200 a day? Sit in back of the building where the felon was thought to be hiding, while Tom sat out front, and get the guy if he tried to run. I was so scared but knowing Tommy was out front gave me courage. And we're talking bad bad guys. He was that kind of tough.
And you know what? He loved my sister. My baby sister, Regina. He thought about her every moment: Where you going, Reg? When you coming home? Should I wait up? What do you want to eat? Should I make food?
And he loved their kid, Tommy, my nephew, who played baseball and basketball with my kids Italo and Marco.
So he had some faults like the rest of us-- anybody who ever looks at me will find alcohol and cigarettes, so I am not going to throw stones. And our faults finally take a toll. And so a couple of years ago Tom got sick. And I was sick thinking of him being sick. I mean this guy was so freaking strong he made heavy bags beg for mercy. Just like his kid.
So I hated seeing him weak the last couple of years. And I didn't see him, really. I only went to New York once since I moved to Texas and so saw him last November for 6-7 days, when he was really sick. But he was still full of vim and vinegar. He would still scare people.
But he pushed my sister to buy a house on long Island and was happy when she did. He knew that was important. And he put a few bucks away that she probably didn't know about just so she'd be taken care of.
And when I saw him he was still full of juice, though sick.
And I am going to miss him and his hats and his humor and his strength and the way he took care of my little sister and I'm sad for her, and their son, not him. If there is an afterlife I know he's already found a heavy bag and told St. Pete: Give me the gym. Now that I can breathe again all I want to do is hit the heavy bag.
And he's probably doing it.
I'm just hoping my sister makes it through.
Yo, Tom! You did right by my sister for 30 years. That's what I asked you to do when you married her. So Thanks. Now, she's a little lost. So take care of her for a while more, okay?
And then toss someone else off a roof if you need to.
Those of us who lived in NYC understand.
I miss you already.
Peter G--your bro in many ways
Posted by Peter Gorman at 3:21 PM
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Well, it's a Sunday and it's gorgeous. I woke up knowing that my editor has a rewrite of my story and I can't do anything more on it till it comes back to me. So I made coffee, read newspapers, thought about 9/11 and how wretched it was and remains and how sorry I am for the people lost and the people who lost people they loved and how I was so lucky that my family, my brother and nephew working there have not gotten sick yet, and how lucky it was my son Italo went to school on 23rd street rather than further downtown and how lucky it was that I was on my way to work when the sky filled with smoke from downtown, how that blue sky suddenly was black and thick and I didn't know what had happened but learned and it was awful. And how lousy I felt for my friend Kent at Cantor-Fitzgerald who had lost so many friends that day.
And somehow I wish we could come together without a tragedy like that, without the 10th anniversary of a tragedy like that to make us forget our differences--which are legitimate but pale in the face of true horror--and work together to make something good, something honest.
I woke up so alive and so happy to be alive. And I was a bit recalcitrant but still dove into doing the first of a new three-day song for some people who have asked for help--as if I could help them, but maybe the song will--and put some black boa oil on the stove for a couple of other people who need good medicine, then found some copaiba, another medicine to send to someone tomorrow, and then talked with Marco and Italo and Chepa and the babies and though none of it is perfect, all of it is good and I've still got strength while others don't and I was feeling so strong and willing to help today. And I hope I can help tomorrow and never ask what those seeking help believe in: It cannot matter. What matters is that they think, hope, a song will help and so I hope for the strength to sing it.
And maybe this is silly but it's how the day was spent and now it's time for watching football and making dinner and feeding animals and the lawn.
So life goes on but there are holes in it. There is sorrow and there is hope and there is a wish to do more. A thought of helping someone, somehow.
And there is joy. And laughter and ain't it great to be alive? Not at anyone's expense. I wish everyone was feeling this alive.
Posted by Peter Gorman at 2:38 PM
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Okay, so this post isn't going to be something to shake up your world, but it is a post to say that every stinking day I wake up I say, "Thanks, God! Thanks for letting me wake up again!" and you know what? I could care less what your religious affiliation is or what you believe. All I know is that there is a great chance I won't wake up and so when I do, when I continue to breathe during the night I am very very happy to wake up, be it 4 AM or 6 AM. I get to see the sunrise one more time. I get to say hello to the goats one more time and to Boots, the blind wonderdog who almost ate the UPS delivery guy yesterday, along with my sister-in-law. Boots finds them both to have the perfect rear-ends to bite: He's skinny and tall, she's curvaceous and short. Dog has it down as to what he wants to bite and they both fit it.
Me? I finished a very tough story about an air quality report. Took me weeks to get through it three or four times and took three or four times to know what the hell they were talking about. Can't say more. Look for the Fort Worth Weekly's cover story at FWWeekly.com on Wednesday afternoon, okay? I think I did a good story; history grades the writer.
And Madeleina? Tired from two 8 PM and one 1 AM band things this week, along with being in 4 honors classes. Here in Texas we value Band and Football way way over reading. So she'll be behind on her reading for weeks.
The goats are good: Nice little guys. And they are digging the 95 degree temps we've had since Sept 1 rather than the 110 temps we had for the two previous months. Thank god I pad $100 each into the water and fuel bills last month to help cover this month--else I'd be crying.
And my friend C came last weekend and she was wonderful to be around. We went to a Buckwheat Zydeco concert with Madeleina and Marco and took long drives and made good food and talked about magazines. Manna for me.
And every day I went to the park by the elementary school where Sierra now goes to visit Alexa and my granddaughter Taylor Rain after I dropped Madeleina off. Chepa is very cool that way, getting the kids out and playing. I brought donuts, pigs in a blanket, bananas, oranges--the kids preferred donuts--every day these last three weeks, but I'll keep mixing it up.
And so I'm writing, reading, feeding, eating, loving, enjoying. All I'm missing is a lover. Damn. She'll come along, I guess, when I'm right for her.
But meanwhile I've been thinking of your all and hoping that you are having a fantastic transition from Summer to Fall and that you are as happy as I am for the joy of waking up each day. YAY, GOD. Or GODDESS. OR White Light. OR Whatever. OR Whomever. THANKS ANYWAY!!!!!!
Posted by Peter Gorman at 5:10 PM
Friday, September 02, 2011
On the board where I occasionally post, there's been a discussion of attaining the full effects of ayahuasca. Some people argued that if you don't see the lights and colors you were not getting the medicine; others disagreed. At least one of the posters argued that many people simply need a larger dose--as if ayahuasca is in the chemical components of the medicine. I disagreed and posted this:
I'm not sure I get that. Yes, if you want the full Coney Island, ask for more. But we're not dealing with chemicals here. Not at all. We're dealing with spirits. And spirits are not bound to quantities. Yes, if you drink enough you will have all sorts of wild visions. But they don't necessarily mean a thing. They're the distraction. They're the show. It's like the DMT thing at the onset of the experience: cool but not necessarily important. For those who think differently, just think differently.
For me, it's the spirit that works the magic. Just smelling aya cooking is more than enough. A drop can set off a full blown experience. It's your willingness to interact with spirit that's the key, in my opinion, not some baseline chemical reaction--which is very unimportant when dealing with living entities who have will, desires, capabilities of their own.
And yes, I have had guests who really needed the Funhouse of Desires and Fears to recognize that they'd been somewhere. So you give it to them. But you also give them the real deal, if possible, which happens only after that wonderful silliness passes.
Someone named Richard D responded with a bit of a challenge:
Nice post Sr. Gorman. I agree with you this time.
It does bring up the question though as to why Chacruna is added. If it's not for the Coney Island effect, or if the Coney Island effect is not of value, then why? I have my ideas about this, but I'd like to hear yours first, which of course may influence mine.
So I responded this way:
Okay, now you're going to make me go out on a limb. Which I don't mind doing for you, Richard D, who has added so much to so many conversations here. I don't think the spirit if ayahuasca is contained only in the vine. I think she's complex and that chacruna or huambisa, and their varities, are needed to make her whole enough to interact with us. It may be our failing; it may be something different.
I do think chemicals are involved, but only at the beginning, only to open up certain receptor sites we have and need opened to receive other spirits, whether they be hongos, ayahuasca, san pedro, peyote, Iboga, amanita....granted, slightly different chemicals, but we need those to allow the spirit entrance: The spirits don't. So we utilize chemicals to get those spaces open. But once open, we no longer need them. The spirits are real in their own right. They are there whether we ingest the chemicals or not. I'm gonna stretch here but: You don't know me. Yet I know I am real, in some sense. I am life, desire, force, intuitiveness and all the rest. You need the internet to access me. But I was there whether you had an internet or not.
Accessing the spirits might take chemicals initially, just like needing the internet for initial communication; after that we can do it telepathically--the chemicals of the internet are no longer needed.
I don't mean to know it all here. I certainly don't. But I do know that I can have full blown experiences just saying "Good morning" to the vine. Those include vomiting, healing, visions-the whole 9 yards. And I know I am not alone here. Once you've made friends, you're friends. Just call your ally--which is, after all, at least part of what a friend is. And the calling is sufficient if it's a true friend.
And I've reread the interchange this morning and think my answer is okay. So I'm sticking with it.
Posted by Peter Gorman at 5:12 AM