Thursday, May 29, 2008

One Story About Last Trip

Because of the nature of the trips, the vulnerability people face, sometimes vulnerability they have not ever faced due to the medicines, our circles are closed. That's why I don't tell or relate many stories about the actual trips. I'm sworn to secrecy0--read that privacy--as much as my guests are.
But every now and then something very ugly or cool happens that's worth sharing. On this trip there were several moments, but one in particular. One of my guests had worked at a couple of death row prisons, working as a therapist for death row inmates. He was a wonderful guest, full of laughter and love, but he was also followed by a shadow. Now I'm the worst reader of auras in the world, but if I tell you I could see a shadow following this guy, then it was a 10th degree shadow that allowed even a horse's derriere (that's the last dismissive to you Ms. M) like me could see, then I'm not fooling. This was a heavyweight dark shadow.
Anyway, the fellow drank ayahuasca for the first time and for three, four hours it seemed to be so nice to him he didn't have much effect. Some colors, some faces, a few spirits visited him but nothing to change his life. Nothing so different than what he experienced in normal life that it would justify the expense of time and money for this trip.
I felt rotten that he hadn't 'gotten it' but what could I do? The medicine gives you what it feels you need, and almost never what you want.
I went to bed after all the guests were back in their hammocks.
I woke 20 minutes later to hear this violent retching from the guest house. I looked down. There was this fellow, puking his heart out. Sounded like a lion. Sounded like a waterfall in reverse. Wonderful, difficult, fantastic.
I stayed awake a few minutes: He was doing fine, so I went back to sleep. Fitless, I woke a few minutes later to listen again: Deep, deep marvelous retching from a soul the bottom of which I couldn't perceive. But wonderful and healthy. I tried to go back to sleep.
I couldn't. The retching continued for hours. I wanted to go down and talk with him but thought the medicine was already in deep conversation with him so what could I add? Nothing. Just Whitestone, New York bullspit. He was talking with freaking god or something like god--compared to humans--so I left him alone.
It went on way past dawn, maybe four or five hours after the ceremony.
In the morning he came for breakfast. All the other guests, or most of them, complained that they couldn't sleep for the racket. I asked if he was alright. He was.
"I nearly died of dehydration," he said. "I couldn't keep any water down at all. And I was losing all my water every time I vomited. But," he added, "it finally occurred to me after the first couple of hours, that I was vomiting up all the pain I'd absorbed from all the people on death row I'd helped with therapy. And once I realized that, that I was giving up pain I didn't even know I was carrying, well, I didn't care if I died. What was important was that I inadvertantly kept the pain those people had when I took it out of them. And this morning I feel light as a feather for the first time in 20 years. I'm done. I let it go. It almost killed me but I let it go."
And I sat there drinking coffee and started crying. I cry easy when it's legit. Ask my kids. This guest had been a sin eater for people who had done bad bad things to other people. And that night was his chance to have ayahuasca medicine eat his sins for absorbing theirs.
He may not be done yet, but it was a start to cleansing.
And that's why I do these trips.
I am still crying when I think about him.
My prayer when they are vomiting uncontrollably: Throw it, throw it, get rid of the things that wear you down. Get rid of the things you don't need to stand straight and tall. Botale, botale, toss toss the sickness you carry for yourself and others, Be free and fly little soul. Toss the things you don't need and let us catch them and get rid of them for you. Just release those things that are tying you down and fly fly fly little soul. Fly and be free.
Maybe this was a little more intimate than I meant. Ah, nuts.


daisyduke said...

thanks for the I read, I thought, "man, I hope he comes and holds my hair if I start barfing in the middle of the night. It would suck to be alone for that." But I get that sometimes you really just have to barf it out without anyone holding your hair. Scary as it may seem, getting through that would be paramount to...honestly I don't know what. I'm sure it's different for everyone. I really do see that doing it at that point, without aid, was why it happened there, and not while you were babysitting him earlier. You worry too much. He got more than he bargained for. Well worth the trip, I'm sure

The Grudge said...

Thank you for sharing that. It is amazing what we can carry without even realizing it.

bamboo said...

Wonderful post Peter!

phoenix said...

great story. thanks peter

Graccus said...

Thanks Peter. I guess I have to send this on to a friend who couldn't understand why people didn't come to her rescue when she was seriously purging during her first session. I was in fact down hanging with you and the gang at the second conference so wasn't there where I guess I would have "held her hair." When I got home and she complained how she was treated I responded, like you, that the medicine knows and just to trust it and let it do its healing. My ideal society of course would have the medicine available instead of death rows. Your story made this tough old redneck cry too. Thank you for that.

Mr. Irascible 2 u said...

It was a heartfelt, touching account. Thanks Peter. However, brings a smile to my face. . .

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that!

Jacqui Faye said...

hi peter, been awhile hasn't it? sure glad to bump into you here.... hmmm, would this be considered a "cyber bump"? enjoyed the post and your thoughts as always. looking forward to the next one.

Bunk said...


I'm a fellow writer. I am going to be submitting articles to Skunk and would love to chat or swap emails with you about it.

You can contact me at:

I would email you directly, but I cannot find one for you...



Jorge Villacorta Santamato said...

Dear Mr. Gorman,

The description of the experience is a very good one. Some people call that negative living energy: "jinn."

If you read through the following text, you will see that vomiting "water" is a common experience for this kind of exorcism.

Thanks for sharing!