Sunday, March 28, 2010

So Many Things to Say

You know, I don't know about your lives but my life is very full. Fuller than I can stand a lot of the time. My book was due out a month ago. Illustrations weren't finished, the designer was headed to Peru and I'd just given it to my third editor to get some input. So I'm late. Today I spent 2 hours on the phone after several hours of going through the last editor's changes. She's good. She's been in the business for 30-40 years and still probably looks like I remember her as an occasional visitor to my apartment with her boyfriend in 1970-73 while we were in college. For those curious she was beautiful.
She is afraid I'll expose myself too much with this, or expose myself in ways that are not good: Talking about my kids drinking ayahuasca at 14 might go against me if there's ever a battle for Madeleina, for instance. She's right. But I'm not afraid of those challenges. Those are things that were part of my kids' lives. They were born in the Amazon and whether I ever met them or not they would have had ayahuasca by 14 anyway. So to me that's not the thing.
But there is a part of me that tells me publishing this book puts my ego way out there as someone who knows stuff. And the truth is that after 25 years straddling the US world and the Peruvian world, which includes shamanism on an every day level, I am still just a kid from Whitestone, New York. But I know this book will be the muscle to put me in the ranks of people who get paid a couple of grand to speak at seminars. I will be "the man". And I am. But I'm also just me, and I've wondered a million times whether I'm raising my kids properly, why my marriage fell apart, why I ain't perfect yet by a longshot.
And while I've given talks and seminars in the past, I was always just me. It wasn't me with a definitive book about my experiences that people can call me on. So now the ante gets upped. And that's nerveracking. Who the hell am I? Nobody. But the story is important because not many people have written about an active involvement with shamanism over the course of their adult lives. So it needs to be out there--not as something to prosthelityze (spelling? I dare you!!!)--but at the same time is likely to make some people want more of me than I know.
How am I gonna handle that?
I'm gonna try to just be me, full of flaws, full of fun, full of nonsense and not taking it too seriously. I think that's the most honest approach. Cause I don't know anything. I have no idea what all the work has taught me after all these years, or whether I wouldnt' have come to the same answers if I just watched a lot of television. Damn....this stuff is complicated. I wish I could say "I Learned THIS!" but I didn't. Or if I did, I don't know I did.
But I'm from New York. I'm still putting the book out. I guess I'll just have to wait and see where the damned chips fall.


Kuchinta said...

You are real, Peter. Real, yet larger-than-life! That's who you are :)
Thank you for being in my life!

Johan said...

Don't worry, you come across as a very kind and good person and a great father.