Tomorrow never knows…
The setting is granny’s farm. A farm stay-motel-share house in Northern New South Wales where separate rooms overlook glowing green paddocks. The fields are home to two horses that lean lazily by the fences. There’s a forest behind the paddocks and mountains behind the forest. In the kitchen we’re talking with a Sri Lankan lady called Sandra who makes us vanilla Madagascar tea. I’ve just taken 1 tab, he took 2.
Don’t get nervous. Remember how to drink tea.
We’re talking about the farm, the location, the locals and how it’s a different world from the cities, agreeing we could stay here forever and appreciate the simplicity.
She’s playing ABC classical music on the radio. Low volume. We don’t hear it at first. Then suddenly we’re aware, so completely aware it feels as though my ears had never worked before that moment, completely turned on to Beethoven and Mozart and the endless orchestras, it’s raining outside now and there’s an understanding that this is going to be a powerful experience. The kitchen gradually becomes busy. Vince, a quiet clean faced neighbour with dreadlocks silently drifts back and forth, Sandra calls him mysterious; he plays guitars and only gets upset when he sees the other tenant, a female dentist, smoking tobacco. Vince smokes other things.
Sandra keeps talking and everything she says is fascinating. She is truly a complex human being. Does she notice that we’re slowly beginning to withdraw to ourselves? We listen instead of participating. She tells us about her experiences as a nurse to the elderly. She’s from Sydney and moved here to care for a terminally ill man, who suffered from a disease, which I cannot remember now, since a young boy. He’s come here for medical marijuana, the only peace he’s found after spending most of his life on morphine.
This topic pulls the interest of my partner who tells her he is studying psychology.
The town could really use a counsellor and psychologist to help the people here, she says. Most are addicted to something, leaving some children neglected. She is happy for her patient and tells us about her close connections to the elderly… she comforts them in their last months and they enjoy her company before departing. In their loneliness they make her dolls and give her gifts and many can sense a hidden grief in Sandra. They observe more in their old age, she says. My partner asks, why. One word and the conversation shifts to another. Sandra fled Sri Lanka during the civil war after both parents died, joined the army and then for some time she discusses family and loss and death.
Conversations start becoming confused and I’m not sure when one ended and another started. In fact I wouldn’t know how long we had been sitting here listening to her. I can see a clock but it doesn’t seem to have any purpose. It’s just there… part of the space. Full of energy. But somehow that word lacks meaning; it’s just a term. When I look at Sandra I can see the clock in the edge of my sight, begging my attention. The giggling starts after a while and often at wrong times. Focus.
Focus on an object or the horse leaning over the wire fence. Then the laughter starts again. I’m sweating at the effort to maintain composure. She’ll know! I’ll be forced to speak and I can’t remember how to do that.
Her face keeps changing in appearance. Blonde hair darker skin. She looks down. Longer nose. Black hair lighter skin. She turns away. Blue eyes. Wide cheekbones. Turn back. Black eyes. Thin lips. Who’s that? Oh, that’s Sandra. Half dark half fair. Sandra has a birthmark? The person speaking changes so rapidly I almost lose my mind. Concentrate. It’s the same person. Then it stops.
I catch up with the conversation again and my partner is talking about climbing Mt Warning. Be careful, she says, a Native American spirit lives in that mountain. It’s a female spirit. She says it’s a dangerous climb and there are rumours of hidden portals. She then begins talking about Native Indian Americans and how they once inhabited the entire planet when the earth was not separated by sea.
She points out a framed picture on the wall – it’s a Native American chief with a wolf and it feels as though this entire conversation had already been scripted and planned. What a coincidence. Hours minutes seconds later I am aware of the music again. This time it is experienced so powerfully and meaningfully it becomes almost unbearable that the only known reaction is laughter. Silence turns to noise and colour and complexity everywhere. Each object and sensation screams for my attention. The dizzyingly orange velvety and paisley patterned couch across from me swirls and dances with the clock and table and radio and lamplight and the feeling is so enjoyable a distant part of myself is now aware that have crossed into another reality.
Rosemary comes into the kitchen and talks to Sandra about her son’s health – Sandra explained earlier that her (overweight) son suffered a heart attack – from diabetes and heart break. He’s also a talented musician. Rosemary keeps a positive appearance and tells us that Sandra cooks an excellent curry, which she offers to cook for us in the evening. While they talk we find an opportunity to leave.
The rain is cold, the air is pure and my entire body is revived, each cell of my body reaches out for more. Running back to the room we see a middle age man with only one leg and his wife drinking whiskey or is it rum on the little concrete space outside their room beside us. Shut the sliding door to prevent distractions of the other reality… leave the curtains open and lie on the bed, facing out to the paddock fields. Freedom and excitement overwhelms us both with laughter as we roll around the bed– recounting our feelings and visions of the last three hours or fifteen minutes trying to pinpoint the moment we lost our minds. The landscape is contained within the sliding door looks like a moving painting placed perfectly in front of us so we can observe the intense greens of the wet fields and the looming trees moving swirling breathing expanding mushrooming. I notice a small light where the trees break like a small opening to the other side of the wood. He focuses on it then jumps up. There’s a temple through that gap and a river flows through the field! Can’t you see it? Ecstasy. Then it’s gone. Breathe deeply as you try to understand what it all is. Intensity and visual beauty but there is an impression behind it. A feeling you understand so completely but cannot convey to anyone. The literature of psychedelics I had so long immersed myself in, Huxley, Leary, Wolfe, and Alpert… all of it made no sense and complete sense at once. Expectations evaporate as I learn what oneness and energy and I meant. It all simply is. It’s another language expressed within. Find your God within. Spirituality is realised and I feel more peaceful and love than before. Ages pass as we consider our realities, occasionally trying to share it with each other and sometimes understanding, other times not. My focus shifts to large peeling gumtree right near the door. Is it really peeling or it is imagined? It turns pink purple green grows shrinks; I see its entire birth and death flash before my eyes in an instant. Rain is loud on the roof. We laugh at our fortune in seeing an absolute perfect natural environment. A kangaroo runs across the field the horses hide from the rain. Close my eyes and tiny images appear, miniscule specs but clearly perceived as fantastical creatures serpents, lions, and temples Mayan gods Aztec spirits all flashing across in rainbow colours.
My partner tries to put on music using his ipod, though with great difficulty. I can’t even look at the device. He looks for an album but can’t find it so decides to put on the Beatles song Eleanor Rigby and then the entire album Revolver plays through. Oh god! Oh heavens! What is overwhelmingly psychedelic! Neither of us had ever heard this album in its real form, even as Beatles fans. The music is everything! Every pluck and wail and drum is it! Tomorrow never knows sends us into stupors and hysterics at once. It is the experience. Turn off your mind relax and float downstream. Turn on tune in drop out. We listen to the album 3 4 10 times repeat until we resurface. He knows what to play now, in our ecstatic appreciation. He plays Jimi Hendrix’s Machine Gun, remembering a previous trip. Then Bold as Love instrumental. Then Are You Experienced. Repeated. We become one with the music the bed the walls the air each other. Every part of our bodies shares the joy and love touching hugging wrapping around each other kissing curling into a ball. He seems so large and myself so tiny. What can be more satisfying than touch? His face his beard hair ears. The features occasionally distort and make odd symmetry like placing a mirror between the middle of a face. His eyes are enormous. Hot blood journeys through veins and I sense each cell and nerve react to different movements and feelings. A different kind of intimacy and connection grows. Colours in the room change with feelings and emotions like a tinted lens – initially green and pink and then with a passion the room feels red orange yellow. The door is opened occasionally for fresh air.
More people have arrived to the farm but they are appreciated as simply part of the surroundings. A buzz in the distance. Somewhere somebody plays a guitar. It’s raw and woody. As the drug begins to wear off the room is blue and black as nightfalls and we talk. It is difficult to speak at first until the reality starts to convert back to the recognised one. I struggle really hard to convey what I see to my partner – he seems more apt at that – I can’t write yet want to and instead read his journal of quotes and ideas. Conversation moves to futures and dreams and inspirations and desires to love and share the peace we felt at that time. In these minutes I come to a realisation of my real desires. Not for career and stability and false happiness. The real path is to help and experience the world and love yourself. Appreciate nature and people and earth. I want to live like a couple that Sandra mentioned some time earlier, a pregnant wife and husband trek through the wilderness, the hunter nurturer and gatherer, she skips about like a young deer protected by the husband.
And waking up the next morning with a clear and focused mind I learn that reality is not fixed, perspectives change and one day with lsd becomes a profound step forward in the progression of life.