Sunday 18th September.1994. Braevallich, Scotland.

(2015 – Description of a mushroom trip)

“I went to my church on Sunday.

And let my mind and body loose in the open fields and drizzle around.

From outside my little house became a tin box vivarium in all this massive green.

Inside a friend of mine, so small, happily trapped. So tiny in all this massiveness.

Laughter filled my lungs, tense with this reality.

We sat out on the doorstep.

He shouted “Sumano!” (the North American Indian for “man”)

Us, “cla-wana” (women) sat and laughed at his boyishness, as only “cla-wana” can.

He found a friend in my dog.

“Dog likes stick. Man likes stick. Same,same.”

“Let’s go hunting in supermarket!”

“1.2.3.” Additions to this philosophy.

3 = romance also.The waltz. A smoother syncopation.

3 = everything outside of duality.

Romance is spiritual, something other? A whole new topic.

Imagination and religion.

Seemed obvious really.

Our Gods are created….dreamed up….imagined.


Was not expecting to be summoned to the farm in this condition, but the telephone rang. Dad wanted me to come down, he wanted to talk to me, it sounded heavy. I prayed I could hide my ‘condition’.

I had to. The house was vibrating with powerful classical tones. Playing too loud. My Dad was thinking about death and had something to say. I felt paranoid that he could see me, really, what was in my head. How I was seeing.

I saw him differently. Somehow small and grey fluff. A flustered, uncalm, colonial Englishman fighting – as I see it, rather unnecessarily – against the ancient Scottish granite and wind.

He had built a garden, built in memory of his father and mother, a garden on the hillside that no public would ever see. I had loved the prehistoric, oak and toadstool woods that had previously gnarly hung on there, so had never understood his need to tame.

He told me that it had all been destroyed by a freak tornado!

What a story to be told while on mushrooms!

It was a completely still day and a freak tornado rose at the top of the garden. It carved a six foot wide path through the bracken and proceeded to work it’s way down, stopping at the bottom of the garden. The remaining, brittle oaks (now exposed by his clearing) were broken or destroyed.

I shook my head.

“Old Indian Hopi would say “She angry, very angry.”

I know what I meant. I felt the truth in my words.

He puts so much energy into changing, imposing, beginning things instead of growing, flowing and evolving with the place.

No wonder he gets ill.

It made me feel very sad, looking at him through mushroomed eyes.


We also talked about my (unconsciously) abusive mother and my brother. What kind of no-man’s land we are all in. It all seemed so hopeless for a while.

I felt the urge to cry about it all, release the pain, there at his table…but I couldn’t.

Returned to my ‘vivarium’. The two traveller crazies were, crouching, virtually in the fire, longing for the sun.

I shared my experiences with Dad and then the floodgates opened. And what relief.

I was crying for my family and then the world again.

I went into my temple.

(2015 – I had used the spare room as a) an installation piece b) a spiritual retreat. I had dragged 5 huge stumps in, draped the windows with white muslin and wheelbarrowed in loads of leaves, so the floor was covered in crunching foliage. ‘Outside in’. I explored the strange contradictions involved in creating such a room as an art installation in a city, – for an audience, and how much of its meaning was lost in the depths of the countryside, as a recreational space for a single creative to dream in….)

I bawled. lay flat on my back and let it all come out.

A familiar peace began to creep over me.

My breath, slow and regular.

The white ceiling became a mesh of twining hieroglyphs. I felt my old ‘blood’ slowly drain away, to be replaced with something new. New, wet wings unfolding. I could ‘see’  a whole new network of veins and arteries, in celtic knots embroidering my entire body. And new life began pumping, coursing through me.

I felt as if I died and been reborn.

It felt good. Cleansing.

Coke, the dog, began to bark, crazily outside the bedroom door, as if he sensed it too and drove me to respond.

Apparently he had been standing outside the door since I had gone in.

I let him out.

 In retrospect, I wish we had all spent more time outside, in the wild, wet nature.

I intend to trip more this season, alone and outside, being with the wilderness that I call ‘home’.”


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