Reminiscing in the rain
It has been more than five years since I last experienced heavy rainfall like the one Putnam County received this morning. The feeling of soggy ground beneath my feet is a gift. A treasured gift from Earth that I haven’t felt since my time in Idaho. The nostalgic smell of southern rain and the pitter-patter slapping my roof and touching my body is nothing short of refreshing.
Just a few weeks ago, on March 23rd, I took part in the very first local Art Walk in Crescent City, Florida. The event took place under the shade of live oak trees that have been around longer than I can ever hope to be.
My art was on display, offering a colorful and psychedelic escape from the endless booths of paintings of manatees and fish, wind chimes, and jewelry. It was something weird and unexpected, but in the best possible way.
For four hours, I sat there with my art display and had many beautiful little interactions with people in my small town of around 1,654 residents. Some younger individuals simply stopped and stared, taking in the colors and details of my art.
I had a shy guy on a bicycle who looked at one of my paintings for a brief moment. As we made eye contact, he gave me a thumbs up with a slight head nod before continuing on his way.
These simple gestures of appreciation reminded me of the power of art to connect people in even the smallest ways.
But my favorite interactions had to be with the older crowd.
Delivering Delight to the elders
While at the park with my display, I noticed that many elders stopped to talk and were beaming with smiles. Some commented on the colors, saying things like “So trippy! That’s wild,” while others complimented my creativity, asking questions like “That’s very creative! How do you come up with this stuff? “. These interactions filled me with a sense of gushing pride.
My favorite moments were when a few ladies and gentlemen shared their personal stories, telling me how my art reminded them of the 1960s and 1970s or of the good times they had on mushrooms or acid “back in the day.”
One man that stopped and spoke with me turned out to be a pastor. The pastor surprised me by engaging me in a discussion about psilocybin. “I’m a pastor now,” he proclaimed. To which I responded, “For some people, mushrooms help them meet God.”
My quip earned me a laugh and a memory that may never fade. The pastor smiled, and I believe he knew, perhaps intimately, what I meant.
I have personally made connections to God under the effects of psychedelics, especially in my youth when I danced more often and paid closer attention to the details of our world. As the old saying goes, “The devil is in the details,” but I learned that God lives there too.
These experiences have inspired my art and my passion for creativity.