Citation: ofthingsprofound. "Re-Summer of Love: An Experience with LSD (exp69290)". Erowid.org. Jun 27, 2013. erowid.org/exp/69290
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It's been four months since my 'summer of love' ended. It started with two small squares of white paper on a train headed to NYC, a chance to see psychedelic art in rare form, and a once in a lifetime experience.
The LSD was what really mattered to me and what stuck with me over the course of that summer and on into the future, and it's what I want to talk about. I feel the details about all of the drugs I tried that summer are inconsequential, but I also feel like some listing is necessary. I tripped a few times on 2C-I, which produced strong visuals unlike anything else. I did shrooms once, which gave me weak closed eye visuals. I had done salvia at points in my past and I did DMT (the only drug I ever did without researching to some extent) once when I ran into some friends who had been telling me about it for some time, after getting far too drunk at a party. The come up felt so intense that I never touched it again. Of course there was always pot, which was a staple around the house.
I did LSD quite a few times with a variety of people and over the course of that summer I learned to enjoy music in a way I never thought possible, learned to create art and music on my own in a way I never felt I could before, confronted my demons to make my self a better person, and had a 'farewell trip' that seems to have hallmarked the entire experience, but that also left me with a bittersweet taste in my mouth.
At the Whitney’s Summer of Love exhibit I remember others in my group being quite daring and acting a little too crazy for the environment, doing things like laying on the floor telling random strangers that the real art was on the ceiling, looking not at the video but rather the colors it threw against the sound absorbing foam on the ceiling, but I was calm, a child of the universe, wide eyed and curious. I remember staring at works for what seemed like forever, walking up close and backing away, looking from the left of the right. I grasped art in a way I never did before, despite the art history and the drawing class. For the first time I appreciated pure form, pure shape, pure color, and how they worked in concert.
I was always fascinated by music especially jam bands and 60’s rock. I never could bring myself to dance or to create music. Even though I had tried my hand at playing bass, I couldn't see past the fact that I was the judge of what was good. Being in the crowd for the Allman Brothers on 2 hits of acid changed that. I remember really
dancing for the first time in my life, seeing and hearing music at once. I felt a part of every person in the crowd and on the train ride home I could recite and elaborate upon the guitar solos in my head, my mind at some point grasped the music on a fundamental level.
As the summer went on I found myself doing acid with separate groups of friends, which compelled me to do it more often than I would normally have. The trips with other people seemed from the start to be uneventful, with little visuals and nothing profound for me to chew on in my mind. I felt like I was treating acid without reverence.
It wasn't until I was driven home after one such uneventful trip, after I thought I had long since come down, that I had a visual that night, while playing bass in my room. I got to the root of all that held me back as a creative spirit and as a person. I learned that the events of my childhood had taught me to always doubt myself and to never try for fear of failure: I couldn't dance out of fear, I couldn't draw anything that wasn't a carbon copy of reality, I couldn't play my own music, I couldn't look people in the eyes and I couldn't believe that a woman would love me. I had this demon it seemed feeding on my energy, my self-confidence. As I played I realized that I had the ability to make music and always had, I was just deaf to it all this time, my foot danced automatically when I was on to something and lines of energy, and neon flowers began to surround the fret board and dance along my white walls. Over my last semester at college I took a music theory class and I get better at bass every day to this day but if not for LSD I know I would not have this joy in my life.
After this I decided that LSD was best spent on creative ventures but never seemed to have the opportunity or desire to do it alone. I still wound up tripping for what seemed like no reason until eventually I began to feel like I wasn't going to take anything more from the experience. It was at this time I began to worry. People had begun asking me for acid even though I didn't deal; all my friends seemed to be in over their heads with everything they did and I began to feel like I needed to use the 10 hits I was saving in some sort of grand goodbye to college and to LSD, rather than hold them and risk incarceration or screwing up my future.
That night started at 7pm in my apartment. My roommate had never experienced acid in its full effect because of how much he drank at all times. A girl I liked who I knew had done acid and some of her friends who were also experienced had come over and I gave out 5 of my hits to them, asking first if they had ever done acid and informing them of all my safety precautions. I didn’t want anything bad to happen. They all turned out to be less than savory people, wound up leaving the apartment against me and my roommates wishes and had generally sullied the bonds of a tripping group, which I regarded as sacred.
As I came up I was faced with the 'what to do now' problem and in the excitement grabbed a felt pen and my sketch pad which was being used more like a notepad since basic drawing class had ended, and found the one blank page that didn't have a phone number, or rummy score, or assigned sketch on it. I commenced to create a pen drawing unlike anything I ever thought possible, it was also the first time I ever did anything in pen, always having hated the permanence of it. In what was an instinctive, intuitive, fluid process, I made a drawing of a psychedelic landscape which looked like many things from many angles. It became the object that seems to define that entire summer. I wish I could link to it and still maintain my anonymity.
Later that night I thought about why LSD, which had opened so many doors for me, had to be made illegal, lamenting that fact until I realized that half the people in my group had left and I couldn't stop them (though I tried) and that one had driven (all be it only 2 miles and only on half a hit). I realized in the wrong hands acid could be a terrible thing and that not everyone was like me. I also realized that in breaking the law myself I made it ok for all those people who shouldn't be doing acid to break the law themselves and that I was a hypocrite.
It's now been months and I constantly think about the implications of that summer, as I did on my farewell trip. In fact every time I smoke weed I get higher than I ever did before, experiencing closed eye visuals at some points and a strong feeling of paranoia at other points, all of which is about doing drugs, going too far, making myself stupid in some way, or ending up a failure. I came to the conclusion that it was also time for me to move on from weed and I feel like in some strange way this is my mind telling me that I shouldn't smoke any more either. I had no choice but to agree.
It feels so strange that the 'mother of all drugs' was the drug that suddenly made me feel I couldn't do them anymore. I even quit smoking cigarettes, not wanting to feel controlled by an external force. Although I feel booze is an essential part of American life and feel no remorse there (it's funny how a commercial makes something feel guilt-free). Even so, I can’t imagine myself having not done LSD. I feel I have only changed for the better and that LSD was possibly the most therapeutic experience I have ever had, yet at the same time society tells me I should be ashamed of what I did. I suppose this wouldn't bother a true hippy, but hippy was put to rest, set ablaze in 1967, and I'm still alive today.
Yesterday I sat down, completely sober, and drew something abstract again that turned out quite well, I was delighted to see that I still had the ability even without the acid. Yet the implications of this are huge as well, since I will never really know why I still can. Is it possible I never really came all the way down? Maybe. Did acid teach me something? Of course not, how could knowledge come in chemical form? What really did happen?
I like to think it opened a doorway to what was always there, to the unconscious mind, allowing the two which always acted so separately to act in concert, to communicate, and that my subconscious taught me a few things. I feel like a trip lingers on in your mind and the decisions you make on acid while in contact with this other part of you, whether you call it the unconscious or the soul or spirit, stay with you, guiding you in the future. In my case I feel this is for the best and it's something I can live with, something I must live with.
This is the strange grey line my life has become, loving everything about my psychedelic summer, and what it has taught me, and at the same time feeling guilty for imbibing of it. I made it out of college with a degree, no debt and a good job, yet sometimes I feel like I cheated fate in not burning out like so many do, and that I cheated life by subverting my own mind to become who I am.
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