We recently arrived in Thailand — an island called Koh Phangan and it looks to be the hallucinogenic drug party capital of the world. Parties galore: jungle, waterfall, full moon, half moon, new moon and there is one gig you can go to that’s only accessible by boat and included in the price of admission is a tab of LSD.
But alas my days of getting off my pickle at such festivities are over. The recovery time used to be a day or so but these days it would run into months — if ever.
So when the other day, at a coffee shop, I was asked by a Spanish guy whether I would be interested in an Ayahuasca party gig in the jungle, I said “sorry no can do in such a setting; only mango smoothies for me in my current state of consciousness”. He smiled and understood.
In that moment a young English bloke stepped over and stated that he couldn’t help overhearing us discussing Ayahuasca. He said “I have never tried it. I think I am done with all that. I have taken all sorts of drugs. Great times but I don’t know if I want to go and get f#*ked up in the jungle. I am happy with the way I am now. I have my partner and baby to support”.
His English accent added to the humour and poignancy of his statement of fact. It reminded me of a passage from Wordsworth’s “Ode: Intimations of Immortality”.
That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendour in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind – William Wordsworth.
The melancholic tone in the English lad’s voice suggested a part of his life was over. I felt a connection as I too feel that the bright radiance has dimmed. But not so much as to forsake a playfulness, a childlike sensibility that can see the splendour in something so mundane as grass.
The ordinary grass is still splendid. It hasn’t changed. The feeling we have may not be as intense but the beauty of simplicity is there to be cherished.
We just need to keep looking with splendor in our eyes.
Back to Koh Phangan: We have plonked ourselves for a month or so in a quaint little fishing village called Chaloklum — away from the party action. Ah the serenity. Here is a pic I took this morning.