Ando and the Parable of the Earthworm (a hippie gets stoned)

Ando and the parable of the earthworm:

 

 

One partly cloudy afternoon in my back garden I decided to burn some time working in my art shed on a new series of paintings that I was preparing to show in the coming months. I had just taken several “oil slick shots”, made by melting some THC infused coconut oil into a shot glass of delicious hot tea. I was feeling positive and present and I was beginning to feel the warm decompression behind my eyes that tends to set in in the early phases of a big dose experience. When you have all day to be alone in the back yard, I still only recommend this for the experienced psychonaut because when eaten, the THC moves through your stomach and then gets processed by your liver thereby being converted into 11-Hydroxy-THC. 11-Hydroxy-THC is something like five times more psychoactive than something like the Delta-9-THC you would get from smoking. It’s not like some crazy acid trip or anything but it is much stronger than smoked marijuana and lasts much much longer. It’s still perfectly safe as far as toxicity is concerned and as long as you don’t go jump in the car, you wont be any danger to the world either.

 

Eating marijuana infused products is an ancient practice utilized by groups such as the early followers of Islam, the Gnostics, followers of Hinduism, and followers of Buddhism among many others. It has been used for centuries upon centuries as something called an entheogen. Entheogens are defined on Wikipedia as: “a chemical substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context that may be synthesized or obtained from natural species. Entheogens can supplement many diverse practices for transcendence, and revelation, including meditation, yoga, and prayer, psychedelic and visionary art, chanting, and music including peyote song and psytrance, traditional medicine and psychedelic therapy, magic, and psychonautics.”

 

My interest in this is from a meditative and creative perspective and so as my shots began to take hold of me I began to quietly paint in the shed with the doors wide open and the glimmer of the previous night’s rain puddles gently dancing on the walls.

 

I had been painting a series of what can only really be described as “big, trippy, drippy, happy, cartoon faces”, which I called “The Yes People”. After each layer of drippy paint was applied, I had to wait a few minutes and allow it to dry before I started splashing on new colors or else it would all mix together and make a muddy mess. In other words, this kind of painting has a lot of stop and go in the process. This was another good reason to get stoned for this task because when people want to talk about something boring one thing they say is “it was like watching paint dry”. I abhor boredom and being deeply stoned in the back yard protects me from it very well.

 

I was quietly waiting on the paint and meditating on kindness when suddenly I saw something writhing in the puddle a few feet away. For a long moment I was simply enamored with the movement and how the light sparkled on the surface of the puddle. It looked like a fish was grazing the surface of a beautiful pond. I stood up and approached the scene. When I staggered over I saw that there was a long and slick looking earthworm wiggling around at the bottom of the puddle. My mind, inundated with THC, riffled through its library of information looking for the earthworm section. I recalled that earthworms breathe oxygen through their skin and that they were essentially blind, only able to basically detect light. My heart filled with compassion for this little worm (emotional sensitivity can tend to run high after the tea shots).  I decided to help the worm get to the safety of the flowerbed which to me was merely a few feet away but to the worm it must have seemed like miles. I gently lowered my hand to the puddle and with my middle finger and thumb I ever so slowly and carefully tried to pick up the little drowning victim. The worm slipped out of my grasp from every angle, impossibly slippery. I began to feel myself start to panic for the life of this worm. Finally, I sort of pinched the worm against the cement in order to get a little friction to work with and realized that I had actually started hurting this little thing in my efforts to save it. I pulled back my hand. I began to tear up a little. The tea shots had a hold on me fully and I was now very invested in this quiet little horror that was unfolding before me. The worm had a little cut from where I had pinched it. I felt awful about it. I’m not usually quick to cry but when in this trance like state I find it very natural to let my emotions float to the surface. Crying over a worm in a puddle was admittedly a new one for me. Instead of making fun of myself I focused fully on the worm and how to act out my compassion in the present moment.  

 

I couldn’t let this creature die now that I had gotten involved in the scene but I couldn’t pick it up to save it. Suddenly, the solution surfaced from the “aquatic physics” section of my mental library. I held one hand open palm up next to the worm and then splashed the water into it with my other hand until the little pink thread of a being surfed into the safety of my grasp. I laid it down in the garden gently beneath a shady rosebush and watched it as it slowly began moving around and looking for a new place to dig around in.

 

I meandered back to the shed and sat thinking about all that had just happened. I had seen what I had considered to be a problem and taken action that actually caused more harm at first because I hadn’t considered all the aspects of the situation. In my hurried efforts to help, I hurt. Soon I also recalled that worms can live in a puddle of water for not only hours but days depending on the oxygen content of the water. The worm was likely fine in that puddle. Yea, he might have drowned before the puddle evaporated but he also might have been taking a bath for all I knew.  I had nearly squished him against the cement in the name of hurried kindness. Perhaps it was the THC flowing through my consciousness but that interaction with that worm has changed how I treat people as well.

 

Kindness in a hurry can be negligence in disguise. Kindness has to be mindful to be effective. 

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