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  • So here I am lying on the floor of the Maloka with a vomit bucket stuck onto my head, I am paralyzed, I cannot move, I want to squeak for help, but no words come to me, i try to open my mouth, but i have forgotten language, i cannot utter a sound, the Medicine, it is returning me to the beginning, this is not a memory, but a cellular imprint, i am inside the womb, i am conscious, i am aware, i am aware that the woman who carries me, the woman i will call mother, this woman, she is in fear, i too feel the fear, i am aware that she does not want this child, i am aware that i was born out of an act of aggression between this woman and the man who i will call my father, i am aware of shame, and fear, i am aware of her desire to rid herself of the thing inside of her, i am aware of my own despair, my own fear, my own rage, how could a woman not want her own child, this violation of the law of love, this betrayal of motherhood, the sacred cord between woman and child, inside of me is this guttural scream, it pulses through my body. . .

    In the Quechua language, ayahausca is known as the vine of death. In the Shipibo language, ayahausca is known as the vine of knowledge. For 12 days, I have been ingesting this medicine in ceremonies with shamans. The medicine is bitter, it tastes like tar and rotten leaves and old cigarettes. Each ceremony is a journey into the psyche. A door opens. And I am inside my mind. Ghosts. Demons. Angels. The Void. Death. God. Bliss. Terror. They all come to me. And the Shamans. They sing. Their medicine is their voice. The Icaros. They are most beautiful sound I have ever heard. Ethereal. Heavenly. Sonic potions of love. The Icaros. They carry me through the turbulence of my emotions. Without this life-line, I fear I would go insane.

    It would take seven days of ceremony for me to undo the knot inside of me, the rage I had against my mother. It would take nights of nausea, nights of sweating, purging, sleepless nights, full of inchoate rage, nights of shaking, by the end I was exhausted, but there came a moment when everything unraveled, the venomous serpent inside of me, it began to uncoil, slithering out of the bowels of my being. . .and what relief, to feel the balm of forgiveness, it was like a heavy downpour of rain after a long drought, i closed my eyes, i could hear the Shamans singing, their lullabies, so beautiful, they were showing me the way home, with each note, my body leaped into joyousness, this is the original Song that birthed not just me, but entire universes, this ancient song, of course, i remember, it was called Love.
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