The world was so unbearably pretty, and it continued being so all the way down the mountain to school. I felt slightly high because of the beauty, and the inside of my head tickled. I wondered if this is how artists go through life, with all of its sensations tickling their craniums like a peacock feather.
I was coming down off the last painkiller left in my dresser drawer after Autumn tossed my stash. In that moment I was so groggy and happy I would have accepted a date with Oscar the Grouch - and planned to do some serious feeling up on the green furry beast too. Yeah, stooping to pharmaceutical-inspired sex fantasies about garbage can Sesame Street characters - that had to be the best Just Say No drug lecture a girl in a leg cast could ever receive to make her go cold turkey off the meds.
The movie Koyaanisqatsi shows non-commented time-lapse footage and focuses our attention on the very rhythm of our civilized modern life and nature. A marijuana high can do something for a user similar to what this time-lapse footage does. The enhancement of episodic memory and the acceleration of associative streams of memories can alter and enhance our recognition of patterns in our lives in various ways. If we are presented with quick associative chains of past experiences, we can see a pattern in a body of information that is usually not at once presented to our inner eye as such.
In my own worst seasons I've come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again(15).