Happening:

Seeing through the smoke


Christopher Gallagher

Amidst the holiday stress, embrace the season and just be

Ar 171219865
Wikipedia

Magnified snowflakes, photographed in 1902.
Ar 171219865
Wikipedia

Magnified snowflakes, photographed in 1902.

So much to do. So many people to see. So many places to go. The solstice approaches. The days grow shorter. As the holiday season slides by and the potential shopping days drop off the calendar denoting the onset of winter, we are thrown headlong into everything the season has become here in the most interesting days of the full-throated American Empire. I get it. We all have all of our regular responsibilities – work, second jobs, occasional gigs, school, family, friends, fish to be fed, ferrets to be leashwalked. Then there is everything and everyone we have to do and see in order to fulfill the annual holiday responsibilities.

The December world will make you feel crazy. Driving to shop will make you feel crazy. Waiting in line will make you feel crazy. The sun setting earlier every day will make you feel crazy, as will the real news, the fake news, and the infinite rabbit hole of the internet crouched silently in a state of waiting to draw us in, and a million-and-one other forms of scribble scrabble to spin, twist, and wiggle our ways through as we pass the final few weeks of another spin ’round the sun.

Fear not, there is help for all of us as this weirdest of years winds to its conclusion in the form of a little perspective. There is still time to purchase a posy of products to present perfect presents: A cache of superjoints laden with oil and keif, the Grateful Dead’s studio magic masterpiece “Anthem of the Sun” on vinyl, a beautifully matted and framed copy of Alex Grey’s “The Door of Perception,” a set of locally made wind chimes that evoke the deep Himalayas. There is time for these things, yet. These things are not all there is to this season. This is the season when the sun metaphorically rescues us from the creeping darkness, when science observes the tilt of the planet’s axis and Christians observe the birth of a savior, when the lamps of the Maccabees burned for eight days on a single day’s fuel.

This week, don’t forget to take a smoke break and consider a deep reality that can unify you with the spirit of the season. Go ahead, light one up and take a load off. It’s fine. The holiday season, like all seasons before it, will fade, just like spring became summer and summer, fall as we travel along together. Watch silently and without judgment as the flame you spark ignites the bud and paper, changing the form of prepared cannabis from solid to the ethereal smoke that enters your lungs before being distributed to your bloodstream to re-form in the transformed consciousness which overtakes you by way of the transport vehicle we know as THC; see the place where the two consciousnesses – that of the plant teacher and your own – combine.

Let go. Release labels and judgments. Let go, even, of names and words, and simply be. Just watch. Observe that pair of running buddies the mind and the ego, who delight in zig-zagging around inside your head chattering stories designed to make you give them attention. Know that is not you. You are the observer, just kicking back on a cloud of velvet and lavender in that space where the unmanifested energy of the universe meets the world of forms in the same way the cannabanoids meet your bloodstream. Allow yourself to melt into that sweet spot and observe the miracle that is the season – the season when the sun returns, when a son is born to save us all, and a single day’s supply of oil lasts a week and a day. Be the season, DGO. Just be.

Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at chrstphrgallagher@gmail.com.