In the many instances that Terrance McKenna spoke of truth and what he learned in a college study of philosophy, he mentioned that his professor taught; that, of course you can learn the truth of things. That is the important skill we need to learn to take responsibility. Then he adds a juicy tidbit. Now that you’ve learned the truth, what of it? Huh? Well try beauty.
In Food of the Gods Mckenna puts forth eloquent and punditry explanations of psychedelic mushroom experiences as the foundation for the idea of the Tree of Knowledge. There is a beauty to this explanation. Moreover, Mckenna’s tone is that of calming, aesthetic and always up for a laugh either it be high brow chuckle or a gaff in the form of a generous takeaway.
When you can make something beautiful then you have taken what is true and constructed something new according to the rules. This is not an easy task. Consider music. The difficulty of obtaining a music career in pop music, among many, is exemplified in Macy Gray’s career. After having a signed record contract, she produced her first album only to learn that the recording company refused to publish it. With that devastation, and a marriage breakup, she returned to her hometown of Canton, Ohio. The demo tape however kept making the rounds between recording studios. Gradually she gained thumbs up of the recording executives and agents, and her efforts with the demo turned into a publishing deal that evolved into a full blown record contract with Epic. Take a look at what Billboard Magazine had to say, it’s exciting.
Read her bio on how she got her start and the difficulty boggles the imagination. If that’s not enough, then consider her success. Beauty in the World,
might be another tale that Mckenna would grab hold of to elucidate with his ornate and mesmerizing speaking ability. Her song and video went to the top of the charts as they say. The excitement of what’s beautiful, makes you want to shout.
We shouted yeah’s pulsated by the rhythm of our footsteps as we ran to the back of the station wagon. Dad said we could sit on the tailgate and eat our dinner. We waited for him to get out of the car and let down the tailgate after mom said don’t touch that. We had started to loose the metal latch. My hair was long past my ears those days, it seemed okay to me although I knew it may not be fancy or stylish like the New Yorker ads. The tailgate was heavy so my sister and I both leaned hard on the cold steel door to push it back. We could barely contain our excitement, as my sister shouted out something about where she was going to sit. I didn’t listen to what she said, but hearing her claim something, I had to say that I get to sit there too. The parking lot was scattered with pebbles from years ago paving, and an influx of rock chips from other areas. Most of the lot was just grey tar. The sunset air cooled the lot outside the A&W Rootbeer. I think I counted 27,000 rocks before dad let down the tailgate.
He lifted me up and then my sister. I think she objected to where I sat. He soothed her when he lifted her up and she was satisfied for the attention and good seating. The tailgate was uncomfortable as it was hard and cold. As I looked at my sister frown at the discomfort, I realized that I too was grimacing. A mild fear set in at the discomfort of hard cold steel pushing on our legs with the rocks below our little feet. We were about eight years old, still small and easily frightened. We began to moan and groan as dad would say. I felt a wave of fear about the situation but then came the cheeseburgers. All was well as the charm of soft, warm drizzling burger sandwiches were handed to us out of the paper sack.
The paper wrap felt plastic and waxy. I felt cold disappointment. I had been so elated to get up on out and eat my heart out. The despondent crackle of waxed paper and the nauseating feel of non porous coating over my food set me back. I looked to dad with the unwrapped cheeseburger in my hands. He stood there poised for entertainment watching me. As he smiled, he reached out to me and he unwrapped the contents. My heart rose to the consolation. I saw there was something I could eat. I bit into the cheeseburger with the ghoulish wrap. It melted away as I chewed. I couldn’t stop and soon enough I was done with it. My sister was enjoying her burger as well after dad unwrapped it so she could eat.
The tailgate lost it’s allure and I squirmed to the edge. Dad made sure I slid down with ease. I wandered around the perimeter of the car to kick the rock chips and slide my foot to grate the pebbles into piles. I reached to pick up a choice rock chip and mom said no. Dad appeared with a small packet of french fries. He put them in my hand and said they’re hot so eat them just a little at a time. The light brown packet held the fries in a bunch. I tasted one and it was melty and crunchy. I saw that I could grate pebbles and eat at the same time, and I eased into a mindless crunching on fries waiting for them to melt as I grated rocks and pebbles with the side of my white wall tennis shoes.
It was a beautiful night out at the A&W Rootbeer stand. Dad made sure it was safe, and so did mom. Being only eight years old, I didn’t have much to do with that, but I was heavily involved in the rocks. If I could kick around in the rocks for satisfaction, then I might enjoy dinner’s juicy tidbits, as mom helped me discover. She didn’t say it, she simply helped me carefully pull out the hot fries so I wouldn’t burn my fingers. My stomach felt full on the ride home. I sat dazing in the back seat before I went to sleep.