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April, go she will

April 30, 2013

The streams are ripe and filled with rain here, thanks to a strange storm yesterday that alternated 20 minutes of showers with 20 minutes of sunshine all morning.  There was an eerie precision to it.

I didn’t want this month to end without noting three anniversaries of significance to me.  On April 16, 1943, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann was fooling about with a substance he had synthesized five years before, then shelved.  It was lysergic acid diethylamide, an amusing little number that Albert accidentally absorbed through his fingertips.

He “sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination” featuring “an uninterrupted stream of pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors”.

Since it was not unpleasant, Hofmann decided to delve deeper.  On April 19th he took 250 micrograms of his discovery, marking the first intentional acid trip in history.

He died at age 102 on April 29, 2008.  In between those dates, he became famous for his find.  He thought it could be of immense psychiatric value.  Just before his death, he wrote Steve Jobs for help in his research.

On his 100th birthday, Albert said this about his “problem child”, as he called it in a book:  “It gave me an inner joy, an open mindedness, a gratefulness, open eyes and an internal sensitivity for the miracles of creation . . . I think that in human evolution it has never been as necessary to have this substance LSD.  It is just a tool to turn us into what we’re supposed to be.”

I love the psychedelic experience.  I realize it’s not for everyone, probably not for most.  But why should those who wish to go further have to risk criminal prosecution?  For fuck’s sake, even the CIA dabbled with it.  I don’t see the day that a world steeped in ignorance and fear will ever embrace it, but I’m cheered by the growing acceptance of recreational pot.  It’s a start.

Anyway, thank you, Albert.  I hope you’re cruising around somewhere in a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition.



Most of our biggest clean-up projects on the farm are done and I’m feeling less pressured for time.  I hope to post more often.

  1. summergale permalink
    April 30, 2013 12:33 pm

    I’m glad spring has finally come to your neck of the woods. I didn’t know the history of LSD and Hofmann. For me it began with a government mind control experiment that Timothy Leary got a hold of .. and then I got a hold of Leary .. and the Grateful Dead etc..

    • May 1, 2013 8:45 am

      …and the rest is fondly but purple-hazily remembered history.

  2. May 2, 2013 8:21 pm

    i always liked all the different names for the street acid.. so colorful!

    • May 8, 2013 7:52 am

      Literally colourful. Remember Orange Sunshine? Millions of hits of it were manufactured in Windsor, California, a small town just north of Santa Rosa, where Jude and I lived before taking the great trek up here.

  3. Gordon permalink
    May 6, 2013 11:50 am

    Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Thanks for taking us back to the beginning. I’d wager most folks think Timothy Leary invented LSD. (And more importantly, I look forward to more postings.)

    • May 8, 2013 7:58 am

      There’s some great books about acid. My favourite is Storming Heaven by Jay Stevens. TTYS, Gordie.

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