During a severe bout of fever when I was nine or ten years old, I experienced strong hallucinations. Such were my visions that, whilst shivering in my bed one night, my sense of perspective skewed wildly, vast distances shrinking down to tiny points of light, small particles exploding in size. Aware of volume on a cosmic scale, I now understand I was at that young age phasing through stages of awareness (or perhaps levels of enlightenment) that many Westerners struggle to access. At some point during my childhood tribulations, everything I thought I knew, everything I had theretofore been aware of, vanished into a shrinking black dot. In its place was a white space of infinite proportion, at once massive and miniscule, into which entered an external force, an ancient and terrifying awareness I recognized as something outside of me. This figure - a small man wearing a strange hat who was at once as large and small as the crushingly vast white space around him - communicated with me using not words but knowing, not speech but the kind of awareness that is often called a gut feeling. He first appeared at the top of my whited-out mental framework, slowly drifting downward as our time together went on. I can’t remember how long this visitor rode me or to what extent I became his physical embodiment, his loa. But within me to this day still live his grapple-points, those spaces to which he attached during his visit, those avenues burst open by sickness down which he waltzed into my consciousness. I was terrified of him at the time, mostly because he was so foreign to my young brain, his power so great, his outline so hard to pin down. There was something in his hand, a staff or scepter, that shimmered and danced as he held it. Perhaps this figure was just a figment of my imagination conjured up by a mind in the throes of apparent death. Perhaps a wee god did stop by for a visit, drawn to the fertile fields of a young mind blasted open by fever. Either way, it was a lot to handle at such a young age, and it changed me significantly.
© JPR / whorphan / americanifesto / 場黑麥