I tried mushrooms and here’s what happened:

It’s like I’ve discovered imagination for the first time. Flexing to see what I can and can’t do and realizing, with a thrill, that I can do anything. I can fill my chest with strawberries. I can fill my heart with strawberries. I can fill the mountain with strawberries.

Thought and feeling feed each other without friction or delay; thought is lush with feeling. In the belly of the mountain, a lake, covered with ice. People are skating and dancing. Below, seals are nosing strawberries up through holes in the ice. Time is moving fast; centuries go by. The seals keep at their work. Bless those seals.

Tiny strawberries in our blood. Jam. Invisible strawberry storms, passing through us like dark matter. The thrill of each image—each rich and saturated with meaning—and then thrill at the quantity of images, how quickly they come, how inexhaustible the chain.

Strawberries racing up the side of the mountain, a ten-foot-wide swath covering the bare ground. Catapults launching arcs of berries. “Pectin” blotted from the dictionary—by hand, by thousands of hands, an obscure conspiracy.

Can I turn a dial to get more or less control? Let’s see... yes. Or I can mess with how the dial itself works, or make six dials, or a hundred, and have the most loving, empathic porcupines walking around, adjusting the dials for me, with great wisdom, except for one which is taking a break to push stray quills through scraps of denim and weep.

Everything beautiful I’ve ever known is accessible to me. The treasury is open, sparkling, tender. Kent’s laughter filters into the room. I open my eyes, I’m in a bed, it’s afternoon, and there are actually half a dozen porcupines climbing over and around me. Huh.