The Selected Quirks of Madjag

The Madjag Chronicles were compiled as memoirs and mental snapshots of my experiences during the 1978-1982 guerrilla growing years in Madjag Canyon and beyond. Importing weed from Mexico, lining up connections with the Colombians, and living for months in Jamaica to set up a 1/2 ton Ganja flight were some of my subsequent adventures. In recent years I have been a medical marijuana grower, a pollen chucker, and an Admin/Moderator for several online cannabis forums.

You Never Know How Much Is Enough

“You never know how much is enough until you know what is more than enough”

 –  William Blake

Nothing like being lost in your own fantasy, eh?  Why be a walk-on in someone else’s. It makes so much more sense to be the author of your own tale so you have no one else to congratulate, or blame, but yourself..

“Always stay in your own movie.”

– Ken Kesey 

As I age I realize how those little chemical messengers, hormones, determine a huge portion of our choices whether we realize it or not. Adrenaline fuels youth and along with testosterone and estrogen can spin young lives into whirlwinds of confusion. It’s called drama. Success and failure in so many arenas are more a result of how we bring this fact to consciousness than it is our skill, luck, or hard work. We are just blinded by the hormonal tidal wave that constantly washes over us. No one stays dry though some folks are better at manning their life raft. Lots of peeps just drown.

I love the life I’ve lived in spite of often getting in the way of myself. Today I spend an extra blink of an eye considering what I do before I do it. Testing the water with both feet, like I might have done in my 20’s or 30’s is out, though spontaneity is still in. I just add more conscious thought to the mix instead of merely thinking, “I want it” or “I can do this”, not to mention the try, try again attitude of “I can’t fail if I try, try again”.

Ever keep pushing to attain a goal and only experience greater and greater resistance from the Universe? Did you just buckle down and keep trying harder in order to get there? Did you ever stop to think, along the way of course, that those signs and difficulties were like “No” votes and were intensifying because your were going about it all wrong? Don’t push the river, it flows by itself.

Yes” votes from the Universe are usually much more peaceful and can be accommodated effortlessly (to a degree) into the game plan. They’re the little confirmations you get as you walk a certain path and are recognized by old-time teachers, shamans, monks, yogis, Taoists, medicine people, and religious psychics as absolutely normal and extremely useful. All it takes is a systematic feedback loop within your mind that doesn’t use denial as the overriding method of operation. In other words, all you need is an inner awareness with truth counseling you, giving up control in order to be powerfully in tune with the Universe and ultimately very good at creating your desired outcome. Using fun as a barometer doesn’t hurt either. Who said life should be so serious or dull?

The weed world of the 70’s was truly remarkable to witness. It seems that everywhere I went someone was offering me a joint of their newest catch to test smoke. In 1973 I was hitch-hiking along the Fort Bragg-Willits Road (20) in north Cali and got dropped off where it meets the ocean at Highway 1 . I had been in Willits to visit an amazing guy named Monty Levenson who I had read about in the Whole Earth Catalog. He crafted handmade Shakuhachi flutes out of bamboo, so outstanding that 10 years later he was acknowledged by Japanese masters for his skill and artistry. Today he is a recognized worldwide master.

I purchased a long, stout, beautiful flute which I actually traded back to him 25 years later for an even nicer one that was smaller and took less wind to play. He was overjoyed to get one of his first Shakuhachis returned through a trade since he hadn’t kept many of his early flutes. We both made out like bandits. Thank you Monty…..

I walked across the highway bridge hoping to catch a view of the waves. A mid-30’s black man with a guitar case in hand was standing at this intersection and smiled as I cruised by. He asked me if I smoked, I nodded, and with little fanfare he reached down and quickly pulled a tiny roach from a hidden spot in his boot, handing it to me as a gift. I took it and he turned and walked on, crossing the bridge over the Russian River, presumably to play at some cool club in Mendocino or on the north coast. I still have fantasies that it was Jimi Hendrix though he had left Planet Earth in 1970. This was 1972.

It was only moments later when a “brick”, a big fat white van pulled over to ask me if I wanted a ride. I said sure and climbed in and sat in the passenger seat since the back seat was full and the folks there were tossing about and laughing away. As I climbed in I looked in back to say hello and was greeted by two young hippies with yin-yang face paint. The guy had half of his face painted black and the other side white, and the girl wore the reverse coloring. Yep, I was in northern California and digging it.

As we zipped east from the coast we entered a deep redwood forest with the Russian River flowing just feet below the winding, two-lane country road. I asked if anyone wanted to smoke and pulled out that magical black fellow’s pin joint roach. They all nodded yes. I fired it up and we each scored two only tiny tokes before the roach was too small to hand hold. No one said a word for ten minutes as the weed took hold. I had been staring mindlessly out the open window at the lush forest and listening to a whole new world of sounds. When I looked back at the two hippie kids they were totally wasted and couldn’t even finish a sentence. The driver, an older hipster who obviously knew his herb, quietly said, “That is some of the finest herb I’ve ever smoked”.  I nodded and told him how I came by it. We all laughed and thought of how cool it must be to hitch around and to lay tidbits of top weed on strangers, the primo, the kine, the special. Johnny Potseed had done it again.

Near Santa Rosa I stumbled out of the van and continued hitching south and back to the bay area. I had a plan and was sticking to it. I had maybe $1500 in my pocket that was going to rent a small room, buy my food, and support myself for as many months of Aikido training as it would buy. San Francisco was my new home and was just about at the peak of the Haight-Ashbury period. I found my bed in a loft platform that I built above the back, enclosed wooden stairway of a second floor flat near Zoe Valley.  I signed up for Aikido at the SF Aiki-Kai and soon, within a few weeks and quite by accident, discovered the beauty of Opium as well as sitar music…..but that’s another story.

Around 1974 or so the good old days of sharing a joint with total strangers seemed to end abruptly, at least in certain cities. I can’t really tell you precisely when it happened, however many similar stories began surfacing from dozens of sources across the USA. Whether it was greed, opportunists getting paid, or just busted peeps being put under pressure by the cops and going to work for the law, it seemed to be the new deal.

A friend of a friend in Phoenix had given a joint to one of the many pretty ladies who sold flowers on the busy street corners in town. He had pulled up curbside and obviously decided to impress her. He bought some flowers, paid for them, and gave her a tip in the form of a joint. Not long thereafter he was pulled over by the local police, searched, and busted for whatever he had on board. He and his attorney discovered later in court that the tip-off call had come from the pretty girl at curbside in Tempe. That event signaled the end for free-wheeling Phoenix as identical news surfaced.

And it’s too bad, really, because hell, I remember going to a trade show in 1972 Chicago with a friend who was in the import-export business (wink, wink). As we entered the event parking garage he handed his Mercedes keys to the valet and merely said, “there’s something for you above the wheel, just behind the visor”. He had left two joints for the guy and only asked that he park the car close to the exit where we checked in. He didn’t want any Ferris Bueller action going on while we were inside for 6 hours. He had made a good decision in his gifting and his car was in one of the first ten spaces in a garage that was 5 stories tall and held 1000’s of vehicles. Today, I don’t think any of us would be taking that chance, right?

As I recall, this is how it used to be and I remember dozens of herb turn-ons by total strangers, not while hanging out in a suspicious bar mind you, but when hitch-hiking, out in the woods, or in a park. Health food stores were pretty good, too, as a place to light up with the latest and greatest and share some news. And while we’re at it, let’s remember how nice it worked at a good friend’s party.

Hey, maybe it wasn’t just our youth and that odd time and space and that the kids today are still at it. At the Full Moon drumming each month at Cathedral Rock in Sedona I’m one of the first to share Sacred Herb that has come my way, be it from cultivating, trading, or gifts from others. In that atmosphere, once the sun goes down and the drums begin, I feel there’s a peaceful protection, a timeless vibe that cancels any worry of interference. The kids, too, break out their peace pipes while their irie dancers spin on the wind, high from sharing smoke. That’s how it should be and it’s coming back, inch by inch, day by day, flower by flower.

Blessed be the givers.