December 16 by Sarah Russo 

The room has become too hazy. The smoke is thick, making it difficult to see. It remains an ongoing fixture of the room. 

Artful smoke rings from cannabis and strawberry flavored shisha curls in tendrils along the walls. We have danced and seen the smoke’s ability to saunter along the paths of light. You will also find mapacho, Amazonian tobacco, which I use in ritual as a form of prayer. People have smoked their fair share of cigarettes. Those weren’t mine. Someone else had been using a vanilla custard flavored nicotine vaporizer, sickly sweet. The smell gives me a headache, but I put up with it. Occasionally, other compounds waft trough the air of the room, synthetic and otherwise. We have seen through to other sides of ourselves, the dark and light, and the spaces in between.

I’ve tried to clear the air. I’ve opened the window. I’ve burned sage and palo santo for removing stagnate energy, frankincense and myrrh when I wanted to get biblical, tonka bean for sweetness and sensuality. Embers have been ignited, ash has fallen to the floor and left its mark. I have some burns on my fingers to show for it. Candles have stayed lit all night until they eventually formed a wax pool of almost nothing. Essential oil cauldrons have boiled and steamed healing vapors into the air. The scents linger in the walls. The room is clearer, but it is still not easy to breathe. All of this, as much as I have contributed and/or allowed, has made the visibility low.

I’ve stayed in this room for awhile now. I’ve created and enabled all that is here. It has become clear to me that I need to step out for a little while and get some fresh air. To get new perspective and to remember what the outside feels like.

I’ll miss what I’ve created, and the people who have been a part of it. And don’t get me wrong, I will look forward to returning to that room.

After all, I’m curious to see what it will look like in my absence.

Sarah Russo, who helped build Project CBD as an organizer, is traveling in Asia. Her blog is Dead Reckoning.