Sunday, May 04, 2008
Albert Hoffman, Fly in Peace
photo from CBC News
Albert Hoffman, the Swiss chemist who discovered LSD in 1938, died this past Tuesday. As inventors go, I'd rank him with Edison and the Wright brothers who brought us light and flight.
Thanks Dr. Hoffman for enabling me to see all the conventions of my life in the center of a Hostess cupcake I rolled in my hand. Thanks for giving me the lens to watch a pelican fly overhead and recognize its pitch-perfect line in the universe's poem. Thanks for empowering my ears to hear a stormy day bathe in sunlight as Layla poured out of the record player. I know you meant it for medicine and not for tie dyed frolics (let alone how the CIA used it), but I considered your invention the most amazing elixir under a throbbing sun for a transmigrant from Yeshiva.
Even though the terror-lined passageways multiplied over the years, I'll never forget the marlmalade skies. For those of us who can't get our legs into a lotus position or stop swatting at mental mosquitoes when attempting to meditate, you gave us a view from the mountaintop and a glorious taste of transcendence.