Thursday, August 7, 2014
Floating is the new craze. Or if it isn't, it should be. It's the closest you get to tripping in a salty environment.
So you go to this place called Float On on SE Hawthorne in Portland, Oregon that looks like a gay sauna club from 1977. They have six float tanks, sell legal drugs over the counter, and if you don't watch your back they'll get you juiced up on herbal tea. Then you're put in your own saltwater tank that's the same temperature as your body. It's totally dark inside, no sounds reach you except for the beating of your heart (if you have one). After a few minutes you feel you're back in the womb of your mother or being embraced by stress-free archangels.
I've floated six times, and it's a great meditation unless you suffer from claustrophobia or a fear of imaginary sharks. The first time I got so bored I tried to drown myself though, but the salt keeps you afloat no matter what - and slowly you melt into the darkness like a humid little demon. Every muscle relaxes, and after a while your neck learns that the water isn't dangerous; it's your friend, your lover, your muse.
Some people get in touch with unknown anxieties when they float. Others have lucid dreams, or just empty their bladders into The Great Unknown. I've had two small flashes from past lives, and at one point I thought I'd invented the toaster, but when I came out somebody told me I was sixty years too late. I also DID empty my bladder, hoping it was a rite of passage because I don't want to be a Danish pig. But man, the water is SO relaxing, and the float hipsters clean it afterward with their state-of-the-art filtering system.
That's right, you get your own water to soil, including visions, longings, and ideas for your next novel or snack. Floating is not a trip down memory lane but a journey into altered states you had no idea existed - a scenic drive on the freeway of your subconscious. Or at the very least, you get saltwater in your eyes, which can be a religious experience, too.
So friends, followers, health nuts, I can wholeheartedly recommend an anti stress floating to anybody who can stand their own company for an hour and a half. Most people can't, of course. That's why they get iPhones, but that's another story altogether.
(Check out www.floathq.com here in Portland. However, they have float tanks several other places in the world)
This is a picture of the float I did this morning (it's me in the middle). Float On in Portland offers three kinds of rooms, two ocean floats, two oasis tanks, and two float pools. I like them all and they seem to like me.