Review

How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan: A man who believes you’re never too old to take a trip

By Richard Godwin

A few months after my son was born I found myself lying on a sun-lounger in Ibiza tripping on some magic mushrooms I had rashly ingested with 15 friends. We later dubbed this “the longest day” and at that particular moment — 11am? — it was not going well. I had shepherded a particularly distressed stag away from the awful all-day rave we were supposed to go to, and the two of us had picked our way across the beach, finally collapsing under the flight path to Ibiza airport.

The best way I can describe it is that my mind was a slug trying to get comfy on a bed of nails. It took huge mental effort not to surrender to panic: “You’ve got a baby now! What were you thinking?!”

Planes flew in metres above our heads. But after a couple of aeons the squirming subsided. I looked up to see a paunchy father padding through the sparkling water in pursuit of a giggling toddler. As stupid as it sounds, this image — plus whatever the hell else was going on in my slug-mind — well, it was profound. I genuinely feel I returned to England at peace with fatherhood.

Read the whole review here.

 

 
 
Michael Pollan