Mushrooms are weird. Sure, I eat them but I think I like looking at them more. I mean, they’re fungus. Which is gross. But then … gross things are, kind of by definition, fascinating; like zits and scabs, … politicians … never mind …
Aaaanyway, hey, did you know that mushrooms are actually about 9 billion years closer to being animals than plants? True fact. Except it might be 9 million rather than billion … can’t remember exactly. And they’re in LITERALLY EVERYTHING! Without them, life as we know it would be over. And apart from their fascinating scientific qualities they also have a reputation for being mystical and magical; perhaps because of how they pop up so quickly out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly, their sporification of the world seemingly a chance and random occurrence, their shapes so familiar and iconographic yet some of them so completely alien-looking as to have been conceived on another planet.
We eat them and they nourish us or kill us or take us on religious journeys through our subconscious. These days they are even credited with the ability to keep us from aging and curing diseases like cancer.
Quiet things: mushrooms; so silently living their little lives. Coming and going without a whisper, sometimes barely clearing the loam to peek out for one short day in the leafy dark of the woods. They can seem insignificant, yet they’re monumentally captivating, even to such notables as Lewis Caroll, Shakespeare and J.K. Rowling. And, of course, the lowly mushroom is ever the poster child for all of us, who have, at one time or another, felt like we were ” kept in the dark and fed horse shit.”
Ah, the humble mushroom: invisible … enchanting … life altering … disgusting …
For what they’re worth, here are six of them:
Indigo Milk Caps, green and red Russulas, and some Amanita Muscarias.
I found them in the woods. They made me happy.
You can see them in person (always better in person) at Studio Gallery 234 in York, PA; this Saturday, November 18 from 3-5 pm; along with myself, some lovely gnosh and a bunch of other mushroomy individuals bent on creativity and discreet social gracelessness.